Bed bugs in almost all 58 states… (okay, um, all 50 states)

by nobugsonme on June 4, 2007 · 40 comments

in bad ideas, bed bug blame game, bed bugs, journalists, misinformation

Some people rush to find blame. Why did bed bugs come back? Why now? Let’s find a scapegoat!

It’s not much fun to tell the truth and say that we’re not exactly sure, but that the elimination of routine baseboard spraying in homes (as a roach and general insect preventative), the move to baits and traps for roaches (from sprays), the outlawing of DDT (plus almost 30 years), coupled with a rise in travel, are likely to have all played a role in helping bed bugs regain their foothold.

For some pundits, it’s more fun to use bed bugs as fuel to a racist anti-immigrant fire, as William Gheen recently did on Denver’s 630 KHOW-AM show with host Peter Boyles. Watchdog group Colorado Media Matters covered the June 1 show, where Gheen first tried to use the man he referred to as “TB Boy” (A US citizen, mind you) to stir up fears about immigrants bringing in disease. And he then made the claim that,

We’ve got bedbugs back in all, almost all of our 58 states. We’ve got TB on the rise, we’ve got hepatitis, we’ve got HIV, we’ve got diseases like Chagas disease, which is a horrifying disease, but also, much like TB, is very, very difficult to treat at all. And it’s coming in because of the, the lack of enforcement of our immigration laws.

Yes, Gheen actually thinks we have 58 states, and he is willing to chalk bed bugs up as one more problem brought in due to lax immigration policies.

Colorado Media Matters, Bless them, responded on their website and supported the voice of reason by citing OSU’s fact sheet on bed bugs.

As Colorado Media Matters has noted, contrary to Gheen’s insinuation that the presence of bedbugs in “almost all of our 58 (sic) states” is attributable to illegal immigration, a fact sheet on bedbugs prepared by the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences explains that “widespread use of baits rather than insecticide sprays for ant and cockroach control is a factor that has been implicated” in the resurgence of bedbugs in the United States. According to the fact sheet:

In the past decade, bed bugs have begun making a comeback across the United States, although they are not considered to be a major pest. The widespread use of baits rather than insecticide sprays for ant and cockroach control is a factor that has been implicated in their return. Bed bugs are blood feeders that do not feed on ant and cockroach baits. International travel and commerce are thought to facilitate the spread of these insect hitchhikers, because eggs, young, and adult bed bugs are readily transported in luggage, clothing, bedding, and furniture. Bed bugs can infest airplanes, ships, trains, and buses. Bed bugs are most frequently found in dwellings with a high rate of occupant turnover, such as hotels, motels, hostels, dormitories, shelters, apartment complexes, tenements, and prisons. Such infestations usually are not a reflection of poor hygiene or bad housekeeping.

Yes, the OSU factsheet does nod to other causes of bed bugs (international travel, the demise of DDT, etc.) but the bottom line is that bed bugs are being brought into and spread around the country by rich white businessmen and travelers, as much as by anyone else. Immigration laws are not going to keep bed bugs out, because they’re in: they’re here, and they’re a problem for all of us.

Instead of trying to lay blame (a pointless and offensively racist exercise), let’s get rid of the problem. Let’s see government and lobbyists and corporations doing what they can to stop bed bugs. It’s going to take money.

As I have said many times before, when it comes to the bed bug problem, we’re living in a matrix: whether you’re in a multi-unit building or shop in a store or go to a gym or ride in a taxi, you’re being exposed to your neighbors’ bed bugs, or they’re being exposed to yours. Until we fight bed bugs high and low, and provide funds to help those who can’t pay for proper treatment, and fight for better treatments, bed bugs are not going to go away.

Forgive the cliche, but you’re either part of the problem, or part of the solution.

Thanks to Colorado Media Matters for paying attention.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
1 hopelessnomo June 5, 2007 at 9:45 am

To be honest a lot of people who should know better, scientists and professionals in the pest control industry, feed this madness. It is incorrect to state that bedbugs have been reintroduced into the US by immigration from “developing countries.” It’s wrong factually and morally. I could go on but I might not be able to stop.

