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Are BBs going to disturb my social life?

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  1. ljpizzo

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Jan 30 2008 22:00:17
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    I'm a college students and I like to have parties... and go to parties. But I'm now worried that if I invite people over that a BB might hitch a ride home with someone, I mean my parties sometimes go to 3-4am. And what about going to other people's houses... I mean a bug could tag along with me in my purse or on my coat or scarf or ANYTHING... I don't want to give anyone else this problem!!!!

  2. lil_bit_obsessed

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Jan 30 2008 22:08:58
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    i haven't had people over to my home in over two months, since this whole thing started. ONE friend has been in here to help me move around the furniture that i couldn't move by myself, but i made sure she took every precaution. she came with two sets of clothes, one for in the apartment, and one for when she left. the ones she wore in my home she left behind for me to launder and dry on hot before returning to her. she also wore a pair of my shoes while here, hers were in a bag.

    the long and the short of it is, i really wouldn't have anyone over. if you are cautious you can still visit other people, but having people over to your home would be just asking for trouble. there is an FAQ on not spreading the bugs to other people, it gives lots of good advice for precautions you can take when you go to hang out with your friends!

    sorry to be a bummer. it sucks, trust me i know. my social life has suffered a bit, for sure, but i still get out and do stuff.

  3. IveBeenBugged

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Jan 30 2008 22:54:57
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    They will definetly affect your social life in your own home. I am also a bit leery of having anyone over anymore. There is only one person who I've had over in 2 months and he brings a spare set of clothes in a big ziploc and much like lil-bit I wash and dry then return to him. He also has a set of shoes just for here that I keep sealed in a ziploc bag for the few times he has been here.

    I find that I miss my place though as I don't spend as much time here myself anymore. You can't just sit home and go crazy about it, it helps to get out and away from things for a while.

  4. ljpizzo

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Jan 30 2008 23:00:43
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    This is no good... it sounds like the only people who can effectively deal with these things have to be OCD!!

  5. bugbasher

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Jan 30 2008 23:25:28
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    ljpizzo, You will get ocd real quick considering the alternative of being up to your neck with the little sob's if you don't.Have you informed the LL yet and discussed treatment?You're going to need it sooner rather than later.

  6. fightorflight

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Jan 31 2008 0:16:54
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    Yes, the OCD is absolutely true and like Bugbasher says, if you're not now you soon will be. The most effective way to live during battle is to develop a neurotic disorder.

    Seriously, consider the real advice in the previous posts.

  7. IveBeenBugged

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Jan 31 2008 8:22:35
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    I guess I can say I was kind of lucky as I was already slightly OCD to begin with. Everything has it's place - not a lot of clutter - everything is always put away and clean. I also have this thing about alphabetizing many things like spices - herbs - canned things like soups/vegggies and my records (down to 3000 now) are all in order.

    I seem to be channeling that into dealing with this problem. It did give me a heads up on being ready for any treatment though.

    It's better to be overly careful. What if you had people over then got rid of the BB's but bring them back from someone who was over at your place and took them home?

  8. parakeets

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Jan 31 2008 12:07:04
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    Bedbugs have really affected my social life. I am afraid to go anyplace without taking what you call "OCD" precautions. I can't be spontaneuos. I can't have anyone over socially. The few people who absolutely have to come in, I give explicit instructions to: Don't bring your coat or any bags into my place; only wear clothes here that you can wash and dry on hot; don't wear pants with cuffs; leave your shoes at my door and seal them in ziplocks while you are in my apartment; when you get home take your clothes off and if you can't wash and dry them on high heat right away, immediately seal them in a ziplock bag.

    Bedbugs affect my social life in another way in that some people avoid me or judge me because I have bedbugs. I am very cautious whom I tell that I have bedbugs, just because their gut reaction is often to write me off or avoid me. Some people just don't want to hang around anyone who has bedbugs.

  9. ljpizzo

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Jan 31 2008 13:40:44
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    i just discovered where my bugs came from. The people across the hall from me are from India and over the holidays they traveled to India and back. Probably brought the bugs with them. Good thing that I told my Landlord today because they have a guy coming in to spray the apartment across from me, now they are going to come into mine also to spray. They said that my infestation is very very early and should be a piece of cake to deal with. I hope they are right!

