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Another 18th century infestation courtesy of the EPA

By Michael R. Shannon
web posted October 18, 2010

Normally it would be cause for great joy when "socially–conscious progressives" are literally bitten on the behind by the results of their bad ideas. In this case it's unfortunate that the conservatives who should be enjoying a nice gloat, are instead forced to scratch their own rear ends simply because you can't rely on bedbugs to exercise judgment before biting.

So conservatives and Greenpeace contributors alike suffer.

Bedbugs infesting hotel mattresses — in case you missed a recent story in the travel section in the Washington Post — are the latest critter crisis to join the pantheon of "Problems We Never Thought We'd Encounter in the 21st Century."

Since bedbugs, like teenagers, like to lurk in "dark cave–like" areas, wise travelers will follow the Post's advice and become CSI Holiday Inn upon entering their room.

After unpacking your suitcase in the tub (bedbugs are allergic to porcelain) one dons rubber gloves and grabs a powerful flashlight along with a magnifying glass. Begin by removing the headboard and checking for bedbugs, bedbug poop and bedbug skin. (In DC you may also check for crack.)

Next closely examine the sheets and bedspread, concentrating on seams and edges as you search for the same disgusting bedbug detritus. Successful first–time bedbug sleuths may want to pause here to visit the bathroom and hurl before tackling the rest of the room.

Returning to your task, pull the linen into the middle of the bed and take a gander at the mattress and cover, looking for areas where you would hide if you were a bedbug or Democrat member of Congress facing a tough election.

Finally, shove the mattress into the middle of the floor and finish with a search of the foundation and bed frame. Imagine you're G. Gordon Liddy looking for electronic bugs. It will help pass the time.

Any normal traveler would be ready to return home after enjoying America's newest in–room hotel workout, but this is only the beginning of the angst for the "socially conscious."

Can you imagine what a dilemma this gives "progressive" travelers? What kind of tip is appropriate for the housekeeper in a bedbug hotel? Do you continue to base the tip amount on the mileage traveled from their home country to reach the US? Should a bonus be added, since the housekeepers are exposed to disgusting pests? Or should one deduct a percentage to represent the inconvenience associated with finding bedbugs and risk possibly insulting another culture that may honor the role of bedbugs in the ecosystem?

Indicating the problem is here to stay, there is even a website that tracks reported bedbug sightings.

The Post inadvertently gives a clue as to the origin of the problem when it notes, "After a dormant period following World War II, (bedbugs are) back."

But why, one wonders?

Were bedbugs rationed for the use of the troops and it took decades for the civilian supply to replenish? Or did dropping The Bomb on Hiroshima cause them to flee to the Arctic where they lay frozen until released by "Global Warming?"

The obvious difference between then and now is country was not held in the grip of hysterical "environmentalists" and the practical use of DDT eliminated the bedbug. During that golden age the major worry for travelers was successfully gauging the tensile strength of hotel toilet paper on the first try.

It ended when environmental Pharisees banned DDT and modern man was gradually reintroduced to 19th Century pest problems.

You might say we have seen the future and it itches.

Before outraged enviros (are there any other kind?) send hot emails on deadly DDT, I suggest you visit the invaluable Paul Driessen's website and learn the truth about DDT.

Driessen points out, "No deaths, cancers or other harm (except skin rashes) were ever demonstrated. Not one replicated scientific study ever found that DDT causes abortions, birth abnormalities, tumors or reduced fertility in humans. US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator William Ruckelshaus banned DDT, despite his own commission's conclusion that DDT was safe for people and the environment. He … said his decision was "political," ​not scientific."

The only "experiment" that found DDT causes thin bird eggshells did so because the birds were denied 80 percent of their normal calcium intake. When the intake was restored to normal, so were the eggshells.

The latest result of the "progressive" ban on DDT is a joint warning on "an alarming resurgence in the population of bed bugs" from the Center for Disease Control and the EPA. I foresee an avalanche of studies, reports, initiatives, task forces, joint operations and a lot of scratching, but no DDT.

In fact the only potential beneficiaries of the bedbug plague, aside from pest control firms, are wandering husbands with suspicious wives and mysterious rashes. ESR

Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He can be reached at michael-shannon@comcast.net.

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