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Help with risk assessment?

(13 posts)
  1. LBP

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 20:40:22
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    From daily activity, not in-home.

    My work group has been invited to a movie (major theater, I believe, in the downtown of a major city) - The Dark Knight, in fact. I, being the paranoid type about the subject of this message board (despite not having any problem so far myself), almost said no solely from fear, but decided not to let the fear rule me. But I'm still nervous about sitting down in that place (and probably will be, no matter what happens).

    But something occurred to me: I take mass transit to and from work every single weekday: a train Monday thru Thursday, and a bus Fridays. Again, this is a major city area, so hundreds or thousands of people ride both every day, IIRC. OTOH, they switch out train cars/buses on particular routes a lot more than theaters switch out seats. OTOOH, if a source is actually sitting near me, there's nothing much I can do, is there?

    So, given a two hour movie once (I almost never go to theaters, if only because I like the home movie experience better) vs. a 20-30 minute commute both ways five days a week every week, which is actually more likely to get me bedbugs?

    Related question: any tips on the movie tomorrow? Important factor: I will not be going home immediately. It's back to the office for a couple of hours, then one leg of the above bus trip back to my car, then driving to a friend's apartment for a weekly game night, THEN home.

    FWIW, I have passive monitors, though they expired (how they do so, I have no idea) at the beginning of last month. Gonna get others soon, probably.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 21:04:18
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    I'm not an expert and I can't find the links to where public transit has been discussed. David Cain often suggests standing up, but I think I've read that Loubugs does not think there is a strong chance of getting them on the subway. The comment I was looking for is ..I think... Nobugs on me said she doesn't sit on the wooden seats in the station. I spoke to my bus driver about the issue (after the Detroit bus blog item) and he didn't recommend sitting in back where the people who ride the bus the longest tend to sit. It is also the warmest place in the winter.

    Since this is getting long, my first comment is I change clothese when I come home and take a shower. I just figure transit could..in theory be risky..but I have a packtite so it just became part of my daily schedule to take off clothes when I get home. I tend to go to the gym on the way home or right after having some food, so I was going to change anyway in most cases.

    My philosophy is I go and do things. I would go to the movie if you want to go the movie. I am almost OCD, but what I do is I have a backpack and I have a Plastic ziploc larger than the backpack. I'm a woman, so on dressier occasions, I have a large purse with a ziploc. I keep a change of clothes in the purse or backpack and if I'm going somewhere high risk (work related), I will sometimes change clothes in the work bathroom when I get back to the office if I'm on transit, or a bathroom near the high risk place if I'm driving. I change shoes, too. When I say high risk, it's higher risk than a movie theatre since I do some property inspections (not bug related but we see all sorts of pests and other things). I tend to store anything that's been on transit in a ziploc at work under my desk (either the backpack or purse). I get away with changes clothes since I'll dress more casually for inspections and then do business casual at work.

    Technically, there could be a nymph on the ziploc, but I feel this lowers my risk. Probably doesn't...

    They
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  3. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 22:03:38
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    Batman: The Dark Night Rises is opening day show at 7:30 PM, I'm taking my son.

    BBs in the movies suxdotcom ! I really enjoy going to the movies despite having to pay like $25 for popcor & sodas, what a rip. Perhaps going to the movies is a respite, perhaps not but either way I don't check my our seats.

    OK, sorry for the digression, some comments for your consideration:

    > It's a cruel world and yes, it's possible for bed bugs to be anywhere however, what's possible, probable and likely to occur are different and I'm sure you recognize that.

    > For bed bugs to be found in certain locations, the dominoes must all be aligned in sequence correctly. Perhaps full consideration these "dominoes" may help to better understand or evaluate the risk:

    * A bed bug needs to be carried in somehow. Remember that bed bugs may be carried on a person but prefer to remain hidden.

    * There are numerous seats available in any theater and you must select the seat that has the bed bug.

    * The bed bug must take harborage in that seat.

    * The bed bug must remain in that seat until you get there.

    * No other person has sat in that seat prior to you which may have caused the bed bug to have left on another person previous to your arrival.

    * The bed bug must not have been attracted to a person sitting in a neighboring seat prior to you betting there.

    * If still present when you arrive, the bed bug must decide to crawl onto you or into one of your posessions rather than simply take a meal and go back to hiding.

    Bed bugs in the movie theater? At your movie? In your seat? And, you take it home with you?

    Sure it's possible but the odds are not great.

    By 7:30 PM I'll be in the movies tomorrow with a large popcorn & dr. pepper that costs too much and I won't be checking our seats. I just don't think it's likely that I'll encounter bed bugs in the movie we frequent. But, I do check my hotel rooms every time !

    Relax and go enjoy your movie, hope this helps ! paul b.

  4. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 22:18:36
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    Great synposis, Paul. It also depends on if the bugger is hungry when you happen to sit, right?

  5. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 22:46:46
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    Dear they,

    Well, as you can see there are a number of factors including whether or not the bed bug is seeking a meal or not and many others that I didn't list.

    Now think about this, here I am a guy that visits bed bug locations such as you will see in this 90 second video:

    (click, watch & enjoy) It's named "Bed Bugs Run At Heat Treatment"

    [+] Embed the videoGet the Flash Videos

    Yet, I'm not checking my movie theater seats. Hotel rooms yes, movie seats no.

