Caitlin of the bed bug blog was reinfested.

by nobugsonme on August 23, 2007 · 48 comments

in bed bugs, new york

Caitlin runs the bed bug blog (note: defunct as of 2011), and she started the Bedbugger yahoo listserv (which is an entirely separate entity from this blog or the Bedbugger forums). She’s been bug free for a long time now (something like 22 months, from what I gather). This is not likely a case of her own bed bugs coming back. It looks like someone in the building picked them up again.

And let’s face it: bed bugs are spreading. However you got them once, you can get them again.

Caitlin is the second person I know of who got bed bugs a second time, at such an interval that she could not have simply reinfested herself (by unpacking some stored stuff, or having them come out of the woodwork after a gap). Caryn (more on her below) was the first.

The good news is that Caitlin’s building’s management company swung into action, treating right away, and did not simply inspect, but rushed in to treat the units above and below, which were infested. (Yay, Caitlin’s landlord and PCO!) Caitlin was also able to spot the reinfestation quickly, finding a live bug after only three bites.

She wrote on August 14th, (dead link deleted)

… my super and management company ROCK. No questions asked, he just went ahead and made an appointment for the exterminator to come in ASAP and told me he’d be contacting my neighbors above me and below me to have their places exterminated as well. And then he said he’d come in himself to caulk any cracks in the floors along the walls. All this after telling me that no one else had been reporting bedbugs in my building for quite some time.

And then, five days later, she followed up.

As Caryn’s experience of reinfestation back in February suggested, Caitlin has reason to hope this second infestation, caught quickly, will be resolved quickly.

Bedbugger readers panic when these stories come up. Nobody wants to go through this once, and many of us are at our wits’ end with our first experience. It takes a while to get over feeling like it’s all going to come back. So hearing that it can all come back, can be frightening.

Caryn compares her experiences of bed bugs in 2004 and 2007 here. But Caryn’s recent experience of reinfestation sounds like it was way better than the first time, as Caitlin’s also seems to be (so far–it looks very hopeful). Caryn was rid of bed bugs much more quickly the second time around. I have every reason to think Caitlin will be too.

Here’s why:

First, they caught it early. Knowing and recognizing the signs of infestation much more swiftly meant they could spring into action.

Second, their landlords had seen bed bugs before, and were in a better position to get a good PCO in, swiftly, to do what needed doing.
They did not have to cajole, beg, or convince landlords to take this seriously and get a good PCO in. What’s more, the landlords and the PCO knew how to handle the neighboring units.

In Caryn’s experience, as she tells it, everything from knowing she had bed bugs, to arranging an appointment with the PCO, to doing her prep, and getting the landlord to pay, went more smoothly the second time. The problem was solved much, much more quickly.

I am seriously bummed that Caitlin has bed bugs again, make no mistake.

But I also think there’s plenty of reason not to panic, or think that the second time is the same as the first.
From what Caryn and Caitlin tell us, it isn’t.

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1 James Buggles August 23, 2007 at 2:32 am

Yes, good management, but it seems like her building is doomed. A light infestation yet she found one crawling up the wall just a few weeks after NoBugs commented that few people ever experience that phenomenon. Does this mean her apartment is caulked so tightly and her bed is so well-protected the bed bugs don’t have anywhere to go?

2 Bugalina August 23, 2007 at 6:54 am

Yes good management, that is great…but what if Caitlin had little children and once again had to go thru the major upheaval of the familys life, or what if she repurchased a lot of furniture thinking that just because she had achieved successs the first time she was “safe”.. If I remember correctly Caitlin had said herself that she didn’t own a lot of stuff..The point I am trying to make is that , imho, people really cannot go back to living the way they did pre-bed bug days, unless they can afford extermination after extermination. What if Caitlin had to be responsible for paying for her extermination…she would once again have to put out thousands of dollars. This reinfestation situation will go on and on because we are using chemicals with a residual of a few weeks. So after you get rid of them, you have a few weeks wherein you can feel safe, after that, its the same thing all over again. When people tell me to start to put things back into my home, and I say that I am more comfortable living minimally, its posts like this that make me feel that I am making the right decision.

3 hopelessnomo August 23, 2007 at 10:16 am

Thanks, Nobugs, for your glass half-full take on this situation. I confess that I am very distressed by every story of reinfestation we hear. There have been a few now, although Caryn’s and Caitlin’s are the most optimistic.

James, I think that having everything caulked and the bed protected may make them more visible. I’ve read one person’s comments elsewhere that the bedroom was so sealed, the bugs could be seen. But the great building management is the key here. How many of us have such management?

Bugalina, I think I understand where you are coming from, but I think that becoming reinfested will be a bad experience whether you have an upholstered sofa or a plastic chair.

My bedbugs are gone and I’m afraid of buying things but this fear is irrational. They could come back right now and infest the few things that I have. What would stop them? Wouldn’t I be better off letting go of my fears and trying to live normally? If they’re going to show up, they’re going to show up, no matter what I do. So, yes, I won’t do stupid things, but I’m not sure that I can control what happens.

