Dear Urban Diplomat: Do I need to tell my house guests about bedbugs?
Dear Urban Diplomat,
In a couple of weeks, I’m hosting an engagement party for my daughter, and 75 people are expected. Some are flying in and have already booked their tickets. The catch is, we’ve just had an exterminator in to treat our house for bedbugs. While they’re probably all gone, you never know. I haven’t told anyone about my bedbug problem and want to host the party as planned. Cancelling it would be a huge hassle for the out-of-town guests and pretty devastating for my daughter. Am I wrong?
You know what would be really devastating? Sending 75 of your closest friends and family out into the city and back to their homes with bedbugs secreted away in their pockets and purses. Do not, for the love of your soon-to-be-wed daughter, host this engagement party. Bedbugs are evasive, stubborn little bloodsuckers that almost always require multiple extermination treatments. It’s not uncommon for people who live in row houses, where the bugs can travel between domains, to fight them for a year or two. You need to wait at least three or four months from the time you see your last bite to the time you host anything. But that doesn’t mean you should send a cancelled-due-to-infestation memo to all invitees. You can still throw a killer party; just book a private room at a sophisticated restaurant. You’ll get hosting accolades for picking a great venue, and your daughter will remain undevastated (and uninfested). A bit of unsolicited advice: keep the unholy pests out of your cocktail chatter—the stigma is almost as unshakeable as the bugs themselves.