2 lieutenantdan June 5, 2007 at 10:21 am

If it was good enough for my Grandparents.

I found this on a Scholastic site.
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/immigration/tour/

The first test the immigrants had to pass became known as the “six second medical exam.” As the immigrants climbed the stairs to the Great Hall, doctors stood at the top and watched. They were looking for anyone having difficulty coming up the steps. If a medical problem or disability was suspected, one of seventeen different chalk marks was put on the person’s clothing. They were then sent for a full physical examination. If they weren’t marked, they went on to wait in the Great Hall.

By 1917, complete medical exams were required for every immigrant. The main purpose of these exams was to find persons with contagious diseases or conditions that would make them unable to work. If their problem was curable, immigrants were sent to the island’s hospital. If it was not, the steamship company that brought them would have to pay to send them back.

The Great Hall was the large waiting room of Ellis Island. Immigrants waited here for their interviews with legal inspectors after finishing their medical exams. At best, the entire process through Ellis Island took three to five hours. But sometimes problems came up, like family members waiting for a relative to be treated in the hospital ward. Some families stayed for days on Ellis Island, others for weeks, and still others for months.

After passing the medical exams, immigrants had to prove they could legally come into America. They had to prove their country of origin and where they expected to live and work once they entered the country. Inspectors rejected any immigrant with a criminal record or those suspected of being indentured servants. By 1921, immigrants had to pass a literacy test and show a passport and visa.

In the money exchange area immigrants exchanged the money of their homeland for dollars, and purchased any train tickets they needed. Laws passed in 1909 required each immigrant to have at least 20 dollars before they were allowed to enter America.

3 hopelessnomo June 5, 2007 at 10:49 am

I almost don’t trust myself to respond to you. But not quite.

Thank you for the history lesson. And these procedures would stop bedbugs how exactly? Or are you proposing to refine and improve them, by perhaps adding a judicious hosing down? That might do the trick. They can be stripped and corralled and….

Or did you just see an opportunity to inject your intolerance?

Please keep this place safe and free from racism and bigotry! Or are you not aware that increasing the stigma of bedbugs is bad for you? Self-interest alone might clue you in.

4 lieutenantdan June 5, 2007 at 11:12 am

I am neither a racist or a bigot nor am I a conservative. My Grandparents were hard working people and fought hard in wars so that you are now able to be free to call me a racists and bigot. The contribution of free speech is one of the liberties that we enjoy and what makes this a great country. If you do not agree with my post that is fine but you should not order me or anyone else not to make a post based on your opinion of what a bigot or a racist is. That is all I am going to say on this.

5 nobugsonme June 5, 2007 at 12:10 pm

Nomo,
Travel to and from other countries is spreading bed bugs–regardless of who the traveler is. To put a racist or anti-immigrant spin on it is horrid. It’s also inaccurate.

LtDan,
I don’t think I get your point, so please clarify it further. This is a site about bed bugs and this post is about the spread of bed bugs. Are you suggesting that immigrants be searched for bed bugs upon entering US Customs? Because in the case of bed bugs, you would also have to search everyone else entering the country. Bed bugs are surely being taken from NYC to Paris, by affluent American tourists, as surely as they are being brought back by same, just to give an example.

Bed bug dogs patrolling planes and luggage areas might not be a bad idea, for all of us. But do you seriously think bed bugs are only coming into–AND OUT OF– the country in the bags and clothing of immigrants, not citizens? That’s madness.

Anyway, Dan, please state your position re: bed bugs more clearly. Saying you’re not going to say anymore isn’t really fair: if you have something to say, don’t hint at it. Say it outright. As it stands, your comments are kind of off-topic.

6 lieutenantdan June 5, 2007 at 1:30 pm

I guess that the introduction to todays story was a comment stated by the person who posted the story.

I am referring to
“Bedbugs in almost all 58 states (ok, um, all 50states)”
“Some people rush to find blame. Why did bed bugs come back? Why now? Let’s find a scapegoat!”

“Let’s find a scapegoat!”

