Register Friday | July 23 | 2021
Bugging Out Illustration by Graham Roumieu

Bugging Out

The industry that fights bed bugs is growing, but the only real winners are the pests themselves.

There is pleasure in pressing a bed bug to death between your fingers. When it expires, there’s a stale stench, like catching a whiff of permanent marker. The bug’s body gives way easily, leaving behind a trace of your own blood. 

Most people, if they are lucky, will never have to know the indignity of feeling that familiar itch and reaching down to grab the culprit. Nor what it’s like to spend almost two months waking most nights around 4 AM and taking a quick, numbingly cold shower in order to fall asleep again.

With time, I’ll discover that tucking socks into sweatpants can help keep the bugs away. But in a dry Alberta summer with no air conditioning, it’s too hot for layers. A roommate whose name I never learn goes to the hospital for a few days because she had an allergic reaction ...

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