  10. nightshirt

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Jan 31 2008 15:22:50
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    they always say that. i hope it is true. you must do all the prep work religiously though or all will be for naught

  11. ljpizzo

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Jan 31 2008 16:10:35
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    Also to Parakeets, I feel your pain... 2 nights ago I got bites on my chest neck and face!!!! everyone is asking my what they are and i find myself explaining over and over again that Yes I do wash my sheets, and No they are not living on my dog, and No they don't feed on filth. My apartment is not a slum or anything. It is getting embarrassing for sure!! especially since I'm advertising the fact that I am infested on my FACE!!!! why couldn't the little SOB's stick to my legs where I can at least hide the bites??

  12. IveBeenBugged

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Jan 31 2008 17:26:13
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    So far I've not been bitten on the face my neck and chest yes but not the face. In your first post you talked about your purse. There are steps you can take to avoid taking the BB's with you. Yes you have to go OCD but it's far better than taking them to someone else. If the purse can handle the dryer for an hour (you don't have to wash everything if it can handle the dryer but not the washer you can do it that way) throw it in, if not perhaps a nice wiping down with 91% alcohol would work. I wouldn't soak anything just wipe it extremly well.

    Check out the FAQ's it has a lot of info about how to avoid giving them to others.

    Parakeets I'm sorry some people feel that way. I so far have not had an issue with anyone about it but my friends already know I was kind of OCD to begin with. If I do have an issue with anyone or they with me they can go there own way.

    I have enough stress dealing with this to have people around me that can't deal with it and not even have them themselves. If people react weirdly to saying BB's don't tell them unless your visiting them in which case I think they should know BEFORE you visit.

    Cleanliness has nothing to do with it or I would never have gotten them. Like I said I'm kind of OCD already I cleaned 2 or 3 times a week before any of this. It's actually harder not to clean as much lest I screw up the residual affect of the treatments.

  13. IveBeenBugged

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Jan 31 2008 17:32:11
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    PS sorry I meant to include this once you have prepared things you take with like a wallet or purse anything you carry on you when you come home immediately put it into a ziploc bag.

    I do this with anything I have on. I have 2 sets of clothing (including shoes) ones for home and ones for going out. The going out clothes/shoes are always kept in ziploc bags right out of the dryer before I leave I shower and dress and head out the door.

  14. fightorflight

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Jan 31 2008 19:17:43
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    Purse: I had a purse that was wrecked after 40 minutes in the dryer. I wouldn't trust wiping with alcohol on an uneven, porous like a purse. At this point, I think I'd try 20 min in the oven at 200-225. I treated a lot of items that way. It was touch and go with some of them (yes, it does melt book bindings). I'm also a big fan of boiling. If you've got a daypack instead of purse, piece of cake - hot wash/hot dry.

  15. ljpizzo

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 1 2008 0:21:40
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    the thing that makes me think I'm not bringing them is the fact that i look for them... I spend a couple hours a day just looking for the bugs (I guess that is almost OCD) and in 2 weeks of this i've only found one tiny little bug (and I found it when i wasn't looking for it... ironically) the fact that i'm getting so many bites (and on my face no less) I really think that they are really well hidden in the walls of my apartment and they have no reason to come out durring the day (the one I found was crawling towards me when i was reading at book with just a spot light at 3 am!!

  16. ljpizzo

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 1 2008 0:36:59
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    well my roommate doesn't seem to care much about what i say about the bed bugs because she still invites people over to drink at the apartment... I warn the people that come over but I guess they don't seem to care!!!

  17. fightorflight

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 1 2008 3:00:31
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    ljpizzo - looking for them may not be enough. You would be better to take measures to "sanitize" or kill whatever might be on your things before you take them out of your home. Yes, I inspected carefully, in addition to trying to trying to kill, wash, bake, boil, etc. And I still spread them when sleeping at a friend's house. It's possible I took them to her from work. But given all the evidence in my case, I think it more likely that something went wrong with my "disinfection" process and I took them in the clothes on my back or few items I took from my apt.

    Your roommate's reaction is common. Maybe some of us on this site even started out like that. But as the problem worsens - and it certainly will if you don't take action, preferably professional treatment - your roommate will hopefully get freaked out enough to get serious. Can you imagine how devastated I felt when I found I had spread them to my friend's home and family?