My point is that by commenting in this way opens the field to comments.

The initial opening comment on the story is that individual’s opinion based on that reported news event.
That is ok with me but just be prepared to accept the fact that because of the way the report has been introduced others will provide an opinion which I believe is also ok. So are we not now focusing on bed bugs? I think we still are because of the fact that international travel and immigration may be spreading bed bugs and disease. Has bed bugs not already become a political issue anyways?

In answer to your question about people being searched upon entering this country.
I am an American citizen and I was once searched by the U.S. border guards on entering the border from Canada.
I had no problem with that. What were they looking for? Bed bugs? I have nothing to hide and if authorities feel that I must be searched upon entry to this country I am ok with that. The point is that we must somehow find a civilized way to protect people who are in this country, citizens or visitors from threats such as terrorism, disease and yes blood sucking parasites that cause much anguish, expense and may possibly spread disease.

7 nobugsonme June 5, 2007 at 1:53 pm

Hi LtDan,

It sounded like you were implying that people should be searched on entering our borders and that this would somehow prevent bed bugs from spreading.

I am not sure why you bring up Ellis Island, since the US had bed bugs before the great wave of Ellis Island immigrants came aboard.

My point is that US citizens spread bed bugs as easily as immigrants do. US citizens are spreading them around our country and around the world, by staying in hotels. The idea that immigrants are more responsible for spreading bed bugs than others does not make sense. The articles on the rise of bed bugs do not support this as the cause. Plenty of articles (and talk on the forums) supports that US citizens are spreading bed bugs.

Did the rich American lawyer who got them at the Mandarin Oriental in London get them from “immigrants”? He stayed in a ritzy hotel. He probably got them from other well-to-do business travelers. And furthermore, he may have spread them to his expensive NYC apartment, and his well-to-do neighbors.

As regards border searches, I think you realize, LtDan, how hard it is to find bed bugs in your home. What makes you think border officials would find them on a quick shuffle through your luggage, or even a strip search? If anyone is carrying bed bugs, they are likely to be well hidden in seams of clothing, in gaps and crevices in suitcases. It is naive to think that they can be found in a simple search.

8 Winston O. Buggy June 5, 2007 at 2:07 pm

You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful
wife
And you may ask yourself- how did these bed bugs get here

9 lieutenantdan June 5, 2007 at 3:16 pm

Ellis island had a protocol. Unfair as it may seem that protocol may have helped to prevent disease brought by people from other countries.
Screen people entering this country may be something that we mave have to think about doing some day. How? I do not know what developments that the future will bring. Maybe dogs may be of assistance or maybe a new technology.
True that the the U.S. had bed bugs before the great wave of immigrants through Ellis Island. The U.S. had many bugs, plants and disease brought here from the original
settlers that killed large numbers of Native Americans.
Bed bugs now for example have taken our Nation’s brightest entomologist and pco’s by surprise. Yes our own wealthy American business people may have added to the introduction of bed bugs back into the U.S.
But where did they get them from. They got the bugs from places outside the U.S.
Why? The Mandarin Oriental was mentioned, and where is the Mandarin Oriental?
In London England. Everyone is trained to think that a pesticide will eventually be discovered that will be the silver bullet but the facts are that bugs develop resistance,
Entomologoists know this and bed bugs are not the only bug that is building resistance

No, it is not that easy to find bed bugs in a search but it may not be impossible either.
All do respect nobugsonme.
Naive. Why use that word. I have suffered and battle my infestation and you as a warrior can understand how hard that is and anyone that has battled an infestation for some time I would not call naive.

It does feel good to have the freedom to be able to have a debate. Doesn’t it?

10 lieutenantdan June 5, 2007 at 3:19 pm

Hi Winston,
The Talking Heads. We must come from the same era.

11 parakeets June 5, 2007 at 3:22 pm

Illegal aliens do become an issue around bedbugs when landlords (such as a large slumlord company in Boston did) simply move to have tenants who have bedbugs –and are here illegaly — deported. The result is that many illegal aliens are thus terrified to report bedbugs and won’t. An untreated population of bedbugs, no matter where the occupants hail from, grows rapidly and spreads exponentially. I applaud the community groups that are reaching out to *all* city inhabitants because the problem of bedbugs affects us all.