4 Bugalina August 23, 2007 at 10:59 am

Hopelessnomo, you do have a litle control, there are things you can do to TRY and not get reinfested, like dusting your electrical outlets with DE on a monthly basis, keeping double sided tape replenished around all vents that adjoin other apts…things like this. And as far as refurnishing, its a whole lot easier to take a plastic chair into the shower stall and wash it down than a fabric upholstered one. Of course reinfestation would be a terrible thing but having less stuff would mean a hopefully quicker kill-off. Wasn’t it Potter who said we have to have a “Bed Bug State of Mind” ? That’s what I mean, those of us who know, KNOW….we have to live with a bed bug state of mind, until this nightmare ends, if ever. I do not think it is irrational fear to keep our homes in a Bed Bug State of Mind..I think its wise to do so….I guess it also depends on how much tolerance a person has and how much financial loss they once again, are willing to deal with…

5 Caitlinator August 23, 2007 at 11:23 am

For what it’s worth, I never got rid of any furniture ever, in any of my treatments for bedbugs. I threw away clothes, but only because I was too lazy to wash them. I made sure they went through the compactor chute and straight to the incinerator. The second infestation took only one treatment and about five hours of prep and washing, definitely not an upheaval in my life. Not to minimalize the distress these bugs bring to people, but if it’s handled rationally and quickly, it can be resolved without a lot of unnecessary stress.

6 nobugsonme August 23, 2007 at 11:55 am

Thanks Caitlin. Both yours and Caryn’s stories gave me that sense.

This also tells me two other things:

1/ In some sense, it is good to be allergic. Because then you know when they return.

2/ When people who are bed bug-free think they have a bed bug bite, they should be alert. By the time they’ve had three bites, they should spring into action.

I hear what others are saying so much depends on the landlord. I actually think Caitlin’s building is NOT doomed, James, because her management is good. Better to live there than in a building where the landlord may horribly mismanage an infestation.

7 deb August 23, 2007 at 12:39 pm

Caitlin If I remember correctly you had just moved into your apt. and said that fortunately you did not have a lot of stuff. This you said, worked in your favor. i stand firm that people who have children, those who have no choice but to “reclutter” an apt. with school projects and library books and winter clothes and musical instruments and homework desks and toys, on and on….would in fact be stressed and have a yet another upheaval….Every infestation has variables…we musn’t lose site of this…..for single people living in studio or one br apts. the “upheaval” will obviously be less….but for others the :”upheaval” will be more pronounced. I hope that the one treatment gets the job done for you. Just reseeing them after being unbugged for one year is stressful because its an indication that they can reappear again and again….This alone is cause for concern.

8 nobugsonme August 23, 2007 at 12:44 pm

Deb (aka Bugalina),

I think there is some middle ground between living in a cluttered space on the one hand, and sitting on plastic chairs on the other. That really is not a necessary choice.

I don’t think Caitlin is espousing a cluttered lifestyle, but I appreciate her comments about not having ever had to throw out furniture because of bed bugs. Most people do not. Even sofas can be treated. If they are too infested, a PCO may recommend tossing them.

9 Caitlinator August 23, 2007 at 12:59 pm

It is true, Deb, that I only had to treat one room, my bedroom, and that for others whose infestations have spread to other rooms it would be more of an upheaval. I guess my point is just that if you catch it early enough, treat it soon enough, and don’t let yourself get too panicked, it doesn’t have to be the kind of upheaval you’re talking about, no matter how cluttered or uncluttered your life is.

As far as not having a lot of things, between then and now I have accumulated more things and still have not had to throw away or declutter any part of my home in the name of bedbugs. Again, not everyone will have the same experience. Just sharing what it’s been for me.

10 August 23, 2007 at 1:06 pm

Caitlin,

Were your bite reactions the same as when you were originally infested? Your positive attitude is an inspiration.

11 Caitlinator August 23, 2007 at 1:11 pm

The bites I had were exactly the same, right down to the raised white bump in the center, six inch welts, and itchiness that lasted a full seven days. What made it bearable was that there were only one or two of them to deal with at a time, and not a dozen popping up every day. I am SO GLAD my management company was so quick to get an exterminator in so it never got any worse than that.

12 James Buggles August 23, 2007 at 2:28 pm

Bugalina, if I lived in a house as you do, I would live a normal life since I could just vikane or ozone or argon or CO2 or nitrogen the house if I got bed bugs. I think spending a few thousand bucks every few years if indeed reinfestation occurs that often would be preferable to living with a bed bug state of mind. I fail to see why homeowners even visit this blog if these gas treatments are (a) available in their state and (b) 100% effective. I think even a freegan might approve of argon or nitrogen treatments (these are the newest ones I’ve heard about along with CO2).

13 James Buggles August 23, 2007 at 2:47 pm

I think this thread exemplifies the two different types of bed bug victims. Here we have the two top bed bug bloggers. One blogs only when she has bed bugs while the other blogs to change the world. I think most of us fall into the Caitlan camp. NoBugs is a modern-day Joan of Arc, and it continues to annoy me to no end that Google ranks Caitlan’s blog higher than this one. More traffic would mean more money for NoBugs.

14 Bugalina August 23, 2007 at 2:52 pm

Buggles ..I too blog to change and help…I use my infestation experience to help others…I am not self serving…also, in regards to Vikane…I was told that to Vikane my home on Long Island it would cost upwards of $25,000.00 that is Twenty five thousand dollars..this quote was given to me by one of the most well known exterminators on Long Island..I was also told that unless termites were found, Vikane could not be used…Please if you know different..I’d love some more info…..and I do lead a fairly normal life but I have changed habits since my infestation…i think this is wise, not phobic…

15 James Buggles August 23, 2007 at 4:07 pm

That sounds expensive, but I have no experience in this regard as an apartment dweller. I would definitely seek competing bids. I know you’re here to help. I was speaking generally about homeowners in that last sentence. 🙂

16 nobugsonme August 24, 2007 at 12:47 am

Everyone,

A number of messages from this thread have been removed due to a request from one of the parties involved. I mention this because there may now seem to be some non-sequiturs above.

