Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Don’t Let The Bedbugs Bite

Posted by Elyse Bruce on March 15, 2010

Bedbugs were the bugs that came in with the straw.  Although some mattresses were stuffed with goose down feathers, other mattresses were stuffed with straw.  However, whether a mattress had goose down or straw in it, pioneers who came into contact with straw unwittingly carried bedbugs back into the house.

Bedbugs were dangerous in that they inflicted people and animals alike with irritating, and sometimes painful, bites.

It’s from this era that we have the children’s rhyme:  “Good night, sleep tight — don’t let the bedbugs bite.  If they do, grab a shoe and whack them ’til they’re black and blue.”

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