Has any one thought of policy advocacy against bed bugs?(10 posts)
This is insane that there are this many people affected by BBs, and nothing is being done about it at a national level (i'm talking US here). How would we go about fixing this situation? Contact Congress people? Creat a national BB association? Start a bring back DDT campaign? I'm all for it... Any thoughts? I'm in DC, close to the heart of politics!
I'm with ya frenchita23. I'm in Brooklyn NY. There seems to be alot of us here. When I'm not this frazzled and irrational, this seems to be up my alley. I like a good project. And this is a good one. I do lean towards dealing w/this on a local level. All the little special interest stories about an underground epidemic and no municipal resources. NYC has great deal to lose if this becomes an "out loud" topic. So it's not shocking this is being kept on the down low in most circles. In a strange way it reminds me of "Jaws" no pun intended. The mayor of the resort town keeps a lid on the shark sightings for fear it would affect the tourism. And we know how THAT all went down, don't we? Applause to Nobugs for providing a forum literally and figuratively. Any one else?
Bugalew and Frenchita,
This has come up many times.
It's a fine idea, but needs a public face. No one has yet come forward who wanted to front such a movement. I am interested in the idea but don't have time right now. I am sure others are in the same boat.
Behind her/him, a leader they would have much emotional and probably financial support. However, public support is tricky. When reporters write a story, they want to use real names. Most of us have not stepped forward. I've been interviewed anonymously several times, but it's not the same. Caitlin of the bed bug blog is often interviewed on camera and named, and more power to her. I can't do it right now, for complicated reasons relating to my career.
The other issue is that as a grassroots movement, it would probably be small for a long time. That's not to say it isn't worthwhile, but that most people do not get the importance of it and would not take it seriously. As far as effecting change, you'd need to bring on some important politicians who cared more about people than the lobbying industries that don't want to not mention this problem (hotels, tourism, even restaurants etc.).
And when I say change, I really think DDT is not an option that would be so easily brought back.
That said, it's a great idea. Go for it. It should happen. (I just mention these factors because I've been involved in all kinds of activism and it can get wearying how long and slow change can be.)
Hmmm, given what happened in Cincinnati today (see bedbugger.com blog), it might be an especially good time to act.
For those in NYC, I think it is time to start flooding Bloomberg's office with letters. I have already written him myself. He is supposed to be the big public health guy, with his anti-smoking campaign, and the guy personally has billions to put into any cause he wants.
One of my concerns in NYC is that so many people who are affected do not have the financial resources to treat the bedbugs, so they just spread. There needs to be much more of an all-out public health campaign here. Part of the problem is that bedbugs "don't cause disease," so they aren't seen as an issue.
Some of the things I talked about in my letter:
a) A public health campaign about how to recognize the sign of bedbugs and a 24-hour hotline to call with proven advice on what to do...
b) Free or low cost PCO services for those who can't afford it (people always think of rentals in NYC, but a lot of us own our apartments and some are just barely making the mortgage and maintenance payments as it is)
c) Public assistance to deal with the costs associated with treatment
d) Stricter laws on how to dispose of bedbug-infested furniture and mattresses...
e) Price ceilings for extermination services and a list of procedures that must be complied with for bedbug extermination.
I think eventually what's going to happen is all big business is going to be affected by this. Right now it just seems like the hotels (which is bad enough) but what about when major art museums, galleries, high end furniture stores, spas, lawyers' offices, investment firms etc. are affected? Doesn't money talk?
I agree-money talks. However, who knows how long it will take before it before it hits the places Blue_Ox listed. I talk about my bugs as much as I can. I know, I'm a blast a parties, right? I see the major problem as Nobugs put it-no public face on it. Calling my councilman-Jim Brennan- is on my to do list. It just makes me nuts to see Bloomberg starting all these "fancy" campaigns like "Ask a Local" or whatever the heck that is and literally ignore this. The misconceptions are shocking and are what I perceive as the biggest contributor to spreading them. I have listed a few in other threads but in addition, the following are some of the responses I have received when talking about my "plight":
(Note: some of these are from very educated people)
- Isn't that something medieval?
- I don't date much so I don't have to worry about that kind of stuff right now.
-Tea tree oil. Just tea tree oil. It works for everything. Really.
-Late one Fri at work, I decided as a precaution to vacuum out my cubicle just in case I brought any "gifts" from home. Unbeknownst to me my supervisor was still around and walked by: "If it were as contagious as you act like it is, wouldn't we all have 'em?"
-Bomb the mothers!
-What are you doing wrong that it's taking so long to get rid of?
-Simply seal those hard wood floors. (rent stablized sublet, o.k.?)
-and the "loudest" response is from those who practically r-u-n away when I initially bring it up. As if I'd be at a social event if I were covered in them etc.
I was sorry to hear about that kid at Fordham and her bug experience. She has a lawyer and someone to sue. I was also glad to hear it in the news. More, more, more I say!
What happened in Cincinnati that you refer to above?
That's where I live.
It is really simple. If some internaitonal visitor to the White House brings them in, you can bet it will get national attention.
mrbill, go to the BLOG (click button below that says "blog" to get there, or go to http://bedbugger.com) and then search in the box there for "cincinnati". We've had a number of articles about it.
depressed, I agree that people should write letters, and our concerns are very similar. I've been saying we need these things all along. Interestingly, there have been some people in the city government reading the Bedbugger blog, at least a few times. Anonymously and quietly, of course. Maybe something will get through.
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