While disagreement is inevitable (and often a really good thing), I ask that everyone try to keep a civil tone and consider both other peoples’ feelings as well as civility in terms of language.

I ask that if you have concerns about a message you see here or in the forums, you contact me, and I will consider the matter. If you choose to respond, please maintain that civil tone.

I cannot always respond immediately.

Thank you for your help in making Bedbugger work for all involved.

17 nobugsonme August 24, 2007 at 12:57 am

James,

I respectfully disagree about Caitlin’s bed bug blog. Caitlin ran it for 2 years, from what I gather. And most of that time was after her infestation ended (about 22 months before her current issues arose). That’s longer than any other bed bug blogger went on after their infestation was gone!

As I understand it, when Bedbugger _the website_ came along, and offered people another outlet for discussing bed bugs, she was able to take a breather and enjoy the other aspects of life. More power to her! This feels like the normal ebb and flow of bed bug blogs (I mean, if there’s anything “normal” about bed bug blogs.)

Caitlin also started the Bedbugger YAHOO group and still runs it. I am happy to be among those carrying the torch she and others raised.

Oh, and those google rankings? They’re affected both by how long you’ve been located at the URL and also how much updating you do (how many posts per week). This site started in October 2006, but only moved to this URL and so only started being google-able at this address in March. Five months in, we’re not doing too bad, partly because I am trying to make the blog work with google’s system, but also because I find a lot of bed bug news to blog about, and just can’t stop.

I love the idea of a bed bug Joan of Arc, and I appreciate your generous compliment, but I am, alas, no saint!

18 Anonymous August 24, 2007 at 1:05 pm

My anonymous message was one of the prior messages eliminated as NoBugsOnMe describes, and it is a shame that I was not paying attention to this thread at the time it was occurred. Although I consider myself a friend of the moderator in question, I respectfully cannot agree with their description of my message as a personal attack. Nevertheless, I will try rephrasing my original statement in a different way.

Bugalina, each and every other visitor to this website has read your posts, and so very many of us are authentically worried about you. I am as well. It is the kind of reaction you displayed for which I chose to make my post anonymously. However, I most likely took the wrong tactic of being brusque — intending it to be similar to the “slap in the face” technique you see television characters give others who are panicking. A bad move, perhaps.

I am currently working my way through a text called _The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook_. As I read these chapters, I recognize so much of your behavior in the official criterion for what comprises a phobia and/or an anxiety disorder. It is very obvious that bedbugs have affected your life to a point where you seem — at least from the viewpoint of your life and feelings that we experience here through your comments on this blog — to have let bedbugs and the possibility of reinfestation become something that causes you anxiety and fear each and every day. Indeed, based upon how you describe the alterations you have made to your life, it makes it very clear that in many ways, your fear that you may suffer a bedbug infestation seems to have crippled your life. When an anxiety becomes this intrusive and debilitating upon our normal lives, it does indeed meet the criterion for a phobia and a disorder, and it must be treated, or else our lives can literally be ruined by our own emotions. I don’t think a single person here wants that. I think people would not only be happy but would be joyous to witness you stomp this anxiety and fear down into a fine paste.

I understand those feelings. And I understand what it is like to have a fear and an anxiety cripple your life. I am reading this book because due to some trauma in my past, I find myself with a good deal of social phobia; while otherwise functioning perfectly normally (I can easily chat with people casually), the idea of going on a date or opening myself to form a deep friendship can fill me with anxiety and panic — easily to a similar and life-altering extent your bedbug phobia has caused — because I had been harmed before in that arena and I find it so very hard to trust. I am overcoming this by reaching back to the person I was before the traumatic incident, and calling upon the strengths I had at that time; realizing that who I am may have suffered a blow, but that the noble person I was then can be called forth once more, into this future, and I can become that person again.

Bugalina, I am not a religious person, but I find myself praying to the heavens that you will, through the nobility and strength of spirit that I am sure you already have, find a path away from this, find a path onward and upward. I hope you will reach back through the past to the person your were before bedbugs ever entered your life, and I hope you will call upon the strengths of that noble woman to overcome the blow you were given, and to become that strong person once more.

I’m not going to make an argument of this, nor am I going to press this point any further. You have, only, my blessings and my fervent wishes for a happy, joyous life. I am only fearful you will not get there without diverting your course, and that is why I am saying this.

19 hopelessnomo August 24, 2007 at 1:29 pm

I find myself moved by your comment, Anonymous, although I’m very sympathetic to Bugalina’s response from yesterday.

Bugalina, I hope you respond to this comment, if it is not too hard for you to do so, as many of us would benefit from your thoughts on this issue. (I am very worried about what bedbugs have done to me, but don’t know how to handle it.)

20 nobugsonme August 24, 2007 at 2:12 pm

Thanks for your message, Anonymous. Just to clarify, I did not myself see your message as a personal attack, which is why I did not originally remove it.

Anyway, I am glad that you were able to share your own experience in more detail and to clarify your intentions and meaning.