12 nobugsonme June 5, 2007 at 3:58 pm

Parakeets highlights one of the bedbug-friendly effects of anti-immigrant landlords.

LtDan, I said it was naive to think that bed bugs can be found in a simple border search, as you are suggesting. I did not paint you as naive. Please take my words at face value. Nymphs are very hard to see and even adults would be well-wedged into your bag.

And anyway, let’s say you come off a plane with bed bugs in your suitcase, LtDan. Okay, so you should be quarantined (as a US citizen) or deported (if a foreigner). Never mind that you got the bug on the plane, where it walked over from someone else’s purse.

You’re also wrong about the UK. I lived there for many years and bed bugs were no more a problem there in the 70s-90s, any more than they were in NYC during that period. That’s why we often hear from British folks who are as confused as we New Yorkers are when they get bed bugs. Bed bugs have “come back” in Canada, Australia, the UK, and other parts of Europe where they were not before. International travel, as I said, no doubt played a role. But my point is that rich white Americans can go to another country and bring bed bugs back as easily as immigrants. (And they do. We hear from them on this website.) To think otherwise is also naive.

The Mandarin Oriental in London did not have bed bugs because it was in another country. It likely had bed bugs because the wealthy travelers staying there brought them in.

13 lieutenantdan June 5, 2007 at 4:36 pm

nobugsonme,
I never used the word “simple” search.
If the day ever comes that we find out that bed bugs spread disease then yes,
unfair as it seems people may be quarantined if a U.S. citizen.
Deported seems harsh but tough times will require tough measures.
I have nothing against immigration as long as we develop a civilized
protocol, as I said my Grandparents were immigrants. Other countries have strict immigration policies much greater than American policy. You seem upset by “rich white americans” but truth be told the individuals who benefit from illegal immigration are the rich white Americans. I wish to add that I am not a rich American.

Sincerely,
LtDan

14 James Buggles June 5, 2007 at 4:54 pm

NoBugs is the only person here with freedom of speech since it’s her blog.

While I do believe you can track down a source in an apartment building, the vectors on a countrywide basis are complex.

I do believe legal immigration has played a role for two reasons. We got rid of DDT 30 years ago, but developing nations got rid of it more recently. These countries did us a huge favor all these years. If they had outlawed it 30 years ago like we did, bedbugs would have returned much sooner. I’ll keep the second reason to myself.

When do we reach the tipping point in New York City? When will everyone know what a bedbug is? I see no evidence of widespread knowledge right now. None. Zilch.

15 nobugsonme June 5, 2007 at 5:13 pm

LtDan,

I referred to rich white Americans as an (albeit simplistic) counterpart to poor brown immigrants, who are often wrongly blamed for the rise of bed bugs. My point is not that immigrants did not help move bed bugs around, but that everyone who travels does: rich, poor, white, black, and everyone in between. (By travel I mean not just international travel, but local as well: taxis, subways, Amtrak, even driving to work with a bed bug in your bag.)

My point in the original post was that we should not make immigrants the scapegoat for the bed bug epidemic–not only because it is wrong, but because it is also incorrect to blame one group for this problem. People spread bed bugs, period.

If you agree, then I am not sure why you brought up searching immigrants at Ellis Island. Similar exams, were they performed today, would not identify who was carrying bed bugs. That’s why I referred to them as simple.

My point stands: finding bed bugs on anyone who has disembarked from a plane proves only that a bed bug got on the plane.

16 nobugsonme June 5, 2007 at 5:19 pm

James,
Interestingly, I saw an Australian article that speculated bed bugs came there with the Sydney Olympics–with tourists. This is my point: movement, not immigration, brings bed bugs. Business people, pilots, flight attendants, sales people, sports teams, move around a lot.

