Let your voice be heard!(60 posts)
I suggest that everyone contact your local and state politicians and media with letters, phone messages and emails and let them all know how bad it is. Ask them why more is not being done. This war is not going away anytime soon.
Let your voice be heard!
hey buggedoutinbalto, if you read this, let me know what happens with your email to your city councilman. Maybe I can tag team them with you!
Yes, I agree with LtDan. Every time a media outlet gets one letter, to figure out how many in their audience feel the same way, they multiply it by a factor--maybe 20,000 times or more--because so few people write to them. So your letters not only count, but they count many thousands of times over. The same goes for clicking on media stories from tv shows about bedbugs, etc.
I wish we could have a "national bedbug day" where the purpose would just be communication about bedbugs and we could all blitz the media and municipalities. BEDBUG DAY 2008! Not something to celebrate, but important in getting the word out.
Yeah....like bedbug awareness week...day...whatever. I think that would be great. It's so hard to make people understand what they really are, that it's not my fault that I have them, and it doesn't matter how messy or clean my house is. I'm normally a clean person (my closet is even color coded) but I'd say most people I've had to tell don't know how my house is kept (aka doctors...PCOs..landlords, etc.). I mean, if you came to my house right now, it looks like a disaster....all the under-the-bed stuff now in the middle of the floor...bags of clothes spilling from the laundry room and into the hall...and DE lightly covering all the furniture looks as though I haven't dusted in weeks. Plus, I have a hard time wanting to put away my toddler's toys in fear of boxing up a few bugs...and...I still have my Halloween decorations out!
So, yes, besides writing to our state peoples, we should set up an awareness week. We could use the week to write to our politicians, landlords...whoever needs some educating on the subject. Perhaps with more people aware of the problem, we could better combat it. The issues of bedbugs....especially in regards to multiple-dwelling units..requires the combined efforts of more than just the people afflicted. And the success of it requires that all parties involved are knowledgeable.
Well, that all sounds good. But we need names and addresses, phone nmumbers, e-mail addresses, if possible. So that we know who to contact. Maybe we could even put up a web site that has all the pictures and graphics and info (like we have on this site) about bed bugs on it. And then refer the lawmakers to it. Maybe start a group such as a Citizens Action Against Bed Bugs group (CAABB) and register it as a 501 C(3) organization. We could set up an office in Washington DC and mail out fliers to the population asking for support and contributions. That's what the politicians do (I just received two or three of them today in the mail), so we can too. When and where do we start?
it's also a really good idea to contact your local reporters. just get online and find your local paper's website and find a reporter who might be covering human interest stories, housing stories, neighborhoods, or others and send them an email or call them. there is no such thing as too much coverage in local papers. sadly, these critters bring up so many issues facing neighbors worldwide and in all types of homes: cultural differences; socioeconomic differences; stigma; access to information; tenant rights; housing disparities; slumlords; etc.
i wrote to a local reporter today and i wrote letters to my city councilman. i'll post some additional information on how to write to and find your legislators as soon as i can.
policies only ever change because people speak up.
we can host a site for politicians on bedbugger.
But starting a 501c3 takes hundreds of dollars, and might be a few steps ahead of where we are.
If people want to compile lists of contacts (the best thing is the URL for your city's policitians, such as the one I posted for NYC a few weeks back), we can do this.
Most cities have a website where you can find and email your representative in city government, most states have them too.
Buggedout is going to send me a copy of a sample letter and I will post it on the blog in a FAQ on contacting politicians. Others can do their part by obtaining relevant URLs where people can contact local politicians. (You can email them to me or you can save them until the FAQ goes up and post them as comments there, which is easier for me.)
I contacted the Denver Post. I got a reply from one of their reporters saying she would LOVE to do the story, but she needs data. our sob stories are not enough. She wants numbers, data....how does Colorado compare to the rest of the country? That kind of thing. I periodically send her links to more info, but I haven't heard back.
I also wrote to the mayor's office (no reply) and Denver's office of Environmental Health. I say there needs to be education, education, education. People need to be made aware. They need to know that they shouldn't drag in mattresses off the street, the dangers of secondhand furniture, that they need to check their hotel rooms,....etc, etc.
They write back saying something vague about some of their education efforts and offering to help give me advice on how to eradicate my bed bugs.
Hello to all the politicians out there! Bed bugs may not cause any disease, but I think you could say that they ARE a disease.
So maybe we could get the CDC (Center for Disaease Control) involved? They probably have a web site. Check it out.
Maybe it's time to go over the mayor's head. Like state Senator(s), congressmen/women.
Find your elected representative in the House: http://www.house.gov/writerep/
The telephone number for the U. S. Capitol Switchboard is 202-224-3121.
