Black Rain as an alagory of Woe(11 posts)
How's that for a dramatic post title, eh?
Anyhow, this will be a bit rambling but thanks for your patience in advance. Black Rain is a novel that depicts people's horrifying experiences in the days following the bombing of Hiroshima. In one particularly poignant scene, the main character & his wife are making their way through the ruined city amid the dead and dying. One of the dying cries out to him for help, but he's way beyond hope; the main character & his wife have to keep moving on, without helping.
At the moment, I may be in a similar situation: I'm dealing w/my own quite small BB problem, having found 3 live ones (no other evidence or bites, oddly enough). Having been through this a couple of years ago I already knew what to do: I swung into high alert, bagged everything, alerting the LL post-haste, getting the PCO in right away, initiating full-on HazMat protocals for everything from laundry to even taking my willy out to go to the bathroom - you name it, I've been doing it, 'bcs. even one bug is 5,000 more than you want. Thanks to this, my bug problem is quite under control. That said, I'd been warning the LL that, in all likelihood, my bugs were the vanguard from some other hive whose victim either was ignorant or unaware of who the enemy was or what they were capable of...
And as of today, I'm (somewhat guiltily) feeling vindicated. It turns out that my upstairs neighbour is living with a whole bunch of well-establish hellspawn roommates. I ran into the maintenance guy today, who showed me a baggy with 6 live ones collected from said neighbour's kitchen floor - six... from the KITCHEN, in one go no less (cf: my 3 bugs collected over a month). Jeebis.
It turns out that the poor guy upstairs is also ill, & being treated for something (none of my biz) as a hospital outpatient. That is, he's probably in no kind of shape to do what's needed to take these things on himself. I'm also assuming he's non-reactive to the bites, and that he doesn't understand or have any awareness of the nature of the Beast.
So here I am trudging through my own Godforesaken post-nuclear wasteland, and upstairs is someone who's clearly in a lot rougher shape and who hasn't even figured out that he needs to call out for help yet. My instinct is to head upstairs & do what can, but considering I've never actually talked to nor seen the poor sap, I have no idea what I'd be getting myself into. Dealing w/one's own bugs is hard enough, but to send in the troops to help out a neighbour could be untenable. It may well be like sending the Scouts to Darfur.
Anyhow, that's my second-hand tale of woe. An ethical dilemma, for sure.
Oops - strike the last 'but' at the end there. Dramatic, sure, but unintentional.
What does the LL intend to do about it?Will he hire someone or does this neighbor have any family that can help? If you don't know ,you have to at least find out! I couldn't sleep knowing that a sick person was being bitten below me.If you are in NYC and there is no one that will help him(family,health dept.) I will help with prep work as long as some one is there with me (maintanence man or you).I don't need to tell you the importance of getting rid of his infestation,you are to benefit from helping him as well. I'm willing to help if you are in NYC,as I'm close to there,but I need backup from you or a willing partner.Let me know...
I just figured out that you are in Canada,a little to far for me to help. Won't you consider helping,even if with phone calls to get this poor soul some help? Maybe call the health dept. or equivilent in Canada? See if he has some relatives ,if the management can get phone numbers you can call them and inform them best,seeing as you have lived an infestation.I'm just suggesting ways you could help without having to actually go upstairs even.It really bothers me to think of someone who's sick having to live like this.I'm sorry if I'm being pesty or intrusive at all,not my intention.
I have to agree with Bugbasher. I could not imagine having to go through my battle without the support of family or friends or NEIGHBORS!!! Just because you don't know this person is no reason to not go and introduce yourself and explain your situation with bedbugs and maybe he will open up and tell you his. It is an ice breaker per say. I would suggest you just go and tell him that you have been having some trouble with bedbugs and you were just letting your neighbors know so they can be on the look out. That is what I did and without even knowing my neighbors, they were well receptive and very interested in what I had to say. They even let me know if they found anything and allowed me into their apartments to help search for them or evidence. Never under estimate the power of honesty and the human compassion. No one wants to live in hell and be a buffet for a bunch of blood, thirsty insects. Just remember to be respectful and no matter what this person says, remember your manners. Good luck! Maybe you'll make a new friend, who knows.
It does not seem that some people realize that this is such a problem.
The neighbors. I am seeing, If I do all I can to prevent, still that my neighbor is a risk.
The pco is coming to check my building.
He comes for roaches. Which , I never let him spray because I don't see any and I have a cat. My neighbors cat died last year after the pco came, so I have not let him in before. Any how, I asked around, He doesn't tell anyone he is coming. He just knocks on the door early Saturday and most people tell him NO Thanks... He told me he is coming to check the building and has not told anyone else, so I am telling them. Any how, An elderly lady, Been here probably 50 years, says, OH, No, I don't want him coming, She has 2 cats...She says she doesn't see any bugs. After I just witnessed her take 20 minutes to fit the right key in the key hole to open the apt.
