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How much power do we give bedbugs?

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  1. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Wed Jan 30 2019 5:58:29
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    While reading another thread it suddenly struck me there is a vast difference in how much power we give bedbugs over us.

    For example a few of us keep colonies of bedbugs, this means they need to be fed, this invariably means an application of the "inverted jar method" and they feed from us. A significant number of people reading this would find that concept horrendous and would "avoid it at all costs".

    In essence we are the same human beings and aside from the "1 in a lottery winning odds" person with a genuine anaphylactic reaction they are not going to kill you. They simply cant kill you in the one or two, the ten or twenty, the hundred or even the thousand. It would take prolonged exposure to over 100,000 bedbugs to kill you, how do we know, we meet people who live in those conditions.

    I can accept that with some people they have a greater subconscious influence than others but as anyone who has been through trauma related issues will confirm we all have the power to keep conscious control, in essence to be mindful of the subconscious influences over us.

    In the same way there are some great resources about the difference between reacting and responding and how your choice between these two approaches can greatly influence the outcome that you get.

    Hope that resonates with some people.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

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  2. SalsaVince

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Wed Jan 30 2019 11:28:19
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    Good point David. I have thought about that a lot and it fascinates me because I've been on both sides of it. When I first got bit by bed bugs and had to research what they even were, I was definitely freaked out. Then, later, when my mom had her infestation and had to confront them head on, I was almost paralyzed with fear at first. It wasn't until I took back control of her bedroom that I felt less overwhelmed. After inspecting and cleaning the bed, I went through each piece of furniture and item in her room and closet and organized them into piles of wash, dry, or toss. Before that, I felt like they were waiting to jump out at me from any direction but when I was proactively hunting for them, they were suddenly less intimidating. Even after we discovered them again in the living room, after the initial shock, it was actually a relief to know for sure where they were living to focus my efforts. I'm still not to the point where I'm care free and wouldn't be stressed if we have another bout with them but after learning more about them and seeing them as bugs that are actually afraid of us but have to eat to survive, they're not as scary. If you don't panic and throw tons of chemicals and ineffective "traps" all over your place forcing them to change their natural movements, I'm confident that they will never get out of control to where you have hundreds or even dozens of them lurking everywhere. I do think it's hard to get rid of the last few bugs to completely eradicate them but that's really more an annoyance than something to be in terror about. It takes time and persistence. Hopefully I never have to test out my new outlook on bed bugs but the reality is that it's more likely than not, I myself or a close family member is probably going to get them again at some point in time so we'll see. Hearing from you and others who deal with them on a regular basis is much needed for helping us put things into perspective so thank you.

    "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles."
    Not an expert. Just a survivor who's still learning.
    Vince
  3. bugged-cdn

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Wed Jan 30 2019 18:07:32
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    For example a few of us keep colonies of bedbugs, this means they need to be fed, this invariably means an application of the "inverted jar method" and they feed from us. A significant number of people reading this would find that concept horrendous and would "avoid it at all costs".

    The difference is control. You are in control of the situation: bed bugs are biting you, but only because you are letting them. When regular folks are in the midst of an infestation, they feel like they have no control over the situation. Even more so if you're a renter, since you can't choose the PCO, type of treatment, frequency, nothing.

  4. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Thu Jan 31 2019 1:21:44
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    Hi bugged-cdn,

    Absolutely, I put myself in the control position. Please remember that I dont come from a long line of pest controllers so I had to face them with the same level of knowledge as the rest of you at some stage, it’s how I chose to deal with it that sets the difference.

    I also dont accept the validity of the “renter not in control assumption”, mainly because it’s fatalist and the reality is that we can all have an influence over the universe around us if we choose.

    If you give bedbugs the power and usurp responsibility the cycle repeats because you never fully take ownership of how the issue started. Some of my clients get it and say “look we have done this somehow and don’t want to repeat that mistake” others are all “it’s not my fault it must be the neighbors / guest / mother in law / unicorn rainbow frappe”.

    So if I cope better because I am in “control” it’s because I made the conscious decision to take control and to fight the natural instinct to run for the hills. Equally I have already learned that when you fall down the well it’s you who decide when you climb out again not the well.

