I’d like to second Paul’s yuck when it comes to a recent Leader-Post article about Regina’s bed bug situation. This might ruin my day. Ever since I heard Brendan Kiley describing how these things work on the Too Beautiful to Live podcast, the mere mention of bed bugs makes me feel grossed out. Just look at what they do to each other, as described by Kiley in the Stranger:
Biologists used to believe males and females of a given species evolved together for sexual fitness, the Darwinian version of romance. But bedbugs, scientists have found, have engaged in a millennia-long struggle of “sexually antagonistic coevolution” in which individual males damage individual females for overall reproductive advantage. Female bedbugs have counterevolved “spermalege,” a special sperm-receptacle organ in the abdomen that helps absorb the trauma—if the hypodermic penis hits it. Bedbugs aren’t exactly careful maters. Male bugs sometimes traumatically inseminate each other, though scientists aren’t sure whether this is a function of sexual competition or just carelessness.