Tuesday, 28 December 2010

If you work at U.N.'s DC2 or DC1 chances are that you've brought home BEDBUGS!

Common adult bedbug
Is New York still infested with bedbugs? Photograph: Jeff March/Alamy

It would be nice to report at this festive time of year a little good news: bedbugs, those bloodsucking critters that have been chomping through the human flesh of New York and spreading pandemonium in their wake, have finally been tamed, Mayor Bloomberg declaring the city free of the scourge. Well, sorry, I can't. In fact, it's quite the opposite. In the two months since the Guardian put the spotlight on the insects, far from giving up the fight they have taken it global. Yes, the UN building has been infested, and with it the offices of that other world institution, the BBC. "Oh, the shame. Oh, the horror," the BBC's Barbara Plett exclaims. You have to pity Ban Ki-Moon. The UN secretary general now not only has to tackle the Middle East, Afghanistan and Sudan, but bedbugs too. Still, at least there is the comfort that the New York authorities are on the case. The mayor has ordered a team of bedbug sniffing dogs, though so far they've only acquired two, which somehow seems a little inadequate bearing in mind the scale of the rampage.

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