17 James Buggles June 5, 2007 at 6:15 pm

Travel is just one factor. Old multi-tenant buildings, which are prevalent in old cities like New York, are another. Better construction makes like tougher for all pests. Lots of people in New York criticize sprawl, but I say bring it on — single family homes are the way to go in this era. You may get bedbugs, but you can just gas your house. No muss, no fuss. One day of inconvenience.

18 James Buggles June 5, 2007 at 6:43 pm

Sorry, but it’s not just movement. Like I said, I’ll keep my second reason to myself, but suffice it to say that the New York Mets are less likely to spread bedbugs than other travelers.

19 jessinchicago June 5, 2007 at 10:35 pm

“NoBugs is the only person here with freedom of speech since it’s her blog.”

Interesting comment, Buggles. I don’t believe that to be true, considering that Nobugs does not censor us unless absolutley necessary, and allows us to freely voice our opinions while maintaining a sense of purpose and intellectual poise with continued interjections and comments.

Although I believe it’s very important that immigrants are not blamed for the growing bedbug epidemic in our country, I also believe that Lt. Dan should be free to express his opinions- and he is.

Also, as a side note, I am grateful that this issue is being discussed here on the blog. Nomo gave some well-researched and credible information as well as impassioned insight on the Yahoo group. We’ve scratched the surface of Nomo’s intellectual depth and heartfelt conviction on this subject. I hope she brings it on!

20 Dee June 5, 2007 at 11:39 pm

It is movement of people that move bedbugs. I absolutely agree. We can’t and shouldn’t control the movement of most people.

I think the issue some people have, myself included, is that there is a tremendous amount of illegal movement into this country. If the laws we have in place would be stringently enforced, then it logically follows that there would be much less movement. Those who would be tempted to break the immigration laws may see that they would suffer the consequences of breaking the law, & stay where they are until they can take that road legally. There would be far fewer that come, and whatever bugs they have, microscopic or otherwise, won’t come, either.

Sadly, it may now be a case of closing the barn door after the chickens have escaped. The problem is already here. I am not blaming immigrants, legal or not, for the entire problem. But I do believe that illegal immigration, due to the vast numbers of people entering the US, is a major contributor. And I think an objective look at the circumstances, without condemning the people, is valid and warranted.

Again, I know the immigrants not the only reason. But I think too many people are turning a blind eye to a major contributor. If we do manage, as a society, to eliminate the problem of bed bugs again, what good is it going to do if some of the causes are too politically incorrect to keep under control?

21 nobugsonme June 6, 2007 at 12:09 am

Dee,

Having seen what both undocumented and documented immigrants contribute to our country, at close hand, I seriously disagree, but I don’t really want to get into a debate on the rights of undocumented immigrants to be in this country, and I think it’s a distraction here.

You have no evidence that immigrants –documented or not–were a “major” contributor to the spread of bed bugs in the US. We don’t really how how MUCH of a factor any of the assumed causes (travel, the demise of DDT, the demise of baseboard spraying, etc.) played. Indeed, there’s no data that immigrants were any MORE responsible than businesspeople or vacationers returning from other countries. It’s all speculation.

I think we should focus our energies on stopping bed bugs. And to do this, we need to work together, with everyone, to get rid of the bed bugs, regardless of who is suffering from them. Because, as I said above, if we do not help people get treatment, regardless of their incomes, class, race, or legal status, bed bugs will continue to spread. Period.

Each person for him or herself is not going to cut it.

22 Dee June 6, 2007 at 4:25 am

“You have no evidence that immigrants –documented or not–were a “major” contributor to the spread of bed bugs in the US. We don’t really how how MUCH of a factor any of the assumed causes (travel, the demise of DDT, the demise of baseboard spraying, etc.) played. Indeed, there’s no data that immigrants were any MORE responsible than businesspeople or vacationers returning from other countries. It’s all speculation.”

That’s why I stated it as a belief, not a fact. But it is a logical speculation. And without speculation, things that bear looking into probably won’t be, in any field of investigation. Speculation can be a positive tool for solving a problem. Or for disproving an allegation. I may be wrong. I’m willing to admit that. I don’t understand why we can’t put illegal travelers into the same category as tourists, business people or anyone else, just because it’s a hot issue. The way it was presented on Peter Boyles’ show was just plain wrong. It was vitriolic, rude & broadbrushed like mad. But it doesn’t mean that there is not truth there.
I’m just saying that that is an area where a potential influx of bed bugs can be stopped.

