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Friday, August 27, 2010


It seems like nearly every day during the time we spent in the U.S. there was some kind of prominent news coverage of the latest scourge; bedbugs

Apparently, these little parasites, which were largely wiped out in the developed world by heavy use of DDT in the 40s and 50s, have bounced back with a vengeance... and are now largely resistant to just about everything science is throwing at them.

In one particularly horrifying New York Times article, various stories were shared about piano teachers losing work because people feared they might be transporting bedbugs from house to house, apartments became unsellable because of the unwanted residents, people were shunned by friends and family because they'd had an infestation, and even a large midtown Manhattan movie theater was forced to close (at least temporarily) because its seats were found to be literally crawling with the little monsters!

Each time I read a piece about bedbugs turning up in some new locale, my body would start to itch in what I'm sure (I hope!) was a psychosomatic reaction.

All I could think about was how this is going to affect the Jewish community where it is extremely common to open one's home to even relative strangers. 

Has anyone else been thinking about this?

Posted by David Bogner on August 27, 2010 | Permalink


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For the last two weeks I keep replaying in my head the M*A*S*H episode where they need the answer to 38-across, Yiddish Word for Bedbug.

Posted by: Raz | Aug 27, 2010 6:44:30 PM

One of my apartment buildings just got the once over by trained dogs. They identified thiry five apartments that are, allegedly, infested. This is going to cost me many thousands of dollars and peace of mind. Since I heard about it, I'm afraid to sit down in a chair at doctors' offices, and I worry about my son in his Yeshiva dormitory. Absolutely I am worried about guests and visitors. There doesn't seem to be any reliable solution other than buying a trained dog yourself to smell everyone and everything that comes into the house.

Unless Israel develops a sniffer that identifies the unique signature of these little monsters.

Posted by: Barzilai | Aug 27, 2010 11:05:52 PM

I don't think we have the problem here. Could be the result of being so close to Antarctica:-)

Posted by: Kiwi Noa | Aug 27, 2010 11:56:32 PM

5 letter yiddish word for bedbug is Vantz

Posted by: Chaim Sherman | Aug 28, 2010 9:06:17 PM

5 letter yiddish word for bedbug is Vantz

Posted by: Chaim Sherman | Aug 28, 2010 9:06:17 PM

That's a great new word to use the "Z" in scrabble! Thanks Chaim

Posted by: Kiwi Noa | Aug 29, 2010 4:33:31 AM

They certainly haven't been throwing DDT at them.

Posted by: Nachum | Aug 29, 2010 10:27:50 AM

http://online.ectaco.co.uk/main.jsp?do=e-services-dictionaries-word_translate1&direction=2&status=translate&lang1=23&lang2=ji&source=WANTZ YOUR VELCOME. :-)

Posted by: JOHN | Oct 26, 2012 1:09:39 PM

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