Worst upgrade ever: there are bed bugs on airplanes now.

Bedbugs happen. And it suuuuucks. After getting infested once, I’m careful never to put my suitcase on a hotel bed, but it’s not like I know for sure if that was the vector.

Should it happen to you: It’s okay. You’re not disgusting. It’s just a dumb thing that happens which people blow up far beyond proportion, like herpes. Don’t bother with mattress sacks, as there are too many other places they can live. I’ve never heard much luck from people who tried fumigation, and who wants to literally soak their mattress in poison? Get some diatomaceous earth and spread it liberally around any porous surfaces you spend a lot of time around: couches, bed, etc. (The tiny fossilized shells in DE cut them up as the crawl through it.) Yeah, it’ll be like a playa dust storm hit your house, but it works. You have to leave it out for several weeks, letting it completely disrupt their breeding cycle, but it immediately stops the fuckers from coming out to play. The bites will stop. Most importantly, it lets you get some sleep, which quickly becomes a very scarce commodity. Goddamn little motherfuckers, I’m itchy just thinking about it again.


Eh, never mind. I’m probably misremembering exactly what I looked up. At the very least, current prices seem to be inline with the quote from the article.

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Don’t worry! Bed bugs are extremely resistant to insecticides, so fumigation doesn’t work. :frowning:

(When you see bed bug fumigators at the store in amongst the flea bombs, those 100% do not work. Shameful.)


Are there issues with inhaling that?


My FAA-fu is too weak to find a definitive answer to whether your vendor, insurer and/or the feds would run screaming at that proposal; but the International Aircraft Materials and Fire Test Working Group did some oven-treatment at 200 degrees for testing purposes and seemed reasonably relaxed about the results. That was of specific material samples, though, not the whole cabin and all the wiring harnesses and stuff.

The BOEING D6-7127 PROTOCOL seems to apply mostly to liquid cleaning agents; but makes reference to concerns about damage to:

Several flavors of aluminum(probably a nonissue with mild heat)

Rubber and elastomers(one would hope that anything going into an aircraft cabin could suck it up and take 120 degrees; but hope is a poor engineering material)

BMS 5-95 sealant(vendors suggest that 120 is within service temperature, and excursion temperature can be higher)

Paint (also hopefully OK, the liquid test is at 150 degrees, so a no-test-liquid-test at 120 would seemingly be endurable)

‘TEDLAR’ (a strangely adorable name for a thermoplastic fluoropolymer sheet, apparently can’t take injection moulding; but that’s much higher temperature)

Vinyl (effect might be less salubrious, depending on the plasticizer used, if any)

Fabric and carpet (probably fine, might outgas some gruesome halogenated flame retardants, as is customary)

Leather and Naugahyde (unknown to me, as the noble Nauga was hunted to extinction some years before my time)

Polycarbonate under strain (unlikely to craze at 120)

I don’t know if they’d let you do it; but nothing seems screamingly obvious as a ghastly failure mode that would make baking the cabin a definite no-go.

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As long as you get the food-grade kind and not the pool-filter kind, it’s no worse than inhaling any other fine dust. Conveniently, the filter-grade stuff doesn’t work as an insecticide anyway.


Did that actually fix the problem long-term? I hadn’t heard great things about diatomaceous earth alone, but I don’t think I dug deep on it.

Normally I’m against wiping out entire species, but if we can find a way to extinct bed bugs, I say we do it and take our chances with the law of unintended consequences. Bed bugs are how I know with absolute certainty prophets can actually see the future. Revelations would definitely have listed bed bugs as one of the plagues of the Apocalypse.

That said, I’ve been through the Newark airport, and I can’t blame the bed bugs for wanting to escape it.


I am not experienced in this but wouldn’t hard-sided luggage keep the bugs out of your stuff and you’d just need to, I dunno, spray or hose down the case when you get home?

I was thinking the same thing, unless it means that any bugs that do get in there won’t find their way back out.

I was also thinking that the cargo hold on an airliner* is a pretty inhospitable place for most forms of life, but apparently it’s not nearly as cold (nor depressurized) as I’d have imagined.

*As opposed to the part of the hold where they (hopefully/usually) keep live animals

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It did for me, yeah. Had to reapply a couple times, but that was 10 years ago and I haven’t had them since.

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It won’t keep the bugs out when it is opened up. And while spraying your luggage is probably a good practice*, the problem is that the bugs in hotels have, over time, been bred for resistance to the insecticides used to control them. They haven’t usually been repeatedly exposed to high temps often enough to develop a resistance to them.

*If you have cats, be very careful about letting cats rub against anything treated, because cats are very susceptible to the insecticides used to control ticks.

If I got my hands on a Scroll of Genocide from Nethack, I’d really be torn between bed bugs and mosquitoes. Bed bugs are a personal fear for me, and make lots of people’s lives miserable, but mosquitoes kill so many.

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Mosquitos at least play a significant role in the food chain for some animals, bed bugs are assholes.


Bright Side News: Major upgrade for the bedbugs.


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