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Infested Book
Bedbug Peeking

About the book

Bed bugs. Few words strike such fear in the minds of travelers. In cities around the world, lurking beneath the plush blankets of otherwise pristine-looking hotel beds are tiny bloodthirsty beasts just waiting for weary wanderers to surrender to a vulnerable slumber. Though bed bugs today have infested the globe, the common bed bug is not a new pest at all. Indeed, as Brooke Borel reveals in this unusual history, this most-reviled species may date back 250,000 years, wreaking havoc on our collective psyche while even inspiring art, literature, and music—in addition to vexatious red welts.

Bedbug Hipster Kale Bedbug Lady

Reviews and Press

  • "Borel deftly takes us through this arthropod microcosm of the universe, as she traces the culture and biology of a resurgent scourge."

  • "Brooke Borel admits she has become either "the worst person" or "the best person" to talk to at a cocktail party. The journalist not only has had a few experiences with bedbugs… she's not afraid to talk about it."

  • "Borel knows her stuff, but she also knows how to write; her clear and chatty prose turns what ought to be a dreary treatise into an entertaining read."

  • "Fascinating."

  • "Those looking for an in-depth account of what might one day share their home will be considerably enlightened. Just don’t leave the book in the guest bedroom."

  • "Infested is a thoroughly delightful book about bedbugs."

  • "A thoughtful inquiry into the lengths we'll go not to just to conquer, but to understand the scourge."

  • "Riveting"

  • "...woven into a canny narrative..."

  • "A really smart and funny look at one of man’s greatest enemies. It was one of the more accessible history of science books I’ve read in a long time."

  • "For infestation veterans, this page-turning account of humankind’s long, fraught relationship with the cimex lectularius has potential therapeutic value."

  • "For anyone who wants to replace their fear of bed bugs with knowledge."

  • "You’ll enjoy this book, but it may make you a little itchy."