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Crowdsourcing Bedbug Statistics

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  1. Nicholson85

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Jan 3 2013 18:26:16
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    I'd like to harvest the wisdom of the crowd here to help me with some predictions.

    The initial batch of questions is below. I have one more that I'll shoot out later.

    If you have some familiarity or expertise, please provide your best "guestimates" for any or all of the following:

    A. Odds a random bed bug is male (1 in ___).

    B. Odds a random bed bug is female (1 in ___).

    C. Odds a random female bed bug is pregnant (1 in ___).

    D. Odds a random bed bug would travel away from its hiding place between sunrise and 9:00am (1 in ___).

    E. Odds a random bed bug would travel away from its hiding place between 9:00am and 12:00pm (1 in ___).

    F. Odds a random bed bug would travel away from its hiding place between 12:00pm and 3:00pm (1 in ___).

    G. Odds a random bed bug would travel away from its hiding place between 3:00pm and sunset (1 in ___).

    H. Odds a random bed bug would travel away from its hiding place between sunset and midnight (1 in ___).

    I. Odds a random bed bug would travel away from its hiding place between midnight and sunrise (1 in ___).

    J. Odds a random bed bug would travel in a sunlit area away from its hiding place during daylight hours (1 in ___).

    K. Odds a random bed bug would travel in a shaded area away from its hiding place during daylight hours (1 in ___).

    L. Odds a random bed bug would travel by itself during daylight hours (1 in ___).

    M. Odds a random bed bug would travel with at least one other bed bug during daylight hours (1 in ___).

    N. Odds a random bed bug would travel by itself during nighttime hours (1 in ___).

    O. Odds a random bed bug would travel with at least one other bed bug during nighttime hours (1 in ___).

  2. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Jan 3 2013 19:26:18
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    Hi,

    The only questions which are even technically answerable are A and B.

    Both of which are 1 in 2 as there are only 2 options and you must be either male or female.

    There are too many variables to all the other questions and frankly its not the correct logic for analysing the issue, all it would do is feed anxiety and this forum is not about that.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    If you have found this information helpful please consider leaving feedback on social media via google+ or FaceBook or by like/loving the images.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about products.
  3. Nicholson85

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Jan 3 2013 19:38:04
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    Thanks, David.

    There is no desire to "feed anxiety".

    I realize that any odds people offer will be based on their own subjective analysis and experience, but anything can be measured, even uncertainties.

    I have not offered any "analysis" here and this makes no statement about the the likelihood of the presence of bedbugs.

  4. P Bello

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Jan 3 2013 19:38:25
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    Dear nich,

    While I admire your intentions I'd have to aggree with DC in that the questions, except for the first two which have already been answered as 1 in 2 or 50%, you're posing cannot be answered with any degree of accuracy.

    There are way too many vairiables to address.

    It is what it is ! paul b.

  5. Nicholson85

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Jan 3 2013 19:50:43
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    Wow, no fans of Douglas Hubbard or his methods of measuring intangibles?

    We do this with Monte Carlo simulations in business all of the time.

    Instead of saying what cannot be done, why not humor me and provide your best guesses? The variables you are associating with each independent question become far less relevant when you just answer the question is the spirit in which it was asked.

    As for gender, are you saying that BBs are precisely 50% male and 50% female?

  6. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Jan 3 2013 20:01:16
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    Hi,

    When it comes to bugs there is a huge issue with triggering most peoples built in anxiety buttons.

    The solution to a bedbug issue comes from methodical field analysis not mathematical modeling as with many biological systems there are too many variables for accurate predictions, for example:

    C. Odds a random female bed bug is pregnant (1 in ___).

    Well technically its again 50:50 when you consider females although the reproductive process of bedbugs mean that they can lay viable eggs for a while after a mating episode. However only adult females can mate so from a pure maths side is it 1 in12 given that the nymphs are loose outcomes.