  18. IveBeenBugged

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 1 2008 8:26:15
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    ljpizzo I just want you to know that you can visit people without taking them with. Until recently I spent most of my time at my partner's when all this started happening in november I was very concerned that I had taken them there. His condo complex is fairly large and they have a PCO on property every thursday (we should all be so lucky) they have just checked his place for the 4th (since the end of november) time last week and have found nothing. He will keep checking once a month and I check every week (hey I'm OCD remember).

    Check out the FAQ's on this. It is not an easy thing to do as you must maintain the washing/drying/bagging thing and then on top of that double bag whatever you take then remove the outer bag BEFORE you either get into someone else's car or enter their home. Dispose of the outer bag outside of the car or home.

    I also shower right before I go anywhere then get dressed out of my "safe" bags and leave without sitting anywhere. My "safe" bags contain clothes I only wear when I go out I never wear them in my place (that includes shoes that are also kept bagged). This is an extra thing I do I'm not sure others do this but I think it a wise way to do it. Once I'm home the shoes and clothes immediately go into my "safe" dirty clothes bag and my shoes into their bags.

    Nothing is 100% fool proof which is why we asked the PCO in his building to keep checking when he sprays for other pests once a month (once again we should all be so lucky).

    I spend more time here now as I need to be the "bait" otherwise the BB's will just stay in the walls and not come into contact with the chemicals from the treatments. I'm out of here this weekend though. It will probably take me an hour or so before I am actually ready to leave once I start my protocal for staying elsewhere.

    I've never had a purse before so I may have been off on treating that. I have done the oven thing with my boots/shoes though I couldn't think of how else to treat them. I had at first thought just spray with an insecticide but even with socks on I don't think that would be a wise thing to do so into the oven they went.

  19. parakeets

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 1 2008 12:30:25
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    ljpizzo, to respond to your thoughts a few posts up about being bitten on the face, yes, I've dealt with that, too. Some days I look in the mirror in the morning and see new red welts. Any resolve I had to be sane and brave and pro-active about my continuing bedbug problem immediately vanishes.

    I have to use acne cover stick to cover the marks because people ask me about them. I'm too old for acne. I have read articles about "back acne" turning up more in adults now. I personally think it is really bedbug bites that are mis-diagnosed, since I thought I had back acne before I knew I had bedbugs. It's bad enough having bedbugs, but for people to see the bites on my face makes me cringe.

    My building treats but never gets the BB population down to zero (probably because there is no building-wide treatment and no education plan--they haven't even disclosed that we have bedbugs). Just when I think the bedbugs might finally be gone, I get bitten again. Just when I think I'm exaggerating and it's not a problem anymore, I get bitten in the face. Telling me I have to "face" it.

  20. pleasehelp

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 1 2008 12:58:59
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    yeah ... today I woke up with my 4th fat lip.

  21. fightorflight

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 1 2008 19:14:13
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    IveBeenBugged - seems to me that you are doing it the right way. There will always be some risk of spreading them (I *had* to be somewhat unlucky?), but you present a good example of really minimizing that risk.

    Parakeets - interesting, my old bites eventually turn into marks that look exactly like my moles or exactly like pimples. It's obvious to me now that the ones I got on my face I initially thought were pimples. And oh yeah, I'm pretty sure I had one(?) in my ear, too, because I don't usually experience caked up blood like that in my ear.

  22. ljpizzo

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 1 2008 22:37:22
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    that is awful!! The bites on my face don't look anything like pimples they look like a rash almost because they are clustered so close together and they make a line down my chin onto my neck... I would use cover up on them but I end up wiping it off anyway because of the itch. Not to mention for some reason make up seems to make me itch even more.

    I wonder... is it possible that the bugs hideout isn't even in my apartment? I know that my neighbor's apartment is the source because they just recently traveled to india and back and brought them back here (Indian bed bugs could they be different?) and they're apartment is on the other side of my bedroom wall. Maybe they are just coming to my apartment for a snack?

    Just a thought

  23. IveBeenBugged

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Feb 2 2008 10:07:22
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    You could try benadryl lotion or an over the counter hydro cortisone cream. It will not make them disappear right after using but it will help with the itching and help the marks to go away quicker. If you have a doctor they can prescribe a cortisone cream that is stronger and works much better than the over the counter one.

    parakeets you said you were to old for acne. I'm not sure that is true. In any case there are a multitude of other skins conditions out there that look similar to the BB bites just say you are breaking out in a rash and are being treated for it and leave it at that.

    I have a compromised immune system and have a problem with rashes from time to time. It's one of the reason why when this first started I assumed it was just another rash.

    Unless you have actual proof I wouldn't be to quick to blame the neighbor's. I know they are a BIG problem in India but just because one traveled there doesn't mean they brought them back with them. It could be anyone in the building (above beside or below you). I'm a bit sensitive on this as my LL blames me as I was the last one to move in back in June and he thinks I brought them with. I was at my previous place for 3 years and never had them the problem started here in November 5 months after I moved in.

  24. ljpizzo

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Feb 2 2008 11:59:47
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    The Reason I say it was them who brought them is because they have come out and said it. The girls are really nice and they feel bad about it because they don't react to the bites. But they came right out and said that their parents house (in india) has bedbugs and she found them in her suit case when she came back! She said that they aren't a big deal in India, Almost everyone has them and they don't seem to react as badly as we do here to the bites. She said that she freaks out more about ants than she does bedbugs, because she is used to bedbugs and not so used to ants!! Kind of weird, but i'm positive that is where the bugs came from. The Landlord said they have never had any infestations in any of their buildings until now and it appears that we are the first people in Kalamazoo to get begbugs in like 30-40 years!!!

  25. BBsBlow

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Feb 2 2008 13:03:01
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    I think the people who don't care about being in the presence of BBs are generally on the ill-informed side. In this day and age, who would have thought that a BUG would be so hard to kill, and even bring some people on the verge of wanting to end it all?

    Personally, my social life has been affected for over a year and a half now. Friends I've known for over 20 years don't want to see me. One friend was having a New Year's party last year, and actually invited me. However, when I said I could go, she ended up canceling it!

    I take extreme precautions despite no official sightings in my new place of nearly a year. But just because I do doesn't mean that everyone else does! I have a little OCD now myself, but I think of that as a good thing because for the most part, it can stop in the spread of anything.

  26. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Feb 2 2008 19:03:58
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    Before you and/or your PCO continue to state (or heaven forfend give interviews to the press) that your Indian neighbors were the first to bring bedbugs to Kalamazoo in 30 years, please note that a field-collected population of bedbugs in Alvaro Romero's resistance studies, which you can read about here: http://pct.texterity.com/pct/200707/?pg=42 were provided by a pest control firm in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

    KAL-1 if you want to look it up in the mortality table in the article.

    Resistant to deltamethrin at that.

    Several colleges in Kalamazoo I gather? How about hotels and motels?

    There are many people who would take what you wrote and run with it. The resulting ugliness, no one wants to take responsibility for. I urge you to get your facts straight.

  27. fightorflight

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Feb 2 2008 19:14:02
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    I've read a few posts of people indicating, anecdotally, that in some parts of the world, people are more relaxed about having bedbugs and think it no big deal.

    Which I totally, utterly absolutely and completely do not understand. If you're relaxed about it and just let them bite, aren't they going to multiply exponentially (left alone, females lay an average of 500 eggs, we're told) and just overrun your house? Who could put up with that, having swarms of bedbugs everywhere? I really don't get it... I must be missing something.

  28. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Feb 2 2008 23:23:55
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    I am always suspicious about any blanket statements about a whole culture "tolerating" bedbugs. There are other things usually going on when people speak in such terms.

  29. ljpizzo

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Feb 2 2008 23:45:05
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    hopeless...I guess my LL was wrong about Kalamazoo. But our apartment complex has never had them... that is a fact!

  30. IveBeenBugged

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Feb 3 2008 10:44:36
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    Apologies ljpizzo I did not know they had informed you about this. I think they are wrong about people not caring as much there. I have quite a few friends from India who are very concerned about what is happening in my building. My landlord in Indian and they cannot believe he is being so cavalier about the BB's in the building as he knows how bad they are in India and should know better.

    That's pretty much what all my friends from India are in agreement on.

    Ok chat with you all later I'm still on my 2 dat escape just thought I'd check in. ciao for now.


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