While the approach of the singularity has everyone fatalistically joking about the robot takeover, we're going to go ahead and bet on the bug takeover happening first. All summer bed bugs have been influencing which clothes we buy, which theaters we frequent, and even tourist travel arrangements. Now, stink bugs are starting to do the same. Oh, and did we mention that it's lice season? It's lice season. Don't rent a Halloween wig.
Gil Bloom, an entomologist with Standard Pest Management in Queens, told the Daily News that stink bug sightings have been on the rise. "I actually saw one this weekend in Forest Hills on my window," he said. "We've seen them in Queens, Brooklyn, Nassau County. They're increasingly getting around." They've already plagued New Jersey, and while they don't bite or carry disease, the smell can be overwhelming.
But stinkbugs are nothing compared to every second grader's nightmare: head lice. And according to lice expert (and enthusiast?) Dalya Harel, the more popular you are the greater chance you have of getting the suckers! She told WNYC, “It’s a compliment to have lice. And you should be very proud when you have them. You know you’re very friendly. You only get lice from people you love. The more you love the peoples, then you can have a chance to get lice from them." Not that you're in the clear if you hate the peoples. Mary Vines, PTA co-president of P.S. 107, warned that the DOE is basically making it worse. "The [Department of] Education policy is that if you have live bugs, you have to go home,” she said. “But if you only have nits, which are the eggs, you can stay in school." Because why try to fix anything until it's an epidemic?
The Department of Health has no records on head lice rates because they don't consider it a disease, and the DOE website says, "Studies have shown that school-wide screenings for nits are time consuming, costly, and ineffective." But Harel says the sharing and renting of Halloween costumes means lice have a chance to spread even faster. “Most people have lice now, most kids in school. Some of the schools don’t check. So, Halloween and Thanksgiving, Hurray! I’m ready for work." Good for you, Harel! We'll just be locked in our apartment, avoiding the peoples altogether.