Lou Sorkin, Susan Jones and Michael Potter hit it out of the park

In the NYT’s Room for Debate.

Go, go read for yourself.

It occurs to me, wherever you live, if you are struggling to make someone, anyone, a city agency perhaps, understand what bed bugs are all about, this could be a good tool. Our beloved Lou and Dr. Jones and Dr. Potter, together, describe the essential features of the problem and their mini op-eds are authoritative and accessible. Really, I recommend you use them.

I have such a big smile on my face right now. Maybe we have a chance against some of the willful cluelessness about bed bugs. Maybe people will start to talk about bed bugs in productive ways. Maybe it’s not so dark and hopeless.

UPDATE 8/24/09:

So? What do you think?

Here are some of my favorite bits:

Michael Potter:

And finally, we may need the Environmental Protection Agency and state regulatory groups to allow emergency use of certain older insecticides and, more important, we need to encourage chemical companies to invest in research and development of new insecticides.

Susan Jones:

Bedbug control is expensive and time-consuming, and with the current recession, many people lack the financial resources to hire an experienced professional. Do-it-yourself insecticide sprays tend to work on contact and, therefore, seldom provide control of bedbugs since the insects hide in many inaccessible locations. Bedbugs also have developed resistance to many commonly available pesticides.

Unfortunately, many public health officials have failed to recognize or to address, in a timely manner, the significance of bedbugs as a public health threat. That’s a huge problem.

Lou Sorkin:

Extensive infestations of bedbugs in homes, especially city dwellings like apartments, condos and co-ops, can easily spread throughout an entire building, especially when infested apartments are treated in isolation. That’s why it’s crucial for people and government agencies to understand the issues and work together.

What about you?

I’ve also been reading the comments and they are really interesting! I’m a sucker for 40s army anecdotes. And I like the directness of this guy or gal who tells the NYT to:

Stop teasing with these little stories on this and that and just publish a BIG FAT article on this. We need a giant picture of a bedbug on the Magazine in order to have everyone–most importantly, those in charge fo NYC govt–finally come up with an awareness and action plan [...] All of you in the newsroom know how bad it’s getting, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

From your keyboard to influential city ears, Afflicted.

Another commenter, Hermione, is experiencing bed bugs for the 4th time. I have no words! But she has no problem telling us what’s what:

Everyone needs to bring these issues to the attention of law makers and health advocates. Anyone who thinks it’s not important enough will have another thought coming when their lives are turned upside-down, along with their home and all their belongings. When friends won’t come over, when you aren’t welcome in their homes, when your co-workers eye you with alert panic, and when you are covered in red welts without a way to keep it from happening again (and again, and again) maybe you will see.

Good stuff.


  1. Pingback: Room for Debate on bed bugs: a must-read!

  2. Jessica

    First, it’s so good to see Lou Sorkin, Susan Jones, and Michael Potter quoted together, at the same time, in the New York Times! Awesome, truly awesome. If I had bed bug heroes, the three of them would be among my top five. Actually, sadly, I do have bed bug heroes…

    Anyway, second, Betty Friedman couldn’t have captured the bed bug experience more poignantly, in my opinion. The mind is indeed never free from bed bugs afterward.

    And finally, Richard Pollack was true to form, and that in and of itself speaks volumes.

    Thanks for posting this, Renee. Out of the ballpark just might be an understatement…

  3. Renee Corea

    Thanks for stopping by, Jessica. These op-eds are something we’ve needed for a while, right? The prestige of a national newspaper, the soundness of the views, and the way people were ready for them with no one saying it was all a big exaggeration like in years past. Well, almost no one, but indeed the way his op-ed was received is telling.

  4. Michelle Griffin

    We are interested in any information from consumers about getting bed bugs from rented furniture. Please contact Michelle or Rick at (512) 388-7800. Pursuing a Class Action Law Suit.

  5. Irina Zakouto

    I’m thrilled ! Awesome! Thank you all very much. Only united widespread and perpetuated BBs problem can be solved.

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