    Hope you enjoyed the video ! pb

  6. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 23:19:13
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    I just like how the mattress ones kept scurrying in circles and the wall ones were like, "This is it. I should have climbed in his bag that one time he went to the movies. Dagnabbit."

    In all seriousness, I would not watch that if you're in an infestation right now. I know it would have been too disturbing for me.

  7. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 20 2012 6:14:35
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    Dear A&S,

    Take solace in the fact that none of those bed bugs survived much past that video.

    And, those hanging out on the wall soon fell off dead too.

    Most people don't know that if you listen really, really close you can hear the bed bugs screaming. And, if look really close I think there's a couple of bed bugs flipping me off too.

    Have a great bug free day ! paul b.

  8. LBP

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jul 21 2012 3:31:59
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    Welp, I went to the movie, sat down without a care (with many a pocket in clothing) and watched the movie. The seats seemed to be in pretty good shape overall, so I didn't really look further.

    It was okay. I don't want to go too off-topic here, so I won't elaborate. But I did want to say that I went in and out without worry (at least at the time, at least not much). Thanks; some of the posts above, especially P Bello's, really did help!

  9. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jul 21 2012 8:26:39
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    Dear LBP,

    I'm glad you found some value and assistance from my abuse of the written word.

    We went to the movie last night for the 7:30 PM show. Even bought our tickets in advance, it's not every day that your 16 and 19 yo's say "hey dad let's go see Batman" so I was happy to go and see a cool movie with my boys. But last night was a bit different thanks in part to your post:

    > I did bring my 180 lumen LED flashlight. First time I brought it to the movies. (Regarding flashlights, I'm searching for a flashlight that can melt snow at a hundred feet. This one can do it at about fifty I think.)
    > I figured that i'd do a quick check of the seats in our selected area and I was wearing one of my bed bug T-shirts too.
    > The theater was sold out and there were few seats to choose from. We were surrounded by HS kids that my boys knew and I just plain forgot to do the inspect the seats thing which probably was OK with my two.
    > As we sat there, I found myself thinking about what we'd need to do if we had a copy cat incident occur.

    Sorry for drifting off topic there but when compared to other things, bed bugs seem way easy now !

    Best wishes to all for a great bug free day ! paul b.

  10. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jul 21 2012 14:58:43
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    Hi, Paul:

    I don't think this question is too off topic since it deals with risk assessment. We know what you do when you come from a job. But, do you wife and kids take similar precautions...so..you went to the movies and then you guys came home and sat down at the kitchen table and discussed it? Or are there protocols.

    With kids coming in and out of the house all the time, including their friends, I assume you just do checks of various furniture for the signs? Since you feed a colony, do you know if you are a reactor?

    Thanks!

  11. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jul 21 2012 17:09:59
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    Dear they,

    After the movie last night we drove straight to carmines for pizza. Mary Ann is not into batman so, she stayed home and watched Law & Order SVU (doink doink ! you can google tha sound thing & they call it the L&W doink).

    I started reacting to bed bug bites after about three years of feeding them and react fairly strongly now.

    No, we don't take any precautions "on the home front" as I do when traveling or working bed bug locations. I do check every hotel room, every time which includes family travel. However, (knock wood & cross my fingers) except for my own potential exposure, we're fairly low risk here.

    Nick is living incampus housing so he is at some level of risk however, I'm in communcations with student housing, the folks who do the inspections, have provided information including the "Over 201 Things to Know About Bed Bugs" article and placed encasements on all four beds in his apartment.

    It is what it is.

    Thanks for asking ! paul b.

  12. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jul 21 2012 17:45:33
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    Thanks for the info and video Paul...just curious..didn't see many small BBs...they probably die first...is that an infestation that takes a year or so to build up to? They were somewhere else before they came on top of the mattess and walls, right? I always think they should be vacuumed up when I see those videos in case they find a cool spot to hide in..very creepy!!!!

    And while I'm asking questions, BB nurse and others have talked about cars getting infested. Isn't that hard to do with the heat in cars? Or do they do ok moving to a cool spot and just feed more often since they need more energy for the heat? I often drive to a metro hub and then go home, but there really isnt anything I can do to protect my car. It's a hub but there are no rest rooms, coffee shops etc. It is just a HUGE parking lot, where my car sits out in the sun all day.

  13. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jul 21 2012 18:54:02
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    Watch the video again, there are plenty of small bed bugs running around but they are difficult to see because they may have not fed yet and kinda-sorta blend in color wise.

    Most of what you see running on top of the mattress came from under the mattress beading which is right there along the edge of the mattress. Those on the wall crawled off the box spring you see there on the right.

    Cars? yes they can get bed bugs. However, it's a falacy to think that the heat within a car will kill the bed bugs 100%. Within the car you have radiant heat as a result of heat emanating from the surfaces directly heated by sunlight. There are plenty of surfaces and areas within the vehicle that will not reach the lethal temperatures even just inches from surfaces that are up to 160 degrees F. ( I know these numbers for sure as I've recently recorded such temperatures under these circumstances.)

    Regarding your own car: remember the risk of bed bugs is associated with the likelyhood/possibility of actually encountering bed bugs.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.


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