Communications tips: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/issues/basics/?style=comm
Now, all that is good info, but I think this is best attacked at the local level. So if you want to contact your representative n DC, I think a good strategy would be to approach your Senator and present BBs as a problem in the local district.
bummedindenver said "contacted the Denver Post. I got a reply from one of their reporters saying she would LOVE to do the story, but she needs data. our sob stories are not enough. She wants numbers, data....how does Colorado compare to the rest of the country? That kind of thing. I periodically send her links to more info, but I haven't heard back."
What is the problem with some of these journalists these days. This reporter needs data! What should we write her story for her too! Unbelievable! I would like to see a story on how this reporter is suggesting that research be done by a non professional.
Sounds to me that she has no interest in tbed bugs, if she did have a clue, which she should, of how bad the epidemic is she would have written a story already without having the public suggestions.
This makes me think that it may be a good idea that when emailing a politician one may wish to cc the email to the media so that the politician understands that someone other than his/herself may be reading it. This way the email will not be as easily dismissed. Also when emailing the media cc someone like a local politician or a lesser paper. Just a thought.
What are your thoughts on this.
Local politicians which many of us unfortunately do not know of can be found on state websites. It takes a little patience but the info is available.
With this site address you can type in your info and find your rep.
Of course this site is for NYC.
I would love to contact the city newspaper where I live but I am afraid of the ramifications. What if I lose my home? I have 4 children that need a place to call home. I know that living where we live is not good for the kids who are constantly waking up at night but having to find a new home isn't easy especially when no one wants to accept our dog. I have taken the first step and contacted a lawyer yesterday and I will call him again today and see if he can help me. I know I didn't bring the bugs here and I think the landlord should pay me for all the trouble. Once I know there is financial assistance to move me out and replace all my trashed furniture, believe me, everyone will know what these bugs are all about!!
I've already done a lot of that at more local and state levels, it is a good idea though to also approach it from a federal level as well.
Last month a county a couple of counties over from us closed the whole county school system for bedbugs. They found that one elementary school was infested and the County Health officials took some drastic actions that really ticked off a lot of people. They closed every school in the county for two weeks. Before doing it though they had school nurses check every kid in every elementary school for bites on their heads, upper torsos and legs and found what appeared to bb bites on many kids that were not students at the one school that had found to be infested.
The County has said that the homes of every student found to have suspicious bites will be inspected by the county health officials and qualified professionals. If their homes are found to have bedbugs their children will not be allowed back in school until they can pass inspection. There is no opting out, inspectors will be showing up with someone from the Sheriffs department with a court order from what I've heard. The county is one of the poorest in Kentucky. Health officials have said that if the families can't afford professional treatment to rid their homes that the county will find the funds to help them out. So I've heard.
A lot of folks are mad as hatters about this but a lot of other folks who don't have bedbugs and there are more of them of course, are holding county officials to task on this. Last I heard the county official are seeking State and Federal help to solve what they say is a state of emergency.
There has been some local press coverage right at the beginning and then not a peep after that. I would think this would have made the National news. All of a sudden the whole thing has gone hush hush though. Makes me wonder what's going on behind the scenes. Later... cos
I have been through Kentucky once many years ago. Drove from Lexington to Prestonburgh. I saw some very depressed areas but the people were very friendly to me.
I can relate to Angie's post about local papers. In my town, the landlords (wealthy property owners) are closely tied to local politics and certain kinds of activities calling attention to your name and bedbug status might not be best if you are a tenant. But this does not apply to contacting politicians at a higher level or working with schools or health officials. We can all make a statement in our own way.
A good housing lawyer can help you, particularly if you have documented losses and your landlord has not filled his or her responsibilities as the property owner. I went to a bedbug conference and the lawyers on a panel felt there were expenses landlords should clearly cover such as all laundry and dry cleaning, plus, of course, all the extermination costs. Some expenses you mention (replacing furniture, for example) were what the lawyers called a "gray area" but that doesn't mean you can't get reimbursed for them in your case.
PS: A good place to find your government officials and their addresses is the League of Women Voters website.
Thank you for your advice! The only problem is that I don't have the documented proof. When this all started, we took pictures of our bites and the bugs we found before their timely demise. Alot of the pictures were erased by either our kids or the cameras malfunction so we only have a few pixs of bites and the bugs. I have no proof of our furniture except for our neighbors and the PCO that knew we threw them out. I am sure that I can count on our neighbors for their support if we ever went to court. I can tell anyone who lives with this problem of bb's, that it is one of the most stressing and tiring I have ever encountered. Trying to get anyone to help has taken me 3 months and we've been fighting these for 5 now. I will look to the politicans for help. Thank you!!
lieutenantdan, I think you are being undly harsh on the Denver Post reporter. I pitch stories to reporters all the time in my job, and I am always ready to provide resources to show why the story is important. Many reporters get several hundred email pitches a day, they do not have time to research every one to find out which story has legs. You want coverage, you have to help them.
In addition, most reporters don't get to write about whatever they want. They have to sell their story to the editor and prove why it would be of interst to the readers. If she could go to her boss with a few choice statistics and authoritative resources, she has a much better chance
I wanted to share a few pointers with you on dealing with the media.