She says another elderly lady had, noticed lots of bugs that hang out by her window. Maybe to sick to worry about such small things or they can't see, I feel for them. What can you do. You can't insist that there apt are checked...
Your neighbor (or possibly a relative or friend or even the landlord, if he is not well) should try contacting social services for help with bed bug prep.
In San Francisco, the city has means of helping people who can't do their prep, and in Toronto, public health can be called by people who have bed bugs and can't cope, according to Joe Fiorito. For more on that, see this: http://bedbugger.com/2008/03/12/toronto-public-health-now-has-a-bed-bug-action-committee-action-people/
I know you're not in either of those places, but I am pointing out there's a precedence for this. Your part of the country is very bedbugged (we talked in a PM about where you are) and local social service orgs and health departments should be clued in. Someone will likely want to both help this man get relief (beyond whatever the landlord is required to do) and help keep it from spreading.
Thanks everyone for those comments.. and especially Bugbasher: willing to come on over & lend a hand - now that's nice! As it is, though, the west coast is quite a ways afield, but it was really inspiring to hear that thought. Here's an update on what became of my neighbour:
I ran into the prop'ty management guy the next day & quizzed him on what the low-down was upstairs and whether or not the poor bugger had any family/people he could turn to. The answer was no, so I ended up opting to volunteer to help do whatever needed to be done, & told the property mngr. to pass it on that the Calvary was ready w/craploads of garbage bags to take the fight upstairs.
As it happened, the property mngr. had called in the guy's hospital case/social worker to assess the situation. It turns out they ended up carting the poor guy off to the hospital not 2 hours later; the property mngr (I guess) did the treatment prep, and the PCO came in today to treat that suite & an adjacent one who'd also found a bug. I'm now downstairs sealing cracks, waiting for a possible wave of bug refugees..
Kudoz go to the management for the quick response (they've been quite good that way); they've even scheduled work to be done to re-seal my floor. Their only downside is that they don't seem to have done much or enough to educate themselves, and this makes their tone a little defensive when I try to present them with advice (printouts from here, etc.). They don't want me talking to the other tenants (a bad sign), so I typed up a list of basic protocols & resources for detection/coping, & asked them to make it available to the other tenants in the bldg. If they fail to do this I think I'll have to take it upon myself to do so, at least w/respect to the other person who found a bug. Anyways, sorry for thinking out loud... Good luck everybody & thanks again!
I hope the PCO was consulted so s/he would be able to deal with the vacant unit in such a way as to minimize the bed bugs spreading to other units, now your neighbor is gone. (That's a sad story, Tom.)
I'm very pleased to see people pulled together on this,and I can't stress enough that this is what needs to happen everywhere.I'm so sad he's back in the hospital,but happy he's not having to deal with bb's on top of a devastating illness.I'm really proud of you for standing up and volunteering to help.It restores faith in the goodness in people and that's a great thing.I hope you have luck teaching the management a thing or two about these bugs and your crusade to educate goes well.You might want to print one of the entomology reports for them,this they cannot ignore since it was written by an expert.There's the autralian code of practice and some others,even what Cincinatti is doing would help them take the infestation seriously and realize how important it is that tenant's be educated and informed or the battle of the bugs could go on far longer than it needs to.You should be able to search them out on this site.Good luck
Thanks for that, Bugbasher - I'll check out those sources you mentioned.
I do think the LL/Prop. mgr. are indeed taking things seriously, my only concern is that they don't know enough or are trying to solve the problem by doing 'just enough.' I think that if it were any other bug, just enough would be alright.. but with these suckers, I've come to the conclusion that victory can only come with doing at least twice as much as 'enough' - overkill & extreme rigorousness ought to be the norm from the start, in other words. The PC Co. they're dealing with isn't really helping on this front either - I remember that, before my 1st treatment, I got no list of things to do to prep - just a call from the Prop. mgr. saying not to move stuff out of the apt. to get all the furniture away from the walls. Thank God I knew what to do in advance. Add to this the fact that the first (of only 2 total) treatment took all of about 20 minutes, no inspection, no list of products used or areas treated.
I did forward copies of the U. of Kentucky article on the bugs, and the "Do's & Don'ts" from this site - also with a note encouraging that these be shared with the whole building. I don't think they have shared this info, though, for fear of - well - fear (i.e. of tenants moving out en masse). A can't help they're being a little like the Chinese gov't when SARS started - trying to solve the problem without letting on that there was a problem to begin with.
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