Philly’s Bedbug Problem

Thanks New York: Your Great Bedbug Plague has come south and invaded our lives (along with the stinkbugs and squirrels). Now only a few good men — and their dogs — stand between Philadelphia and a hostile takeover.

But nine months later, they’re still worried. When they eat dinner out, they wonder about the possibility that someone sitting in the banquette before them has been, say, lodging at an infested hotel recently, and when they went to see The King’s Speech, both immediately washed their jeans as soon as they got home. George still occasionally has the crawling sensation on his legs, which Penn State’s Niedermeier says is a common side effect of a post-infestation stress called delusional parasitosis.

Given the grim forecast that scientists like Niedermeier offer — she predicts the problem continuing over the next decade, as the bugs become increasingly resistant to chemicals — George and Leslie likely won’t be the only ones in their social circle to suffer through a bedbug problem.

But even if one has a worse infestation than George and Leslie, the Overlines of Aardvark Pest Management say that they can get rid of them. While chemicals can’t kill bedbug eggs, which is key to ending the problem, heat over 130 degrees will. So the Overlines steam every wall, floor and corner, and have just built a special “oven truck” in which they can bake everything from your custom sofa to your closetful of Balenciaga and render them bug-free. It will still be an odious experience, but with time, effort and money, eventually you’ll sleep peacefully again. Unless, of course, you decide to watch the new series that Animal Planet is casting now: Inevitably, it’s a reality show about exterminators who treat bedbugs.

*Some names have been changed.