I get an average of 2 calls per week to appear on TV and radio talking about the issue, they all appreciate its a public interest story and that although it gets a fair amount of coverage there is one fundamental issue that they require, a story.
I know that some of you feel that what you are doing through would justify an episode of 60 minutes but all media are fundamentally journalists, they have to have something to report. In my case they were happy to talk about the fact that we have increased our workload by 500% in 12 months combined with an increase in public transport related issues.
I suspect that one easy story for them would be the increase in traffic on this site, it also serves to direct people to what is a good resource for information. It may also lead them to pick up on a few of the other issues such as a world wide bed bug awareness day which I think is a really good idea. I am sure I can get some support from the pest control industry in the UK to promote the cause, its just a matter of picking the day and promoting the fact.
Let me know if you need some help from this end.
There was a group, possibly from the UK, that started a "No Diet Day" (a day to emphasize the dangers of unhealthy dieting and the overemphasis on being model thin). In my mind that type of movement is the model I have in my mind for our Bedbug Day. The "No diet day" movement started very simply and small, yet now it is world-wide day that garners media attention every year.
In my mind I see the bedbugs in my apartment holding a parade that day, walking around with floats, picniking, and celebrating "Bedbug Day." Kind of like Sea Monkeys!
It may be viewed as me being a little hard on reporters but I believe that because of my recent past experiences with a couple of reporters and politicians I have good reason. I will not get into that.
I see it is as simple as this. A person wakes up one day and decides to become a reporter/journalist. They decide to go to school, they take out student loans (unless daddy pays for it.) My point is I that I believe when you become a journalist/reporter you make a conscious decision and with that decision you take on responsibilities. This professional is asking you to do the grunt work.
If you do this as a profession also then that is OK. What if some elderly people were to contact a reporter would the reporter ask them to do the work that the reporter should do in the first place? I find it very hard to believe that the reporter lacks insight as to the extent the bed bug problem this country is having right now. Any entomologist will tell you that this is going to get worse.
I am starting to believe that some officials have made a decision to put a hush on certain news for some reason. Maybe to protect the travel industries etc... The funny thing is when this epidemic escalates it will be too late and the media could be providing the public with constant vigilance and provide us with some informative in depth reporting. But that may take time away from stories like who is now sleeping with Brad Pitt. Personally the last great reporting by a journalist that I remember was Watergate.
lieutenantdan said: "I saw some very depressed areas but the people were very friendly to me."
That is very true the genteel southern ethos of treating stangers kindly is still very alive in many places in Kentucky. I live about 7 miles south of Cincinnati and lived about 25 miles north of the city in Ohio for a couple of years before moving here. There is a distinct difference as soon as you cross the Ohio river. Strangers smile at you and say hi in public places. Though you get back into the hills in some places you'll find that your accent can bring out a difference in folk. In some places a so called Yankee accent will bring out the worst in some people. I was born in MI and have lived all over the country so they would think of me as a Yankee. I pick up accents very easily though and have always been fascinated by accents so I can not only affect the accent but also the ways they would say things. It is a world of difference in some places which accent I choose to use.
I know that the focus of this forum is not political although to some degree this thread most definitely is. Though some may think what I am going to say is political I am a trained Sociologist, an independent and historian and don't really have a dog in any fight. It is just a social observation. The media in this country has been bought and sold by the corporations ever since Clinton deregulated it. The fourth estate is basically blindfolded and earplugged with the exception of the internet and some unaffiliated talk radio. 90% of print and electronic media are owned by 5 corporations who are decidedly more international than American. Most but not all corporations are driven by profits. They will spend an hour talking about celebrities dogs while bedbugs eat New York City and never say a word. I agree with you lieutenantdan that the travel industries may be partly to blame for the media hush. Who knows what other industries are involved. They spend a lot of money on big lobbyists to ensure that certain things are kept hushed up. I don't believe that when many of them are facing a choice between profits and Public interests that they will do the right thing.
I know a few in the media and they say behind closed doors that big media is gagged. Let's not forget even Dan Rather got chucked out of big television for telling the truth. They did not have conclusive facts on hand at that time but the story has now been substantiated. It worries me. The bedbug problem in this country will become epidemic in the next 5 to 10 years and I have to ask myself who stands to gain and who stands to lose. As always the bottom line is Follow The Money, and find the answers. Later... cos
The travel industry doesn't want to talk about it but I think it is the real estate industry that really has its head in the sand. Management companies and landlords do not want to admit there is a problem because they think it will keep people from renting. I think if the RE and travel industries put their combined weight behind this issue we would see a lot more movement. Imagine how munch moeny someone could make if they invented a better BB pesticide and marketed it to hotels!
Anyway, this thread is about doing something, not about handwringing. So I encourage anyone who wants to contact their local newspaper to do so. You might have to provide the reporter with a little education and links to resources. But so what? We all know that eliminating BBs in the home is hard work. Why should getting BB media exposure not take work too? It's not an ideal industry, but it's what we have to work with. All I can say is that washing our hands of the papers and not trying is the one way to guarantee no news coverage.