    David

  5. HelpBB

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Thu Jan 31 2019 14:31:56
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    I had a family member say that it could be worse you could have lost your house in a house fire. This particular family member was on my husbands side of the family and I have lived through a house fire and lost everything but Bed bugs terrify me more than ever living through another house fire. For one insurance paid for most the cost when it came to rebuilding and replacing everything. It cost way more to fight these spawn of satan. Plus the fact I am afraid b/c of their small size that they could literally be hiding anywhere in the house and how hard they are to eliminate or at least for my local exterminators. Sigh.... Not to mention that the chances of getting reinfested according to the exterminators we had over they said were very high. Which to me terrified me. I am currently seeing a psychologist but that terrifies me know to b/c she only has a couch to sit on and I am so scared to sit on it. Just the thought of all those people sitting on it and the high possibility she could have bed bugs. I know I shouldn't be so scared but I am.

  6. BigDummy

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Thu Jan 31 2019 14:49:13
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    A house fire can kill, certainly bed bugs are nowhere near as traumatic, they're not physically harmful. Prior to their near eradication in the 1940's people dealt with them without such mental trauma, and they were using methods that we've thankfully replaced with much safer options.
    Have we genetically devolved in only two or three generations?

  7. combatbat86

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Thu Jan 31 2019 20:47:55
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    I think its a combination of many things and not just fear of bed bugs themselves.
    There is a lot of stigma still behind having bed bugs that leave many people paralyzed with fear and wanting to hide it from others.
    Theres also the fear of having to pay for the treatments (where I live if you bring them in the landlord doesn't have to pay the bill) or having your lease terminated. There's also the fear of your neighbors knowing which puts a lot of stress on an individual.

    So I don't believe its just the bed bugs themselves that we give a lot of power to, but also a lot outside fears and factors to take into account.

    Add that to not sleeping well and our crippling fear of having bugs in our bed, ones mind tends to reel and act irrationally.

    But all you really need is a plan, follow through with it, stay calm and if all else fails I'd personally just walk away and start over.
    If that was the only way to save my sanity in the end.

  8. combatbat86

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Thu Jan 31 2019 21:07:36
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    I was reading another post by someone saying they're too afraid to tell their landlord about a possible infestation.
    So the real problem is we'd rather possibly live with one (at least to a certain point I'm sure) then expose ourselves or have to pay for the closts. Because sometimes you just don't have the funds.
    Thats where we've gone downhill as a society in my opinion, we've isolated each other so much by social standards and stigmas that having bed bugs can make you a social outcast.

  9. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Fri Feb 1 2019 9:16:17
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    Hi HelpBB,

    While it is certainly true that due to their size bedbugs could hide in many locations I can assure you that unless driven to behave unnaturally they have a much more predictable pattern than people fear. To me this is best summed up by possibility and probability, I filter things so that I don't get caught up addressing the possible when the probable is more likely.

    The probability of reintroduction is greatly reduced through understanding and awareness of the issue. You have one in abundance but need to meditate on the other. I would also advocate for the therapist specifically working through the issue of being relaxed on the couch. We should never let a fear impede seeking medical help.

    Step by step everyone can take back that control but it may need to be addressed step by step.

    Hi combatbat86,

    You mean the stigma we give power to?

    When people express that belief to me I ask two simple question:

    How do you think bedbugs that come home with you could know about the details of your home?

    Do you think a $1,000 per night hotel gets the problem because their guests are unhygienic?

    These are thoughts that some people give power to despite the clear and logical facts.

    To extend your social observations with another "it's always someones fault there are bedbugs in the room other than the occupant of the room". A few months ago I assessed an issue spread between two properties. I took great care to explain to all the occupants it was an issue that needed to be addressed and there was not fault, it just needed to be fixed. The epicenter of this issue were due for inspection again the other day and the door step conversation went along the lines of:

    Me: Hi, I am here to check for bedbugs.

    Them: We don't have them anymore.

    Me: Yes, you said that last time, can i please come in and check.

    Them: But last time we only had them because the neighbor did.

    Me: Yes but they only had them because your problem got out of control so it all started in your property.

    Them: Well if you say so but I don't believe you.

    While the behavioral pattern could be viewed as an aspect of a wider picture of mental health I have come to appreciate that its common for some people to form a macabre symbiosis with the bedbugs where their behavior seems to work in favor of the bedbug rather than their eradication. While this is very helpful to the bedbugs it is not to me getting my job done and I have worked hard not to react to other peoples lack of understanding in the same way that I don't get upset in traffic because I refuse to empower an issue I have no control over at the time.

    It takes a strong conscious decision to not be swayed by powerful and yet sub-conscious things.