    Now the real head spaghetti starts. The life stages present is a factor of the age of the infestation and thus the longer it has been present the more adults as the development to adult time is shorter than the natural life expectancy of bedbugs.

    So therefore the probability of a female being pregnant is a factor of duration of infestation as much as any of the many other environmental factors.

    The correct way to do what you are trying to create is actually to go out and collect field samples, analyse them, report the results and look for statistical trends. To do it the other way means people will worry about probabilities of eggs and breeding long before they actually stop to confirm that the symptoms they have are actually caused by bedbugs.

    By all means work to perfect the slide rule but I fear the market is somewhere else these days.

    Sorry if this seems harsh but given that in 1998 I used to be employed to manually search 150,000 assembled bases of DNA sequence for patterns within the structure I can assure you that some biological problems just cant be computed with logic or processors (even when you have access to million dollar super computers and VR modeling suites).

    David

  7. Nicholson85

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Jan 3 2013 20:17:45
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    Not harsh, but, with respect, it's seems ironic to me that you're willing to make so many assumptions about what I am trying to do or why and yet you believe my first simple list of questions can't be answered.

    I'm not in the pest control business and am not looking to study the organism or its biology. What I was hoping to do was to get some expert input so that I could make a statistical calculation about the likelihood of a certain occurrence.

  8. P Bello

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Jan 3 2013 20:45:48
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    Dear nich,

    As scientists we are required to study and work with with statistics. We therefore understand same. We additionally understand how these numbers may be manipulated to present or taint facts in a certain way or perspective.

    However, beyond the bastardization of, there are other factors that your questions ignore. Please note, while some of us can conduct variation analsis with the best of them, simply stated this ain't a business case model we're plaing around with and certain factors should be included such as:

    > Population dynamics - in bed bug, as in cockroach, pest populations the majority of individuals are usually immatures. As Dc states on the pregnance question; 1 in 12 but that may be too high.

    > Biology - your questions ignore biology and variances thereof. Once mated a female bed bug may be considered "pregnant" until such time that she runs out of sperm supply. As such, that female might be considered pregnant 100% of the time.

    > Location - there are many variables that change from location to location and infestation to infestation.

    We simply can't ignore the numerous factors that come into play "just for shits & giggles" to humor you at the risk of folks hitting the panic button later.

    I don't want to sound condescending, arrogant or say that the questions are based upon erroneous assumptions, naivete, too simplistic, ignorant of the science involved, dismissive of biology & behavior or just plain dumb but, it is what it is.

    As professionals folks such as myself, Lou, DC, and many others share a fiduciary responsibility to steward the industry and provide valid/viable information and assistance to those in need. As such, and, as I see it based upon my education, experience and knowledge of biology, to propose such questions and argue that a rational or valuable result might somehow result is just, effing dumb, period !

    Have a nice day ! paul b.

  9. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Jan 3 2013 21:18:14
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    Hi Nicholson85,

    I am sorry that you have misunderstood the point I was making, it may help if I give you a different example first.

    Someone once went to the bother of sitting down on excel and calculating the potential population growth of a mating pair of bedbugs in a home left unchecked with a amble food source over a time course. Given that the pure maths rapidly reaches an exponential curve that doubles every 2 - 3 weeks.

    Far from being a useful tool it was a disaster because:

    • People now fear this will happen in their homes and that bedbugs get in one day and overrun the place in a matter of hours - this is not the case unless you are bringing them into the home in buckets.
    • The media had a feeding frenzy on the data and fueled more anxiety about the issue, suddenly people started to assume that every single skin reaction was due to bedbugs.
    • Some people have even been known to go as far as to not be able to let go of a fear even in the face of overwhelming evidence that they don't have bedbugs.

    I have a rather extensive field knowledge of bedbugs and the dynamics of infestations having spent most of the last 10 years studying them daily in the field. I have a mind that sees patterns and logic in biological systems gained through a previous career in genetics and modeling technology growth and trends as an analyst.

