The best gross-out story in the NYT and the New Yorker so far this year is the explosion of the bedbug population. If you don't want this leech of a guy (looking cute, left) to sleep with you, be brutal and arm yourself. But how? High-priced hotels harbor them. You might pay a pro thousands of dollars to rid your home of bedbugs, only to find the nocturnal suckers drinking your blood when the lights go out again.
What does this have to do with green technology? Ultra-lethal DDT wiped out these vampires during WWII but that poison, now banned, also kills children and any other living things. Our hygiene-obsessed, itch-averse culture faces some big challenges of eliminating pests without eco-poisons. Bedbugs laugh at store-bought bug killers, and entomologists say that less toxic alternatives, baking soda, and vaseline are a joke. These critters can starve a year and survive.
The greenest, least dangerous way to get rid of broods of bedbugs? Freeze them. So take heart, New Yorkers, just leave your windows open this winter and hope for the best. See the Bedbug Blog and a picture by me blog for some Big Apple dwellers' brave, graphic confessionals of their experience fighting the beasts as well as support group links.