After the New York Times recently published an article on bedbugs (Boo, TimesSelect), their media profile has certainly risen. Our old friend Sam Dodge at the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, who have been dealing with the issue of bedbug infestations across the city for w hile now, especially in SRO hotels. He told us exterminators have assured him they can also be found in private homes and top hotels. A difficult and expensive bug to get rid of permanently, Beyond Chron reports that the problem seems to have started in local hostels. The Bay Guardian points out that no public agencies have stepped in to address the issue citywide, though they obtained a letter from the DPH that assured Chris Daly that they are "planning a bedbug eradication workshop in SRO Hotels in spring 2006."

So what can you do if you think you've got an infestation? Well, short of raiding grannie's basement for that old can of DDT, you may have to throw out and disinfect a lot of your stuff, and repeatedly fumigate. The Times offers some handy tips, and the THC has prepared a guide [PDF] that will also help you negotiate with your landlord. And don't freak out! While the bites are itchy and ugly, bedbugs aren't know to carry any infectious diseases.