I should note that two Bedbuggers have shared messages here in the comments and on the forums about receiving help from therapists during or after their bed bug experiences. Both claimed the experience was enormously helpful. One even described using couples therapy successfully as a way to work through the fact that one member of the couple was not experiencing bites and really did not get what the other was going through–a situation, as we’ve heard many times, that can even lead to breakups.

21 James Buggles August 24, 2007 at 8:10 pm

I stand corrected about Caitlan’s contributions to the genre. I still think this is the better blog (having read dozens of Caitlan’s posts) and merits a first-page Google listing for “bedbug.” I know how Google works. Google needs to do a better job of quickly recognizing authoritative sites that don’t have a large marketing budget.

It took Joan of Arc about 500 years to attain sainthood. But I have it on good authority that NoBugs is on a faster track — 125 years give or take a decade. I hope I’m still around when the edict issues from the Vatican. Religious folk will hang a picture of NoBugs above their beds to protect them from you know what. NoBugs will spend her latter years travelling the world blessing beds. The ritual will consist of some holy water, a flashlight, and a toothpick. She will charge nothing, but will accept donations on behalf of her blog. Amen.

22 happydays August 25, 2007 at 7:04 pm

I think it is really important to consider therapy. As a psychotherapist myself and having been in therapy at the time of the infestation I cannot stress enough how much that helped me get through my panic, paranoia and PTSD symptoms that were triggered by the infestation. Of course, like with any stressful situation , what happened in your life previous to that episode will determine how you cope with it. I have two friends who recently were diagnosed with breast cancer and are dealing with the situation quite differently. One feels like her whole body and life are infected by the cancer, that she is the cancer, while the other feels that while it sucks that she has cancer there are whole parts and sides of her life that are healthy and whole…the first friend has a much more intense and painful past in terms of parantal emotional neglect . In any event, lowering the anxiety and the panic actually helped me actually make better decisions about how to combat the bugs while at the same time explore why I was so heavily triggered that i felt so overwhelmed, almost suicidal, that my life was in ruins…this had to do with painful issues from my past that were triggered by the bed bugs. I am actually glad that I had the opportunity to face some of my demons and I do feel stronger, happier and more alive that I have cleansed and purged my home of a lot of clutter, bugs and my emotional life of some old baggage.

23 hopelessnomo August 25, 2007 at 11:07 pm

Thanks, happydays for that perspective.

I just think that that kind of talk therapy may not be for everyone. It certainly is not for me. Plus it’s hard to find a good therapist.

24 happydays August 26, 2007 at 2:04 pm

actually I saw a creative arts therapist and not a talk therapist.

one good word of advice my therapist gave me was that I spend less time on-line on bed bug related sites. while it is good to go on-line to get info and find support , in mine and many other people it could turn into an obsession and retraumatize. I took a few weeks off and it really helped me. It seems like a few people on here, based on this latest thread can use that break to get there mind off the phobia and focus on other things. They can always come back when things calm down like i did.

25 nobugsonme August 26, 2007 at 3:04 pm

I liked how Anonymous recommended the Anxiety and Phobia workbook as an option. I have not read it, but it sounds like it might help people with an aversion or concern about working with a therapist.

26 hopelessnomo August 27, 2007 at 1:19 am

A toothpick, James? That took a while to figure out!

The Anxiety and Phobia workbook is available from Google Books if anyone wants to take a look.

27 nobugsonme August 27, 2007 at 2:18 am

I’d better get on board with these directins, James. The toothpick is for running along the edge of the mattress seams and gaps? Or what?

28 James Buggles August 27, 2007 at 12:41 pm

Jeez, how quickly we forget the advice of Winston O’Buggy who recommended using a toothpick for bed bug inspections. I think a Metro Card might work better than a toothpick for slats. I think we need a video from David Caine on how to search for bed bugs when you cannot find them in the obvious places. Is CB-80 the best flushing agent?

29 hopelessnomo August 27, 2007 at 5:11 pm

I just read an article that tested CB-80 and others and found CB-80 came out ahead, but don’t have it with me to quote.

I remembered the toothpick. After a lot of thinkin’ — Nobugs been slackin’.

30 nobugsonme August 27, 2007 at 5:56 pm

I remembered the toothpick. But I’m still not sure what to do with the holy water.

31 James Buggles August 28, 2007 at 3:43 pm

The holy water is for washing youself after the inspection.

“And whosoever toucheth his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.” — Liviticus 15:5, Old Testament, King James Bible

32 Winston O. Buggy August 28, 2007 at 6:03 pm

I prefer a tooth pick for novices and organic oriented folks. On inspections
I personally prefer dental probes A. because I have them B. It would be
what Clive Barker would choose. Lou Sorkin likes a notched metro card.
Any way it gives proportion to looking into tiny spaces. CB-80 is as good as others although you could use compressed air in many cases. Placing insect monitor traps around can sometimes catch a bb.

If I missed this I apologize. Question to Caitlan, Who do you think the bed bugs
were re introduced?

33 persona-non-bugga August 31, 2007 at 8:46 pm

I’m just catching up on the comments here. The matter might be long resolved. But I think it’s unsavory and unproductive for laypeople to make mental health diagnoses of others based on written internet postings. If an actual mental health professional did it, it would likely be unethical.

Perhaps it all came from the best and sincerest of intentions. But using definitions from a self-help book to categorize another person’s purported mental state is misguided, I think, and possibly seriously damaging. Now I love TV and all those TV conventions, but I’m sorry — delivering a virtual “slap in the face” isn’t about helping anybody else. It’s about casting judgment and trying to manage one’s own discomfort in the presence of strong emotions.