Good points itchyincharmcity. I too have been fighting back from the start but I must admit it can get frustrating. We got our bedbugs from the neighbors in the apartment next door. We didn't really know them except to say hi in the hall. When they moved out we didn't know anything about it. Later on we found out that they had moved because of the bedbugs. The were both of Mexican heritage and we didn't know it but one of them was in the country illegally. They told another neighbor later that we did know who was Mexican American that they hadn't informed the complex because they were afraid they would be blamed and that the one that was illegal would get deported. Please understand that this is not about Mexicans or Mexican Americans. We moved into that place because it was convenient in a nice area and inexpensive. It just so happened that about 35% of the people living there were of Mexican decent. Anybody can get them and anybody who does is just a victim of them. When they left the bugs moved next door to our place looking for hosts. In those buildings they could just literally walk under the walls. By the time we figured out we had them we really had them bad.
We reported them immediately. The management company sent out a PCO the next day and we got our first treatment. I already new the PCO because he sprayed once a month for other pests. A really nice guy actually. I asked him right away about whether he was treating other apartments in that building. He was kind of nervous and evasive at first but I finally got him to admit that our apartment was the fifth apartment in the building he had found bugs in and he was already treating the other four. They were on the other end of the building. I kept questioning him and he told me that the building next to ours was the first building to have them. He also said that the first apartment he treated in our building had a couch in it the first time he went in there that he had already treated in an apartment in the next building, and when he asked the tenant where they got that couch the tenant replied he got it from behind the dumpster of the building next door. By then I was pissed. I asked the PCO why the tenants hadn't been told. He said I told them from the first bug that they should inform everyone in the building and offered to print up packages for every apartment and let him inspect every apartment. The management company had not only refused to let him do it, they threatened to fire him and ruin his company name. He was in his early thirties had a wife and three kids and another on the way. He had gotten his license to years before and had opened his own small company. That management company ran 9 complexes he was treating and made up for about 75% of his company income at the time.
That night my roommate and I hit every website we could find and started printing up flyers. I had a friend in Cincinnati who knew a news guy from a local independent radio station who often had on people who had been victimized by companies in various ways and tried to use his radio influence to shame them into making things right. The next morning at 6am we put flyers on every door in our huge apartment complex informing the tenants. At 8am that morning I was on the radio talking about what I had found out. At 9am that morning I was at my lawyers office working on a letter to the management company. At 11am I walked into the office at our complex with that letter and said that if they tried to fire the PCO or kick us out we would be talking to any and all press persons who would listen and showed them a letter from my lawyer. I also told them if I found out that they were trying to intimidate anyone or tried to keep the PCO from inspecting every apartment that I would organize the tenants and start a class action suit against the management company and the owners. I also went to the county health department many times. Within two weeks every apartment in our complex had been inspected. It turned out that 25% of the apartments had bbs. We have been fighting ever since. The Cincinnati area has I think 15 major suits going on right now.
I have repeatedly gone to the media of all kinds trying to expose what is happening in Southern Ohio. I and others I know have been removed from premises by police officers. The media will not listen to us. We are considered radicals and instigators. I had to lie to my current apartments management to get an apartment here. I didn't tell them about the last apartment we lived in because we had been turned down by so many places all ready after having paid money for application fees at almost every place. It's part of why I moved to Kentucky. I have been threatened and pushed around. My roommate was pushed down some stairs and he is 63 and has a very bad back I just had a quad bypass myself. I don't know what to do anymore. I am not getting bites any more at least for now, but we have some serious inner scars from our bb battle that go way beyond bites. I have been talking to someone recently who is an old friend and now is a lawyer who works for the ACLU keep your fingers crossed mine are. I can't divulge any details at the moment but it may lead somewhere. I'm so tired though that I hardly dare to hope anymore beyond being bedbug free.
Like I said I'm not really all that political and a very reluctant activist from the start. I'm just a computer guy who happens to be a humanist who cares. Later... cos
itchyincharmcity, I agree.
I will keep sending links and ideas to the reporter. In fact, just today, I even suggested the "angle" of the story. This one, unfortunately, involved pesticide resistance. My angle was: bugs are spreading, bugs are getting more resistant, Denver is focused on building multi-unit residential buildiing ("infill" ) close to the popular parts of downtown, bugs are a lot harder to get rid of in multiple unit situations. AND I had one extra little "tidbit".....the Denver Environmental Health guy who replied to my message must have cut and pasted his message to me, because he left in a reference to one of these downtown loft projects. I can only assume it is infested and that is how it made its way into a message about bed bugs to ME. But I looked up the building: it is mixed rental and for sale condos. Total of 117 units. Right by Denver's popular 16th Street Mall area.....