That’s what we want, right?

“I think we should focus our energies on stopping bed bugs. And to do this, we need to work together, with everyone, to get rid of the bed bugs, regardless of who is suffering from them. Because, as I said above, if we do not help people get treatment, regardless of their incomes, class, race, or legal status, bed bugs will continue to spread. Period.

Each person for him or herself is not going to cut it.”

Nobugs, that kind of sounded accusatory. I don’t know if you meant it that way or not.
I wouldn’t still be around if I weren’t concerned about others. I don’t post often, because others get to it before I do; I would just be repeating what was already said, or it’s an area (such as renters’ rights) that I know nothing about.
I never said anything about people going it alone, or ignoring the problem of a select group or groups. As a matter of fact, I’m currently helping a mentally disabled woman with bed bugs go through the steps of getting rid of them, because she just doesn’t get it. I can’t just give her a list of things to do, because, although she is able to function alone most of the time, all of the details are beyond her. So, I’m risking my home & family with the possibility of getting them again in hopes that she’ll be okay. I firmly believe that when I get through a problem, it is my responsibility to help others with what I have learned.

This whole thing, for us in this group, IMO, is a matter of looking at cause & effect, not liberal or conservative viewpoints. Just because a potential cause is a hot topic doesn’t mean it can’t be addressed logically & objectively. There’s too much at stake not to look at every possibility. You did bring up the topic for conversation, after all. We aren’t all going to agree.

23 lieutenantdan June 6, 2007 at 10:13 am

Wow! What a hot topic. I think this is a beautiful thing, that we can all voice our opinions freely. I have great respect for all for expressing their honest feelings. It can get a little repetitious discussing DE a hundred times.

DDT. All of our top Entomologist that I have spoken with agree that past documentation states that bed bugs had already unfortunately started to build a resistance to DDT.
I think I still would like to give DDT another try. Maybe since DDT has not been used for so long that the bugs resistance issue may be a thing of the past.

Thank you jessinchicago.
And thank you nobugsonme for having us as part of your website.

24 Winston O. Buggy June 6, 2007 at 10:50 am

Well well well, so this is what it’s come to.
First getting out of the way If only one person the administrator has freedom
of speech, thats not freedom it’s tyranny.
Second, bed bugs are tied to the increase in immigration.
Third, bed bugs are tied to our change in pesticide use and the change in
materials available.
Fourth, bed bugs are tied to an increase in travel and international
tourism.
Fifth, bedbugs are equal opportunity feeders.
Sixth, certain areas because of population density and other factors will have a higher rate of bed bugs.
Seven, all these factors and more are why we have the current epidemic of bed bugs it is not one but a multi level problem which will likewise require a multi level
solution.
Eight, There are immigration issues that need to be resolved but bed bugs are
not one of them so don’t let it become a distraction much as the folks in Boston did
in their fight against desegregation when they went on about the spread of head lice
if schools were integrated. PS head lice prefer thinner hair like white folks hair
because it’s easier to glue their eggs to.
Nine, Forget about DDT, re register Ficam as a temporary measure and re register
and label other products we have for non bed use.
Ten, bed bugs are unconcerned about what we think and who we blame.
And except it that bed bugs will never be eliminated but hopefully controlled a lot better.

25 Winston O. Buggy June 6, 2007 at 10:52 am

accept

26 nobugsonme June 6, 2007 at 11:07 am

Dee,

Thanks for clarifying your stance on Boyles’ show.

You asked, “I don’t understand why we can’t put illegal travelers into the same category as tourists, business people or anyone else.”

Well, of course documented and undocumented immigrants can have played a role, just as business people and tourists did. I have said so. That did not seem to me to be what you were getting at. As I said, I have had experiences in my life which make me not agree with you about the immigration issue, and I don’t think we’re going to get anywhere with that, so I don’t want to discuss it further.

