Por QueEstelle Gonzales Walgreen
Whose Bed Bugs Are More Bad Ass?
“The Latin American bed bug known as the vinchuha likes to nosh on you for 30 minutes and in extreme cases can kill you while eating away at your heart”
Paying half attention to the news I keep hearing the words ‘plague’ ‘infestation’ ‘epidemic’ being mentioned so often, I half expect to see that the illegal anchor babies have indeed invaded the U.S. Capital or assume Glen Beck is talking about the Democrats again. Since Beck is now a man of God, the talk is all about minuscule size critters lovingly known as bed bugs or ‘chinches de cama’ in Spanish. What’s all the fuss about, I ask? ¿Por Que?
The mere mention of crawling critters conjures loving memories of Papa flinging his chanclas at them without batting an eye or even breaking conversation. His honed in radar to seek and kill bugs without leaving his Lazy boy came from his days growing up in rural Mexico. You never wanted him to aim one of those chanclas at you knowing legions of dead bugs, rodents and parasites were under them - Yuk. When I would over hear my dad say to mamita ‘Don’t call the Orkin Man, we don’t need him” I always assumed it was a neighbor they socially banished.
An abundance of bed bugs seem to be everywhere in the U.S. causing the most havoc in New York. Experts blame the lack of strong pesticides and “global travel” for the surge in bugs once thought to be eradicated. Now you know somewhere, some how anti-immigration zealots and Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio are going to blame illegals for bringing bed bugs back into this country. God, I would love to slip a squadron of Mexican scorpions down his pants. Wait. On second thought, he might enjoy that, it’s probably the most action he has seen in awhile. I digress.
From what I can tell the American bed bug is rather well mannered. They wait until you fall asleep to attack, biting only 5-10 minutes and limiting its bits to your arms and shoulders. Now the Latin American bed bug known as the vinchuha likes to nosh on you for 30 minutes and in extreme cases can kill you while eating away at your heart. Latin America does not have bragging rights as a super power region, but it does have boasting rights to having some of the most bad ass bugs around.
One of my faves is the botfly found mostly in Central America and Mexico. It likes to lay its eggs in you and spawn their young in the hole they make in your skin. They look for warm and moist places on your body to lay those eggs and your privates are not off limits. Try explaining that to your next Match.com date. No sweetie ‘I really do have good hygiene, I did just get back from Panama and don’t know how the maggots got down there.’
Latin America doesn’t waste headlines with mere pesky bugs in hotel rooms when they have the legendary and deadly ‘chupacabras’ to report on, recently blamed for beheading 300 goats in Puebla, Mexico. Or how about those crazed vampire bats in Peru this summer violently attacking 500 people, where’s the perky Kathleen Sebelius, head of Health & Human Services, when you need her. Last year, in Bolivia an intoxicated man fell asleep under an ant-infested tree and was bitten to death with his body found swarming in ants.
I do admire the American tradition of solving small problems with big solutions. New York is forming a task force and is considering giving victims of bed bugs $750 for restitution. Wait a minute they just sucked out a bit of blood not money out of your bank account. U.S. has even hosted an International Bed Bug Symposium and I am trying to get Papa on the speaker’s dais to demonstrate his point, aim and fling method. Most American households should be safe and reassured, spending anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 for bug killing systems to guarantee a bug-free quality of life.
Ultimately the bad ass bugs of Latin America and the havoc they wreak is the collateral damage of being a poor region. With a Mexican’s average daily wage pegged at $16, all they can hope for is flipping their huaraches at the pests or living in peace with them. Bug killing systems are also out of the questions with annual incomes of most Central Americans less than what the Orkin Man charges. However, since some U.S. metropolitan areas are setting up bed bug call centers I am going to suggest to President Evo Morales of Bolivia to provide telecommunication services to the hundreds of thousands of Bolivians without home phones, so they can report on local bug infestations.