Obsessed with bedbugs this summer? The New York Times is. The paper has published 59 articles, 3 multimedia pieces and one Room for Debate forum on whether we are overreacting to the bed bug scare. (Projection bias, much?)
In its latest installment in the Bedbug Chronicles, Kate Murphy explains why bedbugs -- like any pest or natural disaster -- are actually good for business. Not most businesses, mind you. Eliminating infestations can cost a large apartment complex up to $70,000. But that money isn't going to the bugs:
Bedbugs gave Linda Develasco of Des Plaines, Ill., a new career when she was laid off from her job as a new-accounts manager at Verizon two years ago. Having learned about bedbugs in the hospitality industry from her fiancé, who was general manager of a hotel, she bought a bedbug-sniffing beagle named Scooby for $9,700. She recouped the expense within three months by doing one to three inspections each week. "He was worth every penny," said Ms. Develasco, who had been doing mostly residential work but within the last week began inspecting office buildings, retail stores and movie theaters. "It's been crazy."
Exterminators are also enjoying a windfall after several years of declining revenue as customers cut back on pest control treatments to save money in the tight economy.
Read the full story at the New York Times.
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