My statement that,

“I think we should focus our energies on stopping bed bugs. And to do this, we need to work together, with everyone, to get rid of the bed bugs, regardless of who is suffering from them. Because, as I said above, if we do not help people get treatment, regardless of their incomes, class, race, or legal status, bed bugs will continue to spread. Period.

Each person for him or herself is not going to cut it.”

Was in no way directed as a slight against you, but in fact, was directed at everyone. instead of worrying about who is responsible, my point is we need to solve the problem. Period.

I was not trying to hint at anything more, Dee. In fact, in my original post above, I made a very similar comment:

“As I have said many times before, when it comes to the bed bug problem, we’re living in a matrix: whether you’re in a multi-unit building or shop in a store or go to a gym or ride in a taxi, you’re being exposed to your neighbors’ bed bugs, or they’re being exposed to yours. Until we fight bed bugs high and low, and provide funds to help those who can’t pay for proper treatment, and fight for better treatments, bed bugs are not going to go away.

Forgive the cliche, but you’re either part of the problem, or part of the solution.”

Since that was in the original post, written well before you joined this conversation, it could in no way have been directed at you. I was repeating something similar in the comment directed at you, because I do think bringing everyone back to the point in the original post–the need for solving the problem–is more useful at this point. Speculating about “cause and effect” is just speculation, after all. Anyway, I’m sorry you took it that way. For what it’s worth, if I disagree with something, or find fault, I will state it directly. I don’t beat around the bush.

Dee, you and LtDan have always been welcome here, and you yourself have contributed with some helpful FAQs on protecting the bed, which are much appreciated. But I do have strong opinions on some issues, and I may challenge people to back up their assertions or clarify them (as I asked LtDan, when his point was not actually clear to me.)

I have always welcomed debate and dissent on this blog, Jess is right, and I know James will attest to my willingness to debate. On the other hand, I think James was getting at the fact that this is a blog–you can’t necessarily say anything you like on someone else’s blog. I have deleted things from the blog on a number of occasions, for very good reasons I would stand behind. I have not deleted any comments on this conversation. But I could imagine comments being added which I would delete–and which I bet you would all delete too– and I will leave them to your imagination, and am just grateful nothing like that is going on here. (Do you follow me?)

I assumed James meant not that this is a dictatorship, but that absolute freedom of speech is not a given, here. But I won’t attempt to speak for James, who might have meant something different.

27 hopelessnomo June 6, 2007 at 11:07 am

This topic makes me cry like a little girl. It is the reason that I left the yahoo group. You might want to read the only comprehensive article on this subject written by an objective and informed person here.

Another suggestion is this article by Clive Boase. (Link is a PDF.)

If you are left hungrier still for knowledge and information, Lou Sorkin made an eye-opening contribution that capped the conversation on the Yahoo group which Jess is referring to.

Do not forget to send me news, after you have solved the bedbug epidemic by eliminating illegal immigration (let’s throw in legal immigration too, better safe than sorry!), of what you propose to do about ballerinas on tour, visiting professors, doctors without borders, diplomats and spies, lovers in Greece, honeymooners in Belize, your son or daughter backpacking in Thailand, Japanese tourists, Italian architects, Jane Austen conferences, the World Cup, the World Chess Championship, baseball scouts and baseball players, US servicemen and women, explorers and vagabonds.

I live in an open society and I am part of the world. Where do you live?

But, as always, good luck!

28 lieutenantdan June 6, 2007 at 11:07 am

winston,
Sounds good.
The bed bugs that I have spoken with mostly agree.

29 nobugsonme June 6, 2007 at 11:17 am

Winston,
I want to give you an Amen! on your list, but especially this:

“Eight, There are immigration issues that need to be resolved but bed bugs are
not one of them so don’t let it become a distraction much as the folks in Boston did
in their fight against desegregation when they went on about the spread of head lice
if schools were integrated. PS head lice prefer thinner hair like white folks hair
because it’s easier to glue their eggs to.”

Thanks for that analogy.

One reason we are trying to translate the Bedbugger FAQs into other languages, is so we can help our neighbors use the techniques we’re using to fight bed bugs.

