Bed bugs. I'm not talking about dust mites, the microscopic things that are everywhere and feed on dust. I am referring to the apple seed-sized, brown blood suckers that give you itchy welts and sleepless nights. Cimex lectularis, the bug that is taking New York and London by storm. The critters are almost indestructible. Many are resistant to insecticides, they hide in the smallest of nooks and cranniest of crannies, and only come out to feed at night when you're blissfully unaware. You pick them up from travelling (hotels, public transport), from other people's places, even at work. And the worst thing: they can live for 18 months without feeding, so even when you think everything's clear, they can come right back atcha. There's a whole load of support and info on http://bedbugger.com. Google it: cases of bed bug infestations are rising exponentially due to increased travel, living density in urban areas and decreased use of insecticides like DDT. Yes, I have them. I discovered them for sure when I came back from holiday, and the next morning my shoulders were covered in itchy welts. Suspicious, I lifted up my mattress, and saw nothing initially, but the next day, after more bites, I looked more closely. Under the slats, I saw something move. Long story short: this was back in February, I have dismantled my bed twice, cleaned every surface, covered all holes with tape, but an anti-allergy cover over my mattress, invested in new bedclothes and finally: I can get a good night's sleep. The bad news however, is that it's never that easy. They weren't just in my bed. And now my housemate has them - they can't bite me anymore because my bed is standing in little bowls of soapy water. If you have them: DO NOT IGNORE the problem. The populations rise exponentially: life cycle is just a few weeks, and a female can lay something like 300 eggs in a lifetime. If you catch them early, you can probably deal with it, but if they spread, it's professional pest controller time. Not fun, I can tell you. Anyway, I just wanted to raise awareness, see if anyone else is suffering, and have a moan about one of my fave topics of the moment. Erm, thanks for listening!