In other words, if 117 units get infested, those residents COULD (if they are not careful) spread bugs to other places all over downtown. And when the pesticides stop working, then what? (incidentally, the Denver Post office is just blocks from this particular buildiing). Multiply that 117 unit building by all the other multiple unit buildings that are going up around downtown, mix in a little pesticide resistance, and what do you get? The perfect storm....
I added a reference, saying, that if nothing else, she could document pesticide resistance:
Journal of Medical Entomology
Insecticide Resistance in the Bed Bug: A Factor in the Pest’s Sudden Resurgence?
Volume 44, Issue 2 (March 2007)
Alvaro Romero, Michael F. Potter, Daniel A. Potter, and Kenneth F. Haynes1Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546
Infestations of the bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. (Heteroptera: Cimicidae), are increasing around the world at an alarming rate and have become a major public health concern. The evolution of insecticide resistance could be a primary factor in explaining this resurgence. Extremely high levels of resistance to two pyrethroid insecticides, deltamethrin and λ-cyhalothrin, relative to a susceptible colony, were detected in populations collected from human dwellings in Kentucky and Ohio. Offspring of a cross between a resistant and susceptible colony had intermediate susceptibility. Evaluations of populations from across the United States indicate that resistance to pyrethroid insecticides is already widespread. Without the development of new tactics for bed bug management, further escalation of this public health problem should be expected.
Thanks bummedindenver for the info. I was just checking. I may have to contact this guy at UK I know a few people there in the music department. I was just checking the DE I've been using it has two kinds of pyrethrins in it. I wanted to know if they were the same ones. It doesn't say on the bottle, just 0.2% Pyrethrins. I'll have to check their website and see if they say the chemical names of them on there. Is your reference on a website? Keep up the fight, it is important.
Eventually if enough people do we will have to make a dent in the resistance. I'm worn out and my health is not good and I'm financially nearly destroyed because of health problems. Things are looking up though and I am determined to keep fighting. I'm trying to figure out how to do it smarter and safer though. I have to take care of myself. Thank God I own my own business and it is strong enough to keep me going. This bedbug fight didn't cause my heart attack but the stress definitely played a factor. I am down but not out and I'm regrouping. Later... cos
I found the article here: http://www.bioone.org Unfortunately you have to be a member to read I'm going to see if that's a free membership or not. thanks again cos
I'm really thinking that my bed bugs are of the resistant persuasion.....
parakeets said: "There was a group, possibly from the UK, that started a "No Diet Day" (a day to emphasize the dangers of unhealthy dieting and the overemphasis on being model thin). In my mind that type of movement is the model I have in my mind for our Bedbug Day. The "No diet day" movement started very simply and small, yet now it is world-wide day that garners media attention every year."
I agree with parakeets. I don't see any reason why we couldn't start something small and simple and work our way up. Letters to local govt....including the health dept...is a great way to start. I thinking I'll be sending one to my county health dept. When I talked to our county health inspector, he didn't seem to know anything accurate when it came to bed bugs and how to treat them. The only thing he got right was 1) they are hard to get rid of, and 2) consider hiring a PCO to help get rid of them. As for other info, he was grossly uninformed. (ie...they can only hibernate for up to 3 months).
As for the media, I can understand why a reporter has to have facts, data, and numbers. Bad/false reporting= no job.
But I know it's not a dead issue. My PCO said he was interviewed and appeared on the local news awhile back to talk about bed bugs in a segment they were doing. I don't know how much time was allotted to it or how it turned out, but it appears there is some hope. (Of course, our state in 2004 (I believe) accounted for over 12% of the nation's bed bug calls. That might have something to do with it).
Back in the 'ole days when the poor were oppressed they put out their own newspapers about what was going on. The underground. Why can't we do that? I know it's expensive, but with a little money help from each person I think it can be done. BedBug Press we should call it. Make printouts every week at 1st and sell them to people for like 15 cents each. Maybe give them out free first for the 1st month to get it going. The only problem I see with my suggestion is the language barrier. With so many people speaking so many different languages, it's hard. I would do English 1st since that's the only language I'm fluent in.
I would give free copies to politicians and councilmembers and borough presidents and especially newcasts like Fox 5 News and News12, etc.
I would write about people who are really suffering, the elderly, poor, people in shelters, disabled and do stories on those people. These people get no relief. I'm not saying that other people do not suffer, but I feel we should speak up for people who cannot speak up for themselves and that's the kind of people I mentioned.
Yeah, we could put people on street corners to hand them out to passersby. Good idea,I think.
Howdy nyjammin: That's not such a bad idea in heavily populated areas like New York. Not sure that it would work so well in smaller or more rural areas. Another idea may be to put up fliers with tearofftabs with an address and/or web address where people could sign up for a newsletter which was mailed or a cheaper route would be emailed for those who have computers. Computers would help with creating fliers or newsletters that were multilingual as well. Word and Open Office both have plugins which can translate language written in one language to another. The translations are often not that great as far as grammar goes, but are understandable.