As a dead poet once said,

“Tis better to light a candle, than to curse the darkness.”

Let’s focus on what we can do.

30 Dee June 6, 2007 at 1:59 pm

Nobugs~ Apology accepted. It is incredibly easy try to read between the lines of someone else’s post, especially when it comes to emotional issues. I have strong opinions, too & I know they are opposite yours. I hope we can continue to disagree agreeably.

31 James Buggles June 6, 2007 at 2:31 pm

Jess, either NoBugs is censoring or my browser isn’t working. Just a few quick points assuming this form will work today:

1. Freedom of Speech: Most people don’t realize it, but the First Amendment protects publishers, not readers like us — though you’re welcome to start your own blog if you want freedom of speech. We post here at the pleasure of NoBugs.

2. Movement: It’s not just movement. Other factors also exist. Sorry to say this, but some people in this world don’t bathe or wash their clothes very often (do any of you take taxis?). Their movement is more likely to spread bedbugs than the movement of say the New York Mets who probably take 2-3 showers/day and have a staff to handle their laundry.

32 jessinchicago June 6, 2007 at 10:55 pm

James Buggles, you win. You’re right when you say that Nobugs is the only person on this blog with the freedom of speech, since it’s her blog. And you’re right when you say that we post here at the pleasure of Nobugs- and that if I want freedom of speech, I should start my own blog.

Sure glad you clarified that for me, Buggles. I guess I was confused.

33 nobugsonme June 7, 2007 at 12:41 am

James, your posts went into the spam filter! I have no idea why. They’re out now, and unfortunately located in order of writing, not appearance, at 6:15 and 6:43 on June 5th (scroll up, everyone).

Jess, I seriously do not think James is implying that I’m a dictator, or that the blog does not allow people to speak freely. I believe, instead, that he’s distinguishing between the legal right to free speech (ie you can publish a magazine or start a blog saying anything you like) VS. the rights of readers of a particular website, which are up to the website’s owner.

In other words, Jess, you are right that readers of Bedbugger are free to comment as they wish, and that they are not censored. I hope people will speak freely. Though as the publisher of the blog, I retain the right to delete anything I feel I need to. I don’t exercise it generally–as you see above. On the other hand, if someone starting posting odious racist comments in this conversation, to name just one example, I’d delete them. (I know you would too, Jess.) I have had to delete things on occasion, and I’ve always told people that I was doing it and why I was doing it. (Except in one case, where one individual was so insulting, rude, and used so much profanity, that even he would have had the imagination to know what was going on.)

I hope that’s what James was getting at– that if free speech is allowed on a blog, that’s the choice of the blog’s publisher, as opposed to a first-amendment-given right.

34 James Buggles June 7, 2007 at 9:37 pm

Thank you NoBugs. Yes, I was clarifying the legal issue. Most people use the term incorrectly, which is understandable. Everyone has this right, but not everywhere. Plus it does not protect you against repurcussions (e.g., Don Imus).

35 Fred Vasio March 20, 2008 at 7:39 am

Deleted.

36 nobugsonme March 20, 2008 at 8:28 am

Fred, your message was deleted because, while clearly stating your opinion on the issue of undocumented immigrants, you added nothing to the conversation on this website, which is about bed bugs.

Pointless racist diatribes will be deleted.

37 AJP402 May 16, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Lt. Dan, I just ran across this site and I get you loud and clear – even though these posts are a few years old. I dont even know if anyone checks them anymore. [Ad hominem attack on another poster above deleted.] When ths country had standards for entry, it was a better place. That’s got nothing to do with race, color, religion, etc….if you could meet the standards, they let you in. If not, they didn’t. Our bedbug problem is due to illegal immigrants – just like our increased drug trafficking and murder related to Mexico’s drug war, just like the swine flu, etc… Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining – wake up people.

38 nobugsonme May 17, 2009 at 12:56 am

AJP402,

The science does not back you up, sorry.

And note: I had to delete something from your post. Please refrain from calling other posters names, and other uncivil behavior.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: