Why we need a massive public education campaign about bed bugs (reason #327)

by nobugsonme on April 3, 2008 · 4 comments

in activism, bed bug treatment, bed bugs, how to avoid bed bugs

A reader in the NY/NJ/CT tri-state area wrote tonight to tell me this story.

The reader, who has suffered much from bed bugs and was discarding a cherished piece of wooden furniture only after a long fight with bed bugs and many treatments. It was wrapped in sealed plastic and labeled as being infested with bed bugs.

A [name of large dept. store chain xxx] delivery truck just stopped at my house.

A man rang my door bell and asked if he could take the piece for it looked like garbage. I told him that I wouldn’t take it if I were him. He asked why and I told him that there is a possibility that it’s infested, hence the sign. Thank goodness they drove away.

But I just cannot believe that if they took it — and yes, I have the thing wrapped to the hilt — they would be putting it in the [xxx company] truck.

That was a delivery truck for a major and well-respected national chain, which was presumably in the course of dropping off new items in the area. I hope this reader will write a letter to that company, explaining what happened, and why it was a bad thing.

Many people in the driver’s shoes would simply take the item. Obviously, the sign was no deterrent.

Had the reader not been home, even this driver might have taken the item. It was carefully wrapped, so the company’s other customers might actually have been protected. But someone willing to ignore a bed bug warning sign might also not get why they should not peek inside. And eventually, the item would have been unwrapped somewhere.

Having heard much more of this reader’s saga, I know why this person is discarding the item. If you can avoid it, however, get furniture treated. Depending on what bed bug treatment your home is getting, such items can be dry steamed, sprayed by a PCO, or left in a home where Vikane or thermal treatments are being done. Try not to discard bed bug infested furniture. If it cannot be destroyed (as this piece of wooden furniture would have taken some work to destroy), get it sprayed to the hilt.

And since many folks are going to toss things anyway, write a letter to lobby your local officials to create a bed bug task force (New York vs. Bed Bugs gives a sample letter for New Yorkers in particular, and to implement (among other things) ways of dealing with bed bug-infested refuse. Because, let’s face it, some stuff is going to get tossed.

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1 lieutenantdan April 3, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Phone books were delivered Monday, they were laying in front of my house in a plastic bag of some sort, I asked my wife if we really needed them and she told me that she did not want them and that I should have seen what the van that delivered them looked like.
She did not need to say a thing more. We do not take the store papers that have coupons into our house also because the vans that deliver them look raunchy.

2 paulaw0919 January 14, 2009 at 4:43 pm

This past fall, it has been a year since our fumigation. We are in financial distress, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and we are all doing well health wise. Even during the worse of our 6 month long infestation I always prayed of thanks for the blessings we do have in our family.
But I am only human and I do get the “poor me’s” from time to time. Not even so much for me, but for my children. My poor kids have basically grown up the last 2 yrs without knowing what it’s like to snuggle and spend quality time together on a couch.(they are toddlers and pre-k age) I don’t even think they would know how to act with a living room set in the room. We all sit nicely on the HW floors in the evenings together.
Well, today I looked out the window and seen my neighbor getting new living room furniture delivered. It made me kind of sad for we couldn’t afford something like that right now and may be over a year before we can. There are other much more important expenses that come with owning a home that need to come first. It will be years for us to ever recover and return to normal living from this “nuisance pest.” B.S. a nuisance….anyway…
Well, to get to my point…I look at the truck and think, “Reymoure and Flanagan, must be nice.” I’m watching the new furniture come off the truck. To me it seemed nicely wrapped in this cloth and then plastic wrap. I’m thinking to myself, hmmm..seems safe enough. Then I see the delivery men taking out the old sectional and PUT IT ON THE TRUCK!!!! Yup, just dumped it right in, no wrapping it, nothing. Now I’m thinking WTF? By the time I can afford new furniture, it will be too risky to buy it anyway. I just miss my children not being able to have what I feel is their “right” to have, a normal living environment.
I guess all I can say, besides my rant…it to be cautious with any type of furniture delivery., no matter the company.

3 paulaw0919 January 14, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Just to add….no my neighbors don’t have bed bugs that they know of and yes they know of our past experience. I was stating this because of what we know about bed bugs, up to 70% of people never react to bites and therefore infested furniture “somewhere” is getting put on delivery trucks and infesting the new furniture. Then on top of this, there’s always the people not treating, and not caring about furthering spread anyway. Sigh.

4 nobugsonme January 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Hi Paula,

It is distressing that furniture delivery services still cart off used mattresses, sofas, etc. from people’s homes. It is not a smart practice.

I hope you and your kids will be back on a sofa soon. It’s quite a heart-breaking image, all of you sitting on a hard wood floor.

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