34 deb September 1, 2007 at 2:07 am

I had wanted to remain silent on this but after reading your post persona non bugga I have to say thank you. I felt that the response by anonymous to my response about bed bug reinfestations, was hiding some covert hostilitiy towards me. I think the administrator of this Blog, Nobugs, was remiss in allowing this kind of post. The Blog hit an all time low to allow such a cheap shot at the expense of my character. How dare someone disparage and assassinate my character based on my postings about a bed bug experience. If this anonymous person was so concerned about the “state of my mental health” then they could have PMed me, however I assure you, I remain perfectly fine. To compare their pious concern for me to a “slap in the face” was very telling, an aggressive and hostile act, which I believe was behind the original response, I was saddened to see that my continuous loyalty, countless hours of unpaid help, and support to this Blog , was rewarded by such a cheap shot, a sucker punch that came out of nowhere. I offlined Nobugs to tell her how hurt I was that she sanctioned this disparagment of my character on a baseless and inane “anonymous” poster ( a “friend” of Nobugs)… I have recieved Private messages on and off from people expressing their concerns about the personalities of others on the Blog. I have never stooped to making any of my comments personal, and have suggested the same to others. This is a Bed Bug Blog. It is not a place to critque the personalities of others. Obviously, my comment to Caitlins reaction to her reinfestation hit a chord with someone, and they chose to go for my neck…not nice , on several fronts, for many reasons. I appeal to all to take a higher road and stay away from this kind of character assassination on a Bed Bug Blog. Many people have bared their souls about what Bed Bugs have done to their lives. We musnt’ take this as an opportunity to lash out at someone because we don’t like them. I think it was a lapse in judgment to even allow that original post. Let me remind “everyone” …This is a Blog about Bed Bugs….If someone has personal gripe with me then they can reach me at my email..or PM me, don’t “slap me in the face”….

35 hopelessnomo September 1, 2007 at 5:25 pm

Bugalina,

I will never forget how you were the first person ever to say a kind word to me when I was new to bedbugs. I am immensely grateful to you for that and for every subsequent piece of advice. I can see how you have tirelessly played this role for many, many others and I am sure they must feel similar gratitude.

And this is more reason for me to be very saddened by your comments about Nobugs. I think you were justifiably angry over the comment by Anonymous. However, to say things like “all time low” and “lapse in judgment” in characterizing how Nobugs managed this very tricky situation is unwarranted. It does just what you are professing that you would not do. I don’t think you understand how difficult Nobugs’ job is here. I saw all the comments before they were deleted and cannot agree with your characterization. As for the private messages that you allude to, if they were private, why not keep them that way instead of using them to insinuate what, exactly?

I think you are correct in pointing out that someone’s comments about personal painful experiences should not be an invitation for others to comment inappropriately. I think the problem is in the nature of the conversations we have here. When discussing the terrible ways that bedbugs have affected us, everyone feels licensed to respond in a way we perhaps wouldn’t if we were interacting in real life. I think we all want to help, that is clear enough. Some of us don’t have enough tact and understanding to comment about another’s personal troubles, that is equally clear. But this is a problem that can affect all of us at any time. It is not easy to realize that you (you, me, some of the contributors to this thread) may ALSO at times say things that are offensive to others. Surely without meaning to, but still.

I think you are entitled to your anger but I hope it ends with the anonymous poster who occasioned it and that we can all get back to fighting bedbugs and bedbug ignorance.

36 James Buggles September 2, 2007 at 12:52 am

It looks like a split of opinion has developed here. On this issue, I must cast my lot with Bugalina (now Deb). I was among those who lobbied to have the original post removed.

As I stated then, I think it’s inadvisable to attempt a DSM IV diagnosis of someone sight unseen based on a few forum posts. I suspect most psychiatrists would render such an opinion only after a personal examination. Also, making assertions about people you don’t know could have legal ramifications.

I vote to remove this entire thread much as I dislike censorship. Here, I think that maintaining civility should outweigh freedom of expression.

For the record, I’m a big NoBugs fan, but that doesn’t mean I can’t disagree with her from time to time. I just hope Hopeless won’t hit me with her lunchbox again.

37 hopelessnomo September 2, 2007 at 1:41 am

I assure you, James, that our kindergarten lunchbox flirtations are at an end after this.

And I repeat my objection to any attack on the administrator of this blog. A priori.

The anonymous poster lacked tact and consideration but the subsequent explanation demonstrates that there was no malicious intent. There is no doubt that the comment offended Bugalina, but attacking the integrity of Nobugs because of it is inappropriate.

