And today, on Things You Didn’t Know You Should Be Freaked Out About: Bedbugs!

Oh, but I hear you say it: we are New Yorkers, and we already know about the whole Bedbug Thing. In the 20th century, bedbugs went from rather common to almost unheard of in much of the industrialized world. But over the last few years, a combination of increased international travel, the disuse of DDT, and increased resistance to the weaker insecticides used instead has led to their global resurgence. They hide in folds of fabric, they hide in suitcases (and the baggage-return conveyor belts at airports), they hide in the upholstery of the furniture you find on the sidewalk, and then they move into your house. Getting them out again is a massive undertaking. And then there’s the itching and the scratching and the welts and the oh my god they’re sucking my blood while I sleep and suddenly we’re all losing our minds. They’re running amok in Park Slope.1 We are already freaking out about bedbugs. Those of us who are prone to (a) worry, (b) hypochondria, or (c) itching are just about out of our heads.

Ah, but did you know this? They’re hiding in the crevices of the wooden benches on the subway platforms.

So don’t sit down, folks. And for god’s sake, stop scratching. You’re fine. Maybe.

(Thanks [I think] to Sari, for bringing this to my attention.)

1 The bugs, not the Brooklynites.