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Infested : How the Bed Bug Infiltrated Our Bedrooms and Took Over the World - Brooke Borel

Infested

How the Bed Bug Infiltrated Our Bedrooms and Took Over the World

Hardcover Published: 1st May 2015
ISBN: 9780226041933
Number Of Pages: 224

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Bed bugs. Few words strike such fear in the minds of travelers. In cities around the world, lurking beneath the plush blankets of otherwise pristine-looking hotel beds are tiny bloodthirsty beasts just waiting for weary wanderers to surrender to a vulnerable slumber. Though bed bugs today have infested the globe, the common bed bug is not a new pest at all. Indeed, as Brooke Borel reveals in this unusual history, this most-reviled species may date back over 250,000 years, wreaking havoc on our collective psyche while even inspiring art, literature, and music—in addition to vexatious red welts.

In Infested, Borel introduces readers to the biological and cultural histories of these amazingly adaptive insects, and the myriad ways in which humans have responded to them. She travels to meet with scientists who are rearing bed bug colonies—even by feeding them with their own blood (ouch!)—and to the stages of musicals performed in honor of the pests. She explores the history of bed bugs and their apparent disappearance in the 1950s after the introduction of DDT, charting how current infestations have flourished in direct response to human chemical use as well as the ease of global travel. She also introduces us to the economics of bed bug infestations, from hotels to homes to office buildings, and the expansive industry that has arisen to combat them.

Hiding during the day in the nooks and seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, wallpaper, or any clutter around a bed, bed bugs are thriving and eager for their next victim. By providing fascinating details on bed bug science and behavior as well as a captivating look into the lives of those devoted to researching or eradicating them, Infested is sure to inspire at least a nibble of respect for these tenacious creatures—while also ensuring that you will peek beneath the sheets with prickly apprehension.

About the Author

Brooke Borel is a science writer and journalist. She is a contributing editor to Popular Science, where she also authors the blog Our Modern Plagues.

Industry Reviews

"Our encounters with bed bugs used to be limited to wishes for a good night's sleep. But now they're everywhere - in hotels, apartments, and even subways. In her fascinating book Infested, Borel chronicles the renaissance of this frightful insect and leaves us marveling at their remarkable biology." -Carl Zimmer, author of A Planet of Viruses

ISBN: 9780226041933
ISBN-10: 022604193X
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 1st May 2015
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.88  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.51

Earn 94 Qantas Points
on this Book