38 Bugalina September 2, 2007 at 5:27 am

Hopeless, No one has attacked Nobugs. I think Mr. Buggles is correct in saying that its ok to disagree. Unfortunately I must remind you that after I requested that the original rude post be removed, Nobugs came back on to comment to anonoymous that it wasn’t her idea to remove the post. Was the message behind saying so meant to give sanction to the uncivil post ? The answer one must conclude is yes, since she took any responsibility off of herself for having the idea to remove it. I would be lying if I said this wasn’t hurtful. If someone’s abhorrence to bed bugs is going to leave them subject to mental health critiques then I must tell others to be forewarned. I thank you for remembering my concerns for you a while back. The only reason I have stayed active on this Blog is because I learned a lot about bed bugs through my infestation thus I have always wanted to help others. When I see that over one year after my infestation, people are still resorting to throwing away their furniture and mattresses, its very idisturbing. I never wanted any praise for any of the ideas that I have contributed to this Blog, but to have incurred such an insult was totallly undeserving. I daresay that if the anonymous comment was directed towards anyone else, the result would have been quite different. I have witnessed Nobugs come down hard on those comments that she feels are uncivil. I question why this was viewed thru different lenses. I have said this before many times, Nobugs has created this Blog and made quite a impact in the bed bug epidemic. I have shown consistant loyalty and respect towards Nobugs and her Blog. Nobugs is fully aware of the fact that I have sent friends and family onto this Blog as a reference base for learning about bed bugs. If my strong advocacy against the consistant spead of bed bugs is viewed as phobic, then is it fair to say that I am amongst friends ? Thank you Buggles. Hopeless Thank you as well , but I think you should recognize that the comment was offensive towards everyone on this Blog, as it did lower the bar.

39 nobugsonme September 2, 2007 at 10:06 am

Bugalina/Deb (some are no doubt confused by the fact that you keep logging on under different names),

When I do not delete a comment, it surely does not mean ipso facto that I am sanctioning it.

I think you yourself must have realized that a long time ago.

40 Bugalina September 2, 2007 at 11:30 am

Well, My response was deleted very quickly so …why not the disparaging post? Also, I am not logging on with different names. This just just occurred thru no means of my own. I don’t know why and in fact I was going to aak you about it. I just want this to end. But I am obviously still upset that I feel a need to clear my maligned character. The response I had to Caitlins reinfestation was what started this, although I feel anonymous was harboring ill will towards me and for some reason the reinfestation response triggered their hidden agenda. I feel that all of us should be concerned with reinfestations. The very fact that bed bugs are coming back for a second time is disturbing. Yes, its much better to not freak out of course, but we must look at the bigger picture. Bldg. managagements are going to see a way through paying for these reinfestations via rent raises. To think otherwise is naive. People with larger family units will most certainly be more adversly affected by reinfestations. People who get reinfested should be concerned about the continuous exposures to chemicals. And last but not least…given the secretive nature of bed bugs, people who get reinfested, along with those who are “experiencing” bed bugss for the first time, run the risk of transporting bed bugs from their apts. to their workplaces to their schools to their families homes. All I was saying was that reinfestations are a cause for concern. I stand by my concerns. And although Caitlin did not have a great loss of furniture, the photos posted are a testimony to the reality that others do. So all I am saying is that I hope as a bed bug community our goal and purpose to to see these bugs stamped out. IF they reappear then of course they have to be dealt with in a timely and calm manner. I am hoping for a future without bed bugs. And if you are referring to any comments I have made in the past that were not deleted please say so…do not hide your sentiments behind your words….I have never seen you allow the posting of a comment that was such an attack on someones character. Disagreements on issues are very different from slanderous statements….being that you know the person who slandered me, you must also know why….

41 persona-non-bugga September 2, 2007 at 6:18 pm

“But I am obviously still upset that I feel a need to clear my maligned character.”

Dear Bugalina,

The posts and opinion from a single “anonymous” are in no way sufficient to malign your character. I have no doubt that anyone reading such comments about him/herself would experience such words as being hurtful. I know I would. Still, just because one person voices an opinion does not necessarily mean that others reading it will automatically adopt that view or even approve of that view. I most certainly didn’t. If, by chance, you suspect that “anonymous” speaks for some collective body … I really don’t think that’s the case. Those posts & ideas came from one individual – one person. Not anyone else. And by anyone else, I also mean those words did not come from nobugs.

The only thing “anonymous” did was remind me how foolhardy it is to psychoanalyze others on this site based on some piecemeal internet posts. One, because I don’t have the education or training to do so. Two, because even several dozen written posts – as sincere as they may be – are just fractions of thoughts in time and don’t give anywhere near an accurate representation of the person writing them. Three, people pour their hearts out on these forums. I’d hate to have a chilling effect on a forum where people in distress – including me – come to vent and seek out support.

As you know, managing, writing, and moderating a quality site like this requires so much skill, effort, and time. nobugs is just one person. As a site owner, she seems pretty great, but she’s not some perfect entity, and she cannot please 100% of the site participants 100% of the time. The site policy seems to allow pretty broad latitude for people to speak & vent their minds. No doubt people have gotten bruised when discussions have been heated. I’ve seen posts critical of nobugs, herself, which she leaves as part of the collective discussion. Just because she doesn’t delete them doesn’t mean that she endorses

My hunch is that, as a matter of general policy, nobugs seems reluctant to delete posts from the comments & forum sections. When she has deleted posts elsewhere, I’ve noticed a message from her explaining the reason as well as specifying the person who requested the deletion. I think such statements are prudent, otherwise site members might mistakenly believe that nobugs deletes posts inconsistently or for her own mysterious, private reasons.

Is it not possible that nobugs’ management of these series of comments was just an application of her regular policy on deleting posts? That is — she deletes in extremely rare cases and/or when a site-user requests it and has a compelling reason for it. Then, as a matter of course, nobugs might follow up with an explanation, including a note on whether she deleted based on a request.

Part of the problem might be that “anonymous” wrote that he/she considers him/herself to be a “friend” of nobugs. Based on that, there might’ve been bias imputed unfairly to nobugs’ actions. According to “anonymous,” he/she does not participate in “deep friendships.” I imagine that goes for interactions with nobugs. So I’m skeptical that there’s any tag-team activity going on here. Could you not give nobugs the benefit of the doubt in this case?

