The story makes the point that having a bed bug infestation isn't a sign of poverty or poor housekeeping. The little critters are just everywhere now, and extremely hard to get rid of.
My daughter came home covered with bed-bug bites after a stay in a three-star San Francisco hotel. I got bitten down the backs of my legs after sitting in a Mexican cab in shorts; the bugs had set up shop in a rip in the seat fabric.
What's with the seeming epidemic of bed bugs? Turns out we'd all but eradicated the bug by the 1940s, but they came back with a vengeance in the mid-1990s and for all kinds of reasons have now become part of the hotel/housing landscape. Check out the Wikipedia entry on bed bugs for more info, although I'm already scratching just from having to write this.