Friday, October 22, 2010

Bedbugs: Another reason to cycle?

I'm literally itching to write this post. Should people be more scared of bedbugs than traffic?

Bedbugs are back, but apparently it's not just beds they hang out in. Scroll down this article to calvinx's comment...

"The experts recommend that you never sit down on public transport and that there are patterns of infestations in neighbourhoods along certain underground lines."

There's some corroboration here, although from someone with a vested interest.

I'm not sure the evidence is that compelling. An old article in the Standard quoted ratcatchers Rentokil as attesting to investations (unsurprising; pests are their bread and butter after all). The same article quotes TfL as saying “Rentokil has provided us with no evidence to support these claims and have not been in touch with us." (unsurprising; pests are not good for their business).
Update: Thanks to waronthemotorist who drew my attention to Retokil's retraction of their initial press release.

It would be irresponsible to go around spreading fear without good reason, but on the other hand it's nice to have another reason to feel smug about cycling.

I wonder if you could get them from a Boris Bike saddle?


  1. Ben Goldacre covered the Rentokil PR stunt in Bad Science:


  2. Good spot Joe. I've updated the story accordingly.

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