Are Parasites Good For You?

Surprisingly enough, in some cases, the answer may be yes. This may not be the case with bed bug infestations, but some parasites have truly advanced society!See full size image

Due to my extensive work in the bed bug industry, I was given a rare opportunity to review an excellent book entitled Parasites: Tales of Humanity’s Most Unwelcome Guests by distinguished parasitologist, Rosemary Drisdelle.

When I read through Parasites, I was surprised at how quick and easy it was to read. I really appreciated the fresh and exciting new view that Drisdelle took in reanalyzing the typical disdain that people have for parasites. She transformed the way we view parasites into an appreciation and eagerness to learn more. Drisdelle has made one of societies most dreaded and often ignored entities accessible as well as enjoyable, while unearthing an exciting part of our history as well as our future.

I knew bed bugs were infamous for coming home with you in your luggage, but I did not know just how many mites, worms and other parasites were stationed all around us at all times.

Drisdelle’s new books’ description elucidates just how prevalent and influential parasites are:

“Hidden away within living tissues, parasites are all around us—and inside us. Yet, despite their unsavory characteristics, as we find in this compulsively readable book, parasites have played an enormous role in civilizations through time and around the globe. Parasites: Tales of Humanity’s Most Unwelcome Guests puts amoebae, roundworms, tapeworms, mites, and others at the center of the action as human cultures have evolved and declined. It shows their role in exploration, war, and even terrorist plots, often through an unpredictable ripple effect. It reveals them as invisible threats in our food, water, and luggage; as invaders that have shaped behaviors and taboos; and as unexpected partners in such venues as crime scene investigations. Parasites also describes their evolution and life histories and considers their significant benefits. Deftly blending the sociological with the scientific, this natural and social history of parasites looks closely at a fascinating, often disgusting group of organisms and discovers that they are in fact an integral thread in the web of life.”

Working with bed bugs in particular, I get many calls from people who are suffering from bed bug bites and from exterminator preparation and fee’s. Drisdelle also admits that “some parasites do take over their hosts,” and I’ve heard from many people who can truly attest to that fact. Besides the obvious financial and time burden, a bedbug (or any) infestation can also have serious psychological ramifications. People underestimate the psycho-social impact of bed bugs, while numbers of people talk about being stressed, overwhelmed, isolated, anxious and even significantly traumatized by bed bugs.

I highly recommend taking a deeper look into Drisdelle’s new book Parasites: Tales of Humanity’s Most Unwelcome Guests and even buying a copy for yourself. You’ll be surprised by how much you learn and even more by how much you enjoy the read!

Here’s an excerpt of some of the official reviews of the book:

  • A very good read! Lots of parasite stories told in a compelling way.”—Dickson Despommier, Emeritus Professor, Columbia University
  • In her newest book, Rosemary Drisdelle gives us a fresh and exciting spin on the past and current history of parasites; a far too often disdained and ignored presence among us. Drisdelle’s anecdotes make one of society’s most dreaded entities accessible as well as enjoyable. Parasites and its historical insights have the ability to change society’s view of and response to parasites amongst us.—Richard Saffern,

If you’ve read it, we’d love to hear your review as well!

Feel free to comment below..

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