The VICE Guide to Right Now

A 13-Year-Old Set His Apartment Building on Fire Trying to Kill a Bedbug

Can you really blame him?
November 30, 2017, 5:44pm

Bedbugs are demonic hell pests that will invade your life and not leave until you trash all your possessions, poison yourself with insecticides, or just give up and move—and even then, the fear of infestation can haunt you long after the blood-sucking bugs are gone.

Sure, one proven way to rid yourself of the pests is cranking up the heat to lethal levels and cooking them out, but it's best to talk to a professional before you try to burn out the bugs, since you could wind up with problems bigger than some bites. According to WCPO, a 13-year-old boy in Ohio caused $300,000-worth of damage to his family's apartment building after he attempted to kill a bedbug by setting it on fire.

According to the local fire department, which responded to the blaze late Tuesday night, the boy had doused the bug in alcohol and lit it with a match, likely hoping that the flame would send the bedbug back to whatever hell it first crawled out of.

Unfortunately, the kid's noble attempt to save his family from a scourge of blood-sucking pests didn't exactly work out. The match caught his bed on fire, which quickly spread throughout the building.

One apartment unit was completely decimated and at least four more sustained damage from smoke and water, forcing three adults and five children from their homes. According to WCPO, no injuries were reported and the Red Cross has stepped in to help the families who have been displaced.

"This was accidental. He wasn't in there just playing with matches," fire chief Marc Monahan told "It wasn't the smartest thing, obviously, but he was trying to get rid of a bedbug."

Good intentions aside, the 13-year-old would have been better off just trapping the bug in a jar and saving it for later, since a cup full of bed bugs comes in handy when you're trying to enact a sweet revenge.