Bugalina, “anonymous” hurt your feelings. I was very sorry to see that. In my opinion, it was unfair and a bit ridiculous. I hope remembering that “anonymous” is just one person among thousands who visit this site everyday might alleviate some of your ill feeling about this matter. Because the source of those words is “anonymous” (as opposed to run-of-the-mill internet nickname), the words might seem all the more powerful and diffuse. It might be challenging to focus a reaction on the actual and only source of those words.

Also, I know I wrote that a slap in the face isn’t meant to help others. But it’s also possible that “anonymous” didn’t write the above posts out of some long-standing hostility towards you. Totally speculating here … it could’ve come from enthusiasm for that anxiety workbook and a misguided eagerness to apply its lessons to others. It could’ve just been a moment of social awkwardness. Remember, “anonymous” shared that he/she struggles when navigating through some type of social relationships. (As we all do to an extent.) I don’t think most people will treat his/her post describing who and what you allegedly “obviously” are as reliable testimony about your character.

42 persona-non-bugga September 2, 2007 at 6:41 pm

I should add – everyone (including me – maybe especially me :-)) is prone to social missteps every now and then. Didn’t mean to single out “anonymous” as any more socially awkward than anyone else.

43 Bugalina September 3, 2007 at 10:05 am

person non bugga…I do so much appreciate your post. I have been contributing to this Blog and the Yahoo Group since last April, when the bed bugs showed up in my home. You are very astute in your observance of “strong emotions”. I have often been called by friends and family as a “passionate” person, someone who gets “involved” all the way. I think that ,in the past, my postings have had a strong voice, as regards to my abhorrence of bed bugs. There have been times , I believe, that others on the Blog who do not share the same abhorrence, have felt as though they have to defend themselves against my views. This was never an objective, but I suppose the reaction could be catagorized as “human nature”. I never stooped to personalizing my posts, bed bugs have always been the sole target of my scorn !! I have contributed here solely because it gives me an opportunity to help others as regards their bed bug infestations. I remember all too well the help I went searching for when I discovered the bugs in our home. I am a “take the bull by the horns” kind of person, so when I got bed bugs I went into immediate action, Initially I did self treatment,out of necessity and in doing so I discovered a lot of methods and online sources. I did everything I could possibly do to kill them off. I shared everything I did and discovered and I have always been appreciative of those who do the same. Early on, I was jumped on for saying things like ” a goog percentage of bed bug infestations are introduced into homes via infested luggage, ..I was jumped on again when I said that people needed to clear the clutter in their homes, in order to achieve a better chance of success. I was critisized for suggesting that one keep a spray bottle of Kleen Free at the ready. I was never looking for praise but the constant criticisms were hurtful. I remember telling people to check their books, I was immediately remanded with these words, “they are called bed bugs, not book bugs”… Recently Nobugs gave credit for my saying Spread the word, not the Bug, to my friend bugz..whom I adore, but who has not been on the Blog to my knowledge for quite some time….Many people over time have emailed me offline and asked me why I am not treated nicely…I have told them that I really don’t know,but my objective is not to be liked, but it is to have my chance to help others, and I suppose having my voice respected. I believe that the anonymous post was the tipping point of past disrespect. I have made no attempts to hide the fact that I am older than most who contribute. I have tried very hard to be cognizant of this.. I have also tried very hard to be the representative of a different voice on this Blog. If perchance, there are any lurkers on the Blog who are studing the effect of Bed Bugs , they need to see them from a perspective from someone who owns a larger home, someone who has to pay out of pocket for incredibly high extermination costs. I would like to think this is helpful, not harmful to the Blog. The word Vikane has been thrown around as some kind of great solution…I keep trying to tell fellow bloggers, that Vikane on Long Island is not a vialble solution unless you can expect to pay no less than 25,000 to 40,000. Dollars…One’s home must be entirely tented..the labor alone is prohibitive, not to speak of the gov’t regulations…this goes ignored, I see Why don’t people just Vikane? Anyone and everyone can get bed bugs, and I want peole to know this. Persona non bugga…I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your kindness…..I hope this will be the last post I will make…I honestly and truly have had only good intentions…I am a nice person who got hit with two infestations ( I moved and they moved with me)….I spent a small fortune on bed bugs, while footing a very costly college education…I remain very cautious because quite frankly, there is no mangagement company to pay for any reinfestation…and that is what keeps me “on my toes” or in the wise words from my friend bugz..”always looking over my shoulder”…I will continue to be cautious until something comes onto the market to stop the spread of this awful bug. Thank you again Persona…

44 nobugsonme September 3, 2007 at 2:49 pm

Bugalina,

I do not owe you any apologies or explanations for disagreeing with you. You are pulling things out of context and I will not bore others with the details of prior disagreements.

As I tried to make clear above, and as persona-non-bugga has noticed, I generally leave comments up even when they disagree with me, and frankly, even when they are insulting to me. Whether someone is my “friend” or not is irrelevant.

When I have made an error, as with the quotation you mention, I have corrected myself. That you never notice such corrections, does not mean they do not occur.

But let me be very clear: my patience is being tried here. You have always been welcome to participate. If you don’t want to, that’s fine too.

