The June bug hath a gaudy wing,
The lightning bug a flame,
The bedbug hath no wing at all
But he gets there just the same.
Bedbugs do not have wings at any stage of their life. Still, just as the old saying goes, the bedbugs have gotten to Johnson County just the same. It was said for years that the reason we had a break from bedbugs for some decades is because of the widespread use of DDT in the sixties and seventies. Now, in laboratory testing, bedbugs have become DDT resistant. Bedbugs have been around on the Earth for some time now. Cimex lectularius (sounds like a Harry Potter incantation) has also been called, “Chinche,” “wall-louse,” and probably the first use of the word “bug.” The ancient Celts saw them as terrors of the night and the word “bug” is synonymous in their language with ghosts and goblins. There are twenty species in the world, eight of which are from North America.
Folklore about this bug has dated back for centuries. They were once considered a cure for a great variety of ailments. Crushed bedbugs mixed with salt and human milk were considered an ointment for the eyes. In powdered form, they were considered a cure for fevers. Eating seven bedbugs mixed with beans was believed to help those suffering from quartan plague. Even at present time, in certain areas of Ohio, this same mixture is used as a cure for chills and fevers. For hysteria, people took the bedbugs internally and just the smell of them was considered to relieve hysterical suffocation. At one time bedbugs were also thought to be especially good as neutralizers of serpent venom, that of asps in particular, as well as a useful preventative against all other kinds of poisons (Harry Potter, again…). We don’t recommend any of those cures and think those people in Ohio must be nuts. Instead, we recommend that if you are haunted by these goblins to go ahead and give us a call. We’ll use our magic.