Hey Australia: Thanks for the Bedbugs!

Long before bedbugs had become the plague du jour, my wife and I set off for New Zealand.

The year was 2000, and we arrived in April to pick apples for a couple of months before buying a barely running car to get us around. We slept in hostels, which had comment books filled with advice about where to stay – and where not to. Many of the entries mentioned bedbugs, which we assumed must be a creature native to New Zealand.

“Whatever you do, don’t stay at … (unless you want to be eaten alive by bedbugs – 122 bites to be precise),” warned one entry. By then, we had already stayed there and had each gotten a few bites, but we hadn’t thought much about it.

I didn’t know it then, but we were close to – in fact, right across the Tasman Sea from – the launching pad for an imminent worldwide explosion of bedbugs.

Read the rest here.

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