    I have tried apply modeling and statistics to the problems but the variances you see in the field in actual cases of bedbugs means that a model or statistical analysis needs to be led by what you see in the environment rather than the probability of events occurring.

    An obvious one is finding a bedbug in a bathroom of an attached property means the odds of an adjoining neighbour having bedbugs is close to 1 in 1 where as in a detached home its more likely to point towards batbugs or bird bugs.

    Now if I am off base please let me know but you will need to post a better explanation of what you are trying to do as when dealing with bedbugs many specialists will tell you that "Now I have calculated this will work" is often followed by "Now why the heck does this not do what its supposed to do". I have been there too many times in many different situations with bedbugs but that's for an after dinner speech sometime.

    It is natures nature to survive.

    David

  10. Nicholson85

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Jan 3 2013 23:24:08
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    Hey, "paul b", is there a way for you to be a bit more civil and less profane -- and, arrogant?

    "We simply can't ignore the numerous factors that come into play 'just for shits & giggles' to humor you at the risk of folks hitting the panic button later."

    Not sure who you are quoting here, but it seems kind of counterproductive.

    "... [T]o propose such questions and argue that a rational or valuable result might somehow result is just, effing dumb, period !"

    Wow. Please do me a favor and if you're not going to try and help, maybe you can skip this thread?

  11. Nicholson85

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Jan 3 2013 23:27:27
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    David, thanks for your sincere interest.

    I'm trying to calculate the odds of a particular scenario being true. I believe I've been scammed and was going to use some logic to assist the analysis.

    The effort seems to have been WILDLY misinterpreted by some of the other members of the forum, and assumptions were made about the whole thing from just a sampling of the parameters that were to be used. There are more.

    But it's late here now, though, so I'll repost in the AM.

  12. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Jan 4 2013 0:05:48
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    Aren't there factors like how long since the last meal, schedule of the hosts (bugs at a night workers home behave differently), the scents other bbs in area are giving off (alarm vs dinner is served), etc.

    They
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  13. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Jan 4 2013 0:08:46
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    If you run the scenario of your experience with as many specific facts as possible... we may be able to better speculate about the likelihood that you were dealing with bed bugs or not.

    Tell us about your experience and we may be able to provide some guidance.

    David and Paul are trying to explain that any arbitrary number that is assigned to most of the categories you are inquiring about will not have any predictive value.

    I have seen extrapolations of development / population growth that generated wildly inaccurate results and agree fully with David's logic and insight,,, The best use of statistical methodology is to provide interpretive meaning to field observations to detect patterns and trends.

    I was taught that every infestation is unique and that has proven to match the observations that I have experienced in the field... For example... temperature is a major factor in the rate of bed bug development and morality... We need a better definition of all of the parameters.

  14. TaylorIHateBb

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Jan 4 2013 0:10:46
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    GUYS PLEASE COME TO MINE IM ABOUT TO GO CRAZY OVER THIS

  15. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Jan 4 2013 0:25:25
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    I'm beginning to see how my business model bias is not applicable to this issue.

  16. P Bello

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Jan 4 2013 0:47:11
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    Dear nic,

    Arrogant? No, more like telling it like it is.

    Short of patience on behalf of actual bed bug victims? Yup.

    Both DC and I explained why such questions upon which to build a statistical model for bed bug prediction purposes is fundamentally flawed and would likely lead to additional misinformation. Yet your retort was "humor me".

    Please note that when you've had a mom with bites all over her holding her baby covered in bites crying on your shoulder because their apartment, despite being well kept and clean, is a bed bug ground zero but they can't afford to move anywhere else; trust me, there's little humor to be found.

    Folks who suffer bed bugs don't need the added obstacles of misinformation upon which poor decisions might be made.

    BTW, in another thread you posted advice regarding dna testing for bed bugs. Such testing has been received with mixed results at best and has returned errant results. This isn't CSI like we see on TV, these are real people with real problems that require real, viable solutions.