Interesting thought about small independent papers as a means of activism, the American Revolution would never have happened without them. Thomas Pain is a great example. Every little town in America had it's own little local independent paper. During the depression small presses did a lot to help people find work and places that could help them with food or other things they needed. In the early days of the internet out on the west coast there was a group of homeless people who started a newsletter using public library computers. There were homeless people who wintered in the Northwest and went back to Southern California for the winters, jumping freight trains. Their is a semi culture going back to The Great Depression of poor people who migrated from place to place seeking work by jumping trains. The Hobo's had secret symbols that they would use to mark farms, homes, and businesses that were transient friendly. The symbols meant things like will give a meal, or will let you stay, will let you work for a meal and a bed and the like. They would put the signs on curbs or mailbox posts, street signs, walls, fireplugs and so on. Since the advent of wireless internet college students have used similar means to mark places where you can go in public places and hack into the wireless internet signals of businesses, internet cafes and truck stops for instance. Later... cos
Hey Cos and Mr.Bill, thanks for your support! I think newspapers are the way to go. Granted that newspapers may not work in small towns, but yet they might. Put newspapers in train stations and bus stops and local supermarkets and the such. People usually do not pay attention to fliers and do not like having the computers bombarded w/such things like junk, which I feel a lotta people would think. Newspapers are the way to go like in the 'ole days that got attention. Like I said, give one copy to Bloomberg and Spitzer and councilmen and senators and borough presidents. Leave a copy early in the morning before they show up for work. You cannot do this w/computers or fliers.
Think about it. If computers and tvs provide information on news, then why do we still have printed newspapers? People like to read on the train in the morning w/their morning coffee, etc. People still buy the NYTimes newspaper even though it's available online. Why? There's just something about it, that's all.
Hey All: Thinking about ways to get the government involved in trying to stem the rising tide I was wondering what happened back in the beginning of the last century as far as legislation. I thought that maybe there were some old laws on the books pertaining to BBs. So I went to the Congressional records online searching by bedbug and bedbug legislation and didn't have much luck on that, but it referred me to USASearch.gov and they had a lot of things related to bb legislation in many states. No time right now to look into it further but I intend to. I was just thinking that the war against bedbugs back then worked. The US was nearly completely freed from bbs. I know part of that had to do with aggressive ddt use. It also had to do with local and state governments stepping in as well. I read somewhere that in several states in the early decades of last century there were laws that if a hotel or apartment house was found to be infested they would close the place down, relocate the inhabitants, seal the buildings and use pressurized ddt gas on the buildings once a week for six weeks. Thereby breaking the life cycle. I expected that maybe there had been federal legislation as well but didn't find any. I'm wondering if there wasn't any or if maybe those documents aren't available digitally yet. I just thought maybe I could find ideas for how we could get federal awareness and possible legislation that would help quell the growing infestation. Just a thought. Later... cos
Great thought, Cos. I truly appreciate all you are doing for the cause. I hope someday you write a book. I'll buy it.
I've been dealing with my own bb infestation since the summer and just started to lurk around on this site. I live in NYC and when my landlord started to bungle up the building's infestation, actually they caused it by not alerting tenants to an apartment that had them and it has spiraled out of control. I called my council person and another council person, Gale Brewer, who does not serve in my jusrisdiction, but know she's aware of the wide spread bb problem and my assemblyman. When I called it was because I was desperate to get my landlord to be more responsible. I must say, nobody anywhere so far has been helpful at all. I did call 311 and I know that they'd come to inspect but see no evidence, certainly probably no bugs because I caught it early and covered my mattress and boxspring and emptied out the bedroom of anything extraneous, have vacuumed, caulked etc., yet whatever bb's are left, are tenacious and can't figure out where the heck they are. I do have a collection in my freezer that I've captured, though. I've already had 3 exterminations- the entire apartment, had to rent a storage unit for everything. I was afraid that calling 311 would backfire on me legally because they wouldn't see bb's crawling everywhere. I've consulted lawyers and have dreams of class action suits. There is one lawyer that I've met with that is VERY knowledgeable about bb's and very eloquent but sadly, quite costly, much more so than others.
I'm pretty desperate to get back to some semblance of a life again and would happy to join in the educating process. I've thought about contacting NY 1, seven on your side, Arnold Diaz's Shame on You, but mostly I want my life back.
Didn't intend to rant, just got excited to see people trying to do something. i've tried to organize tenants, people are amazingly complacent and willing to accept reckless behavior from landlords. It's been downright abusive.
Hey crawledon - if an inspector shows up because of your 311 call, show them the specimens in your freezer. As far as I'm concerned, no need to specify the date you captured them. The fact that bedbugs were/are for sure in your apt and that you're still getting bitten is solid evidence.
if you (or anyone else is in the NY area and would be willing to use your real name in a news story, PM me ASAP (click PM this user under my message, and then later, click the green "Private Messages" button below to check my response). You can also email me nobugs a t bedbugger d o t com. A reporter wants to speak to you, but they don't want anonymous people (like me). They also don't want me to post their info, but I have checked it out, it's very, legit. (I called him but I simply can't use my real name at this time.)
Don't shoot the messenger, just thought I would throw it out there.
Same here for Baltimore, Nobugs. A local reporter would like to do a follow up article, and is interested in the housing aspect of bbs (among other things) and wants to hear from folks willing to use their names and share their stories.
Anyone in the Baltimore area willing to share, please let me know. The reporter is excellent - top notch, and totally legit. If you will PM me, I will put you in touch.
bugged, I think I am useless to your reporter as I now believe what I had was a false alarm. But I went through the process and I think my property management company responded well. Don't know if they would talk to her but I could pass on their info as an example of a building trying to do the right thing. Kind of the opposite of your building.
Also, there is another Balto poster who doesn't come around too often but you could PM her.
Well, so what do we say when we write or e-mail our congressman, or senators? Dear Sir/Ma'am: We in our city,state have a problem--bed bugs? Can you do something about it?
mrbill, i will send you a PM with some language i included in a letter to my city councilman. it was successful - he responded immediately.
BuggedoutinBaltimore: Can you also pm me with what you wrote to your councilman and were you satisfied with the response you got? Thanks, much.
I believe that it is the media's DUTY to cover this epidemic more and in better detail than most of the media has as well the government's duty. This is about helping people who are having some serious problems. I find it amazing that after fifty plus years this country has not had a bed bug problem and now we do. I cannot understand why we are not seeing more on this interesting phenomenon. Yes I understand that many important issues exist, for example what is hot in the papers lately is air traffic and I wish to see more on that as well but I say less about the movie stars and sports stars etc... and I wish to see more space given to important and interesting stories that are important to people's well being.
nyjammin, i will surely send you what i sent to my councilman. i'm happy to allow everyone to see the letter and use it, but i want to be sure it is written well enough so that it can work for all! i do plan to do that within the next few weeks so if anyone is interested, please stay tuned.
i was satisfied that the councilman responded immediately, but not with the outcome. his office contaced the housing and health departments (which i had already done), and all departments eventually and mutually determined that there were no additional steps they were prepared to take to resolve my concerns. i plan to continue to share relevant information and my progress with all departments as the saga continues...
Thanks bugged - I'll be watching for your final draft as well.
bugged, as I recall your councilman was a lame duck who was replaced when the new council was inaugurated last week. Perhaps you will have better luck if you start in with your new councilWOMAN down there.
One of my college buddies was also inaugurated to our City Council last week, unfortunately neither of us live in his district. But I have already begun trying to impress on him the seriousness of the problem.
Lt.Dan you are so right. I've been pissed about the newspapers talking about Britney Spears being a bad mom on the front page! The front page!!! What the??? Britney never did anything for me. Why should I care about her personal life. And that some athletes get millions. Who cares. I don't see any of their money. They don't know me. I couldn't give a rat's butt about their salaries. I wanna know the real news that's going on: crime, jobs, schools, etc.
You said "I believe that it is the media's DUTY to cover this epidemic more and in better detail than most of the media has..." Well, no it's not. Newspapers are a business just like any other business. They are in it for the money and Britney and athletes sell papers, not bbs. And how many times in how many different ways are newspapers going to talk about bbs? Eventually if you keep reporting on the same subject, it will get tiring and boring and people will not buy the papers anymore.
Plus, don't forget, bbs are only a nuisance and not a health issue...remember? So, what's to report?
I'm not being sarcastic here, just factual and I agree w/you in every way. But, it's not going to happen. There was a journalist on the blog that Nobugs kept posting about his stories on bbs I think it was in Canada about how bbs (sarcastically now!) "are just a nuisance." This man reports every week, although I haven't read anything recently. This man really cares to report such horror. His email address was at the bottom of the article and I emailed him thanking him for his reporting. I think we should all thank him for his reporting. We are so caught up in our battles that sometimes we do not see people who are actually trying to make a difference. People, show your support and email this wonderful journalist.
Regards to all.
Here's the link to one of the articles this journalist wrote and his email is at the bottom of the page:
Hey nyjammin, I hear and understand your frustration. You are correct, newpapers are at heart businesses and they need to sell papers and ads. Only when a paper understands that BBs are an area of interest for its readers will it cover the issue. But the paper can't know readers are interested unless we, the readers, tell them so.
There is some enthusiasm in this thread and some people who have the energy and willingness to make an effort. Members coming in here posting "it's not going to happen" is not exactly a big motivator. If you don't agree, fine, but please don't undermine the efforts of those who want to try.
Where would we all be without bedbugger.com? I'm sure a lot of people told our revered admin that he was nuts for starting a bedbug blog, who would read it? It is now one of the top resources on the internet and he has probably done more to raise awareness of bedbugs than any other person I can think of. So people's efforts DO make a difference!
So anyone who wants to contact local authorities, reporters, talk to neighbors, start a blog (oops that's already been done) should do it!
Hee hee. Everyone always thinks I'm a bloke. I must write like a man!
Thanks itchy, people do think I am crazy. And my non-bed bug friends still do, those that know about this little project.
I think he is a she, if I'm not mistaken.:-)
You do write like a man would, I think.
NoBugs: Anyone who has had BBs is crazy. Crazy with wisdom for the way the world really is. Thank God for you and 'this little project'.
Thanks NotSoSnug! I appreciate it.
mrbill--how do men write?
I do know the difference between man and woman handwriting(sometimes), but I don't see alot of differences in typing!! I have learned alot from this site and I think nobugs is awesome. To start something so personal is really admirable and without it, we would be renting from the bed bugs because they would have taken over our homes. We learn alot from eachother here and I look forward to my computer time on the bedbugger!!
When I first logged onto the site, for some reason, I assumed Nobugsonme was a man. But I was talking to my husband one night, and I said, "Wait a minute.....would a man really be so compassionate and caring and respond personally to so many people's messages?"
We both looked at each other and went , "Nah, it's gotta be a woman". Then I saw the interview in the SF Chronicle where Nobugs was referred to as a woman".
Okay, the REAL reason I entered this thread was that I like very much David's (bed-bugscouk) suggestion that we need to LOBBY to make these reportable pests. There is no data if nobody is counting the infestations. Nobody can accurately report on trends in infestations if no one has recorded the where and the when of the infestations. Right now, mostly, it seems everything is strictly anecdotal. There needs to be a systematic collection of data. Period.
Step one, I agree, should be lobby to make these pests reportable. If this suggestion was made long ago, forgive me for missing it. David suggested this in another thread, and it needs to be here too.
If this is NOT a health issue, then why do so many people need to go to dermatologists to determine what CONDITION they have? If this is not a health issue, then why do PCOs refuse to treat without proof that a bite is really a bite? And if the only way a person can prove that a bite is really a bite is to go to a DOCTOR, then doesn't this automatically become a health/medical issue?????
Know what else we gotta do? Contact Epidemiology departments at university Schools of Public Health or Medical schools or wherever. Contact any professors in the department and suggest research projects for their graduate students. Let's get a whole army of master's students plugging away on quick little projects examining bed bug incidence in THEIR state--based on interviews with PCOs, dermatologists.....professors need papers. It seems they could get quite a few publications whipped out of this topic. Do you hear that profs? PAPERS......PUBLICATIONS.....quick and dirty.
A state by state breakdown might be a good start.
I agree with David 100% about government needing to track infestations. I've been arguing for this since before this site started, and then once it did, for example, here, I was arguing that NYC should track cases:
"I fear that we are soon going to find that this bug has spread beyond the point of being controlled, and part of the reason for this will be that the city is in total denial about the scope of the problem. We need a city-wide bed bug registry that is not tied to housing complaints; one where people can record the existence of the problem without filing a complaint against a landlord. After all, bed bugs are not usually caused by landlord’s negligence. We should be able to register the existence of the problem even in cases where the landlord is trying to treat it swiftly and as efficiently as they can."
But that was in November 2006, in a post about NYC's lame bed bug statistics, based on people who report bed bugs to the city info line 311, which almost NO ONE does, to my knowledge. I actually think that it should be tracked everywhere--not just by cities. This is start, though.
In 2003, Toronto required PCOs to report every case of bed bugs they treated. You can read the results here. (Note: most--70%-- were in SINGLE FAMILY homes.) This is not a hard system to set up, and the addresses could be shielded from public view to avoid ostracism--but the important thing would be knowing the true scope of the problem and the (in)effectiveness of treatment.
Even if only one city did this, it would have positive repercussions. Others would follow.
In my city we have a relatively new, young health commissioner who has seems media savvy. He is on the radio and in the local news all the time. There are about four bedbuggers on this site who live here. Maybe if we all contact him, even one letter with four signers, we can get his attention.
Baltimorons, what do you think?
YES! Count me in. I have had good experiences with him already from a professional perspective. I think he'd be responsive.
We should put our heads together to see how we can recruit additional bedbuggers in B'more, too. I know they're out there. Just saw two mattresses covered in bb gunk last night. If I had my camera with me I would have snapped a picture for the cause...
I am happy to post any announcements or "Open Letter" you might wish on the blog. Names could be truncated or otherwise altered to protect identities. (The blog having a higher readership than the forums.) I also encourage you to write separate letters, since I think they have more impact.
OK, great. This probably won't happen until after the holidays but we'll keep you posted.
Hey NYC bedbuggers. There was some good discussion on this thread a while back about taking action. I'm too lazy to go back & read through, but I think there was talk of organizing an awareness day and doing print outs or something.
Anyway, wondering if anybody in NY would be interested in a bedbugger Meetup? We could discuss these things, brainstorm other ways to take action, and just generally get the ball rolling.
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