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Afraid coworker will spread bedbugs

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  1. helpmeinctown

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    Joined: Jul '17
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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Wed Jul 12 2017 20:18:52
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    First, let me start by saying I am on a "terrified of bedbugs" kick lately, so I'm constantly on guard. I don't have the normal outlook on this issue and I struggle from OCD and anxiety. A coworker who I work closely with on a daily basis (often sits in an upholstered chair in my office) just returned home from NYC. He mentioned the name of the hotel he stayed in, and I googled it only to discover it is notorious for bedbugs. I've traveled with him many times in the past and know that he does not take precautions. Now I'm absolutely terrified that he brought home bugs, will get an infestation in his home, and will spread it to me via his frequent use of my office furniture. I cannot very well express this to him and I know I can't avoid him stopping by my office. How should I protect myself and my own home? Right now I feel like burning the lovely sofa chair I have in my office and replacing it with something unpenetrable by bugs!

  2. bed-bugscouk

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    Joined: Apr '07
    Posts: 15,132

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Jul 13 2017 6:52:57
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    Hi,

    Bed bugs are natural anxiety triggers for many people which does result in an aggressive fear/blame response in some.

    While this self defense mechanism may seem sensible it is actually counter productive to the open communication of the issue.

    If you are worried about work seek guidance and assurance from HR rather than seeking to demonize a colleague over what your perceive as risky behavior.

    You should monitor your home because its sensible to be proactive but you also need to work on your anxiety level and should therefore at least have a look at this:

    http://www.bed-bugs.co.uk/anxiety

    Being mindful of the power to influence that the idea of bed bugs has with some people is the first step to reducing its hold on you.

    While I appreciate your instincts are well meaning they do not fall on the path of greatest success when it comes to actually managing and addressing the actual risks.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

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