As far as raising public awareness about how bed bugs can (and will) infest anyone’s home, having a journalist or writer tell their bed bug story in the news media is almost as good as having a friend or relative tell you they had the problem. Here’s a person who seems to have it together: decent career, nice home (we imagine), he doesn’t look too sloppy in the mugshot next to his byline.
The point is driven home: this can happen to everyone.
Unfortunately, it seems to take a lot of this in order to educate the public about bed bugs. We’re getting there, but slowly. So I am always grateful to see first-person accounts of bed bugs in the print media, on TV, and on non-bed bug blogs.
I can’t decide where, in our battle with the bedbugs, we reached the nadir. Was it when my son’s reception class teacher called my wife to express her concern about the number of bites on his arms, body and face? “He says they’re … bedbug bites,” she said, disbelievingly. “That’s right,” my wife replied. “We’ve got an infestation that we’re being treated for.” “Oh, I understand – I’ve come across bedbugs, when I’ve been travelling in Africa.” The words “but not when I’ve been teaching in north London” went unspoken.
And there, my friends, we see the need for still more public awareness about bed bugs: the teacher was shocked a kid in her classroom had bed bugs.
The article goes through the various experiences the family goes through, including treatment, and undergoing a post-treatment deep clean, only to find bed bugs harboring happily in a bed frame.
The article includes quotations from Bedbugger forum participant David Cain, of Bed Bugs Limited in the UK. David Cain’s suggestion to avoid sitting on public transportation is included as is the advice to the family from an unnamed woman who performed a deep clean after treatment:
… a woman who advised us that, in addition to never sitting down on public transport, we should always remove our clothes before entering a bedroom.
Now, that’s caution.
One of the tips at the end under “How to spot an infestation” intrigued me:
Look for unexplained rashes, although one in 10 people doesn’t respond to bites. If you react badly, use antihistamines.
Jerome Goddard says as many as 70% of folks don’t react to bed bug bites. I am interested in the sources of either of these figures.