45 hopelessnomo September 3, 2007 at 4:28 pm

Bugalina,

I hope that we can all put this behind us and get back to the objectives of our participation here. I didn’t think I needed to say anything more, except that some of what you write made me pause.

I’m not privy to all that you allude to, but as an outside observer, I must point out the following:

This site overwhelmingly advocates for PCO treatments to treat bedbug infestations. When people self-treat, they often do a disservice to themselves by not beating the problem quickly and enduring protracted infestations. When people here advocate self-treatment, the administrator will often point out the drawbacks and possibly serious consequences of doing so. These interventions, if you will, are not personal, and stem from a firmly held belief as to what is really necessary in order to fight bedbugs.

I think in your case you used a lot of self-treatment techniques even if in the end they did not avail and you had to move. So, while you discovered many wonderful tools during your ordeal, you may not realize that for many people, self-treating (with pesticides) can backfire and cause harm and, worst of all, not even solve their bedbug problem. I believe that you took the trouble to learn about what you were doing and how to do it safely. Do others take similar steps? We have seen people in the forums use pesticides or other substances themselves to ill effect and put themselves and their families in danger.

So, I think none of us should take it personally when a suggestion is not greeted with enthusiasm or when corrections are made by Nobugs. To give one example, telling people to use Drione may seem like a good idea until you learn that they’re doing it in terribly dangerous ways.

All of this is not to devalue your many wonderful contributions. I always recommend the tools that you recommend with confidence since I know that you have spent a lot of effort and time into ascertaining their quality and usefulness. I only mean to clarify what you may have seen with regard to pesticide and “proactive” treatment recommendations being directly followed by comments offering a different perspective. It is not personal, not for you or for me or anyone else here.

I hope this helps explain a little what you describe in terms of your suggestions.

The other interest that the administrator has to balance, to judge by her comments and recommendations to others, is to make sure that people do not panic when they face a bedbug infestation. When people panic, they make poor decisions and deepen their misery. Often, Nobugs will seek to make people see that all is not lost and that rational steps can be taken. This interest results in many comments that directly follow expressions of despair and panic but cannot be understood as an attempt to invalidate the strong emotional response to bedbugs that many of us feel. It is only for the benefit of those who are new to the problem. It helps immensely when people see a message that is encouraging, that lets them know that they won’t have to move or store all their furniture or lose their joy in life and travel. These encouraging messages should not be construed as devaluing a more pessimistic take on the issues.

Finally, I am often taken aback by your and others insistence that some people (whether because of family life or accumulation of possessions) will suffer more than others. My personal experience of bedbugs was devastating. However, as much as I vehemently disagree with such tiers of suffering and financial loss and resent the implications, I try not to take personal offense when you and others voice those opinions! I know you don’t mean to invalidate my experience and you don’t mean to belittle my suffering. Do you see? I urge you, similarly, not to take personal offense when others have different perspectives.

Respectfully…

46 James Buggles September 3, 2007 at 11:10 pm

This thread will eventually fade (after the lawsuit and mini-series), but there’s a better solution than time.

Anonymous started this thread with an ill-advised comment. Anonymous owns the copyright to the comment. If Anonymous asks NoBugs to remove the comment, then NoBugs can do so without having to make the decision herself and being accused of censorship. And then we can all acquiesce to having our posts on this thread removed.

So please Anonymous, pull your comment.

And someday when our progeny discover this blog and come across this post, they will not see any of this bickering, but will instead just say: “Damn, I can’t believe Caitlan got bed bugs again!” And then they’ll drop to their knees and exclaim: “Oh My NoBugs, this blog foretold of Her apotheosis! This is the missing holy scripture!”

Now, if all this bickering remains here, they might miss that.

47 wantmyskinback September 7, 2007 at 2:53 pm

Wow…where have I been? I just read this thread (it hasn’t faded….yet). I see that Anonymous hasn’t pulled the lengthy psychoanalysis comment. I’m really surprised to see that on the blog having once been on the front page of the blog, because the “anonymous” person doesn’t claim who they are, and it’s very unfair to do that. It’s a blog about bed bugs, not about phobic behavior, you know? That’s a whole other story. I can say that despite Bugalina/Deb’s extreme tactics, she is a kind hearted soul, who is incredibly brilliant, and has been very helpful to me…and to lots of readers. I know that she has attended meetings in NYC, and has encouraged me to do the same. She’s available to talk on the phone and she “listens” without judgement. So…whatever is going on here, ON THE FRONT PAGE of the blog mind you… I think the consensus is that we all appreciate one another’s information and we are sponges for it.

Re: getting bed bugs again…. I go with the personal policy of being less cluttered, so I can see what’s going on better. It feels better too. I also go with the personal policy of not being overly careful. yeah, I check hotel rooms and stuff, kick off my shoes in the hallway before coming inside, not putting purse on the bed, etc, washing my linens every 3 days still in hot hot hot and drying in hot hot hot, but, I am not going to live in a “plastic” bubble.

That’s just me.

We’ve all gotta do what we gotta do.

48 Caryn September 7, 2007 at 4:14 pm

I am still making my way through all the comments, but I just wanted to second happydays’ suggestion to back away from the computer at a certain point. That’s why I never continued my bedbug blogging. I knew that stopping reading and writing about it was necessary to move on with my life and get back to being whole. I was just as traumatized as anyone, and stopping reading about it on the Internet was a HUGE help. I appreciate those like nobugs who do continue to spread awareness, though, because it’s so important. But most of us really should try to move on.

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