    David

  10. BigDummy

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Fri Feb 1 2019 9:33:04
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    I decontaminate all belongings when someone arrives here at the shelter, or moves from one building to another. A common issue for some of my clients is their defiance "I do not have bed bugs." My standard reply is "That's fine, but now you know the person in the next bed doesn't have bed bugs either."
    It has taken six years of work but we are known as the shelter without a bed bug problem. A typical dorm room houses five residents, and when I steam-treat I generally talk with the people as I'm treating and field all of their questions. Just getting people to talk about bed bugs without all the bullshit myths that seem to be interwoven with the truth does a lot to calm a situation.

  11. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Fri Feb 1 2019 11:03:13
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    Hi BD,

    Thank you for that example.

    Taking control and applying logic enabled you to achieve something that you would not have thought possible at the start.

    We sometimes get calls from people where it takes 3+ attempts before they can speak without starting to cry and hang up. The way we handle those now may initially seem odd but its highly effective. We either ask them to go out into the garden or somewhere quiet and have a cry, a good cathartic release of emotions to clear the mind or they are asked to watch a comedy and call us back later.

    In essence this is because a lot of people benefit from that reset, the other gets to appreciate you cant laugh and be anxious at the same time, they are both primary emotions which cant occupy the same place at the same time.

    I would say recalling some of our early conversations that you have wrestled much of that control back and you empower them less than you used to and that's awesome to see.

    David

  12. combatbat86

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Sat Feb 2 2019 12:37:26
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    I think our biggest problem as normal every day people like me is education.
    I wish there were more people like you guys around who clearly are passionate about bed bugs who can spread education instead of fear.
    Knowledge is power and the more power we have, the less we give to bed bugs and our own emotions.
    It doesn't really matter whose fault it is, or who brought it in, the most important part is how to proceed once you have discovered you have them.
    Thats when we either give up our power or take it back.

  13. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Sat Feb 2 2019 13:51:20
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    combatbat86 - 1 hour ago  » 
    It doesn't really matter whose fault it is, or who brought it in, the most important part is how to proceed once you have discovered you have them.
    Thats when we either give up our power or take it back.

    Spot on.

    There is a good reason why I am in friends speed dials as the person to call in a crisis and I have kept it cool through many and sometimes horrific events because a job needed to be done.

    Yes, we need more educators and that’s one of the reasons I am here to catch them as they drop in. It’s a bit to a wait between them but given that this forum is like the “Spanish steps” it’s safe to assume most people will be along at some stage.

    David

  14. combatbat86

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Sat Feb 2 2019 14:06:14
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    I understand anyone can get them, none of us are really safe, but are there steps to be more proactive or prepared?
    Thats the kind of thread I'd like to see, granted I've only just joined so I might have already missed one?
    I've done some research on the subject, but I want to hear it from real people, and not from a website.
    Especially for people like me, and others, who has kids in public school, take public transportation or work in areas that have them come in on a weekly basis.

  15. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Sat Feb 2 2019 14:21:38
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    Hi,

    I have written about it many times before.

    The “nut” of it is be sensible about avoidance and monitor / check your home regularly.

    If you turn to history to learn lessons you see that before powders as potions people had routines to limit the issue. One of my all time favorite finds was the Victorian corset erotic pictures of a woman looking for bedbugs by inspection.

    Until til the 1950’s the coat stand in the hall with the mirror and narrow shelf was all about bedbugs and brushing them off your outer clothes rather than carrying them into the house.

    Society has coped with bedbugs in the past and until we see a lot more joined up thinking it will continue to rise again. Which kind of brings me back round to giving them power by ignoring them.

    David

  16. combatbat86

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Sat Feb 2 2019 14:26:02
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    Its true. Like I said I work in a place where they come in on people weekly and yet my coworkers all stand firm that they will never get them. Its easier to believe than face reality and the truth.

  17. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Sat Feb 2 2019 14:46:20
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    Hi,

    We also need to appreciate that we can influence and control our own actions, which is enough to negate the lack of actions of other.

    This is the pitfall of the “analytical approach” or calculating the specific “odds” of bedbugs. It always sets people up for failure because by nature of the issue it will always be the “last thing you change” not the first.

    I am starting to see more logical thinking in some work places but that often comes from me asking the awkward questions such as how much does it cost you when that member of staff is down 20% on their productivity or when they take time out for an exterminator appointment. In the case of hotels the cost of staff replacement is often 3,000% - 5,000% greater than the cost of a single treated room by the time the third guest complaint hits and the impact is likely to be into the $100,000 for a large main brand hotel.

    It’s often about getting people to accept the facts and take control before it really ramps up.

    David


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