    Simply stated, wild bed bug populations are dynamic and cannot be accurately characterized as you're suggesting, and, you now have at least three experienced bed bug pros telling you so.

    Gratuitous misinformation which should be avoided lest we lead others astray.

    Now let's all get together in a group hug and sing Kumbaya !

    Have a nice day ! paul b.

  17. Nicholson85

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Jan 4 2013 6:40:38
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    P Bello:

    "Arrogant" was originally your word. Perhaps I should have used "odd".

    I don't know how you formed your conclusion that I am not "an actual bed bug victim", but it's not quite right. We believe we were scammed by a bed bug pest control professional and it cost us considerable time, stress, and financial loss.

    Your colorful critique of my use of the phrase "humor me" is irresponsibly out of the original context and may lead some readers to conclude that I think "a mom with bites all over her holding her baby covered in bites crying on your shoulder" is humorous.

    I have no plan to use any data gathered as a decision tool; the intended purpose is to calculate the odds of a given scenario being true.

    Man, instead of getting answers and helpful advice on all things bed bug, in this forum it's the people who do the biting!

  18. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Jan 4 2013 6:57:04
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    Hi,

    Maybe it's also an issue of how a question is phrased and framed.

    Asking for opinions as to the feasibility of the scenario you have been told would have possibly avoided the confusion above. Fear not had you been given false information me would have explained why.

    There are many out there who would happily claim to be a bedbug specialist and initially they may appear to be but when compared to the knowledge around here they are clearly not. We also have a reputation for giant killing and will call someone out when needed regardless of who they are.

    If you post what has been said we will tell you if it's accurate and if not why it's not.

    David

  19. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Jan 4 2013 7:32:09
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    Ok, to be gentle, ask ot pm someone. Thete is a lot of experience on here and professional experience. The second step on asking is to listen.

    The sad part is that you may never be able to prove the scamming.

    Finally, we all approach statistics and issues with our bias.
    The experts are trying to let you know your first approach won't work.

    My interpretation of Paul's discussion of humor me is we don't need more misinformation out there. Paul has seen a case where there were 70 bugs after two years.

    Paul and David and Doug are full of real world experiences. Ask and give specifics vs hypothetical.

  20. KillerQueen

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Jan 4 2013 12:28:42
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    The answer is 4?????

    [+] Embed the videoGet the Flash Videos

  21. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Jan 5 2013 4:53:51
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    bed-bugscouk - 21 hours ago  » 

    There are many out there who would happily claim to be a bedbug specialist and initially they may appear to be but when compared to the knowledge around here they are clearly not. We also have a reputation for giant killing and will call someone out when needed regardless of who they are.
    If you post what has been said we will tell you if it's accurate and if not why it's not.

    Nicholson,

    When I read this, I hear David saying that as a possibly scammed consumer, he is sympathetic and will try to help. I suspect everyone here will.

    As an observer in this thread, it looks like antlers have been bumped, and communications going in each direction haven't gotten through completely.

    However, I believe you came here with good, honest intentions. I believe Paul and David do too, and as David has made clear in his most recent post, he's all ears. (Paul wasn't around Friday as I noted in another thread, so he can't weigh in, but I wouldn't assume he's gone off in a huff.)

    The questions in your original post above as the experts have noted can't be answered as they are for a variety of reasons. That doesn't mean we don't want to help or that the experts can't help you. I believe they (and perhaps others here) can.

    If if you feel like you can paraphrase your situation or what you were told, here on the forums (without giving away any specific details which might be problematic if you have some kind of court case), please do. I am sure everyone will want to give you good feedback.

    I personally prefer you ask on the forums if possible because I think we're all interested, and you may get responses outside of the person you choose to private message (PM) or email. That said, those options are available too.

    I hope everyone will take a deep breath -- I think others want to and can help you with what you need to know, even if most of the originally posed questions don't quite work.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."

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