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how to break the news

(7 posts)
  1. tp123

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Jul 22 2008 18:34:41
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    hi folks, 1st post here. Discovered the other day i have bb in my apartment. If it were just me involved i wouldn't be so worried. How do i tell family who i have spent time with at their house and condo that i have bb and may have brought some? I feel i can't just say nothing and hope, because it could grow worse. As i said its this part of it making me sick

  2. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Jul 22 2008 19:16:08
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    Hi,

    Tell them to look and check things out because the may have a problem. There is no certainty that because you have a problem they will as well. I can however say for certain that if you help to educate them about the problem then they will understand how to avoid it in the future.

    Its something I have said for years if you communicate the facts and how to detect then as long as people check places they visit then it helps to avoid problems in the first place.

    Some time back I wrote http://www.BedBugBeware.com as an information site that you can navigate in less than 5 minutes. The aim being that those who invested 5 minutes in learning could hopefully avoid or at least detect early in future when its easier to deal with.

    I will try and have another look over the site and add more content when I get some spare time.

    David

  3. tp123

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Jul 22 2008 20:45:29
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    Thanks david, the one i worry about is my brother who i just spent 4 days with. I packed light but i'm afraid of the suitcase i brought and a foam pillow which i don't worry as much as the suitcase. It was a long trip and it was hot that day i left the car a couple times for a pit stop. I pray if i did bring anything maybe it was a weak one and died. I can't even eat thinking about this

  4. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Jul 23 2008 1:24:35
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    Telling people can be really hard. BB still have a tremendous stigma, and a lot of people you tell aren't very informed about them--just like me before I got them. On top of that, some people are so afraid of them that their reactions are over the top and make you feel worse.

    Based on my still recent experience, here's what I learned from telling people. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

    It's always best to approach the conversations by saying why you're telling people. I had roomed with three people in hotels after i was likely infested and had two roommies at the hotel that i suspect may have been a source of bugs (the hotel, not the roommies). In each case, I told them that I didn't think it was likely, but I wanted to tell them because I thought it was the right thing to do. I think framing it as "I wanted you to know because it's possible that someone not being responsible led to my infestation, and I can give you info about what to look for to assure yourself that you don't have an infestation" defused a lot of the reactionary "But I'm a clean person. I'm not dirty" responses that were possible.

    It's hugely helpful to have information close at hand to send people to so that they can educate themselves. Since a lot of people don't know much about BB, it helps to have good, accurate sources of info to send them to so that they can disabuse themselves of the myths out there, and they're probably going to want to know what to look for, even if they aren't checking their own homes. I know that a lot of my friends are now inspecting the hotels they stay in. Being able to point people here is really, really valuable.

    Start by telling the people whom you are most comfortable with and whom you trust the most. It helps to get a few sympathetic and totally supportive reactions under your belt before you move on to the harder conversations. I was lucky in that one of the people I told (who lived clear across the country) had a friend who had battled them on her property. As a result, she was a great person to tell because even before I found this site, I had someone who could sort of talk me off the panic ledge. Telling her meant that talking to say, my neighbors, later was much, much easier.

    I also found it helpful to talk about it in a way that allowed the people I was talking to space to be really skeeved out and scared. I tended to pepper my emails or conversations with "Yes, I know this is really skeevy" or "I am totally freaked out by this" comments. Doing so seemed to make the people I was telling feel more comfortable with their own discomfort.

    And remind them and yourself that you didn't knowingly bring the bugs into their space. I felt really bad when I realized I had BB and had just had my suitcase in my friend's house, one room over from her baby. But I didn't know I had BB when I was there, and she inspected the room and found nothing. When I was afraid to tell her I just kept reminding myself that somebody not saying anything might have led to the infestation I had, and no matter how hard it was, I was doing the right thing so nobody else had to suffer because of my silence.

    If someone reacts negative, realize that it's not about you. They may be reacting that way because they are scared or grossed out and haven't come to terms with that yet. You probably had plenty of private time when you found them to get past those reactions, and the person you just told may not have caught up on that curve.

    Some of the negative responses I had were first impression sort of things, and in the end, the people really turned around and became great allies. They just didn't have the luxury of freaking out privately in their own house since I brought the unpleasant topic to them.

    I hope some of that helps.

  5. tp123

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Jul 23 2008 1:49:05
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    Thanks for the thoughtful post. I'm a bit of a loner so i can always pick up and move, or deal with it. My family (who i love) is in a different world, i feel i have no choice but to 'break the news' since a decision has to be made how to visit now. Since the country is seeing a resurgence of this it could be everyone will not be able to escape it. So in what order we experience it may not matter. Of course at this point either way i lose

  6. fightorflight

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Jul 23 2008 4:55:22
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    You're just going to have to suck it up and tell them. I had to go through this. Be prepared for any reaction, but it may turn out better than you fear. After all, you didn't know you had bedbugs. Tell your family to be on the lookout for signs and tell them what they should look out for. Having bedbugs is a really tough situation and can give us all a lot of really bad life moments. But you keep working at it and dealing with it and things get better, or fade like old bites.

  7. tp123

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Jul 24 2008 2:31:23
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    Thanks guys i did suck it up today and it wasn't so bad, but its not seen as much a worry to people not experiencing it i guess. Anyway i hope some technology comes along to quick fix this. Sure could make someone rich


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