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How to visit with friends who have bedbugs

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  1. freetobe

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Feb 3 2011 3:35:08
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    I have some friends who I want to visit with, who have a persistent bed bug problem. I've had a few close calls with these bugs and don't want to risk getting them. I want to have them over at my place, rather than theirs.

    Is there any way I can have them visit with the risk being acceptably low? Lol, like if I awkwardly put a large white sheet over the couch where they sit so that I could see if one makes a run for it from their clothing?

    I'm tired of just meeting up with them in pubs and restaurants.

    Thanks.

  2. Bug Slayer

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Feb 3 2011 4:08:37
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    Is there any way I can have them visit with the risk being acceptably low?

    NOPE.

  3. DustinBBKiller

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Feb 3 2011 10:28:26
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    Your best bet is to not have them visit, and you don't visit them. Meet in public places. Don't go in their car or house and don't let them in either of yours. All your doing is asking for trouble.

  4. Bug Slayer

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Feb 3 2011 11:25:08
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    You got me thinking now,bedbugs are so rampant now,im thinking of not having ANYONE in my apt again,i know its extreme but the bugs are worst.Seem like the whole damn planet is infected,this is almost like a terrorist attack and it may very well be that.

  5. jrbtnyc

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Feb 3 2011 11:28:21
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    Yes I believe under certain circumstances the risk can be "acceptably low" if your friends know you're concerned and they acknowledge your concern is completely valid and they're willing to fully cooperate and you trust their judgment and reliability and everyone concurs it's worth the necessary effort which will be significant.

    Experts may disagree? They should please comment here.

    One of the required circumstances is that your friends own a PackTite if they don't already. This is a long-term investment which they will only ever need to make one time to help resolve their bb problem now and then resolve it again if, heavens forbid, it ever comes back later. (I have no connection to that product. I have bought one myself and used it and it seems like a good product.)

    Another required circumstance is that your friends walk from their home to yours if they happen to live within walking distance, or that they take mass transit (see last paragraph below), rather than driving their own car which might well be infested if their home is infested.

    Ask your friends to shower just before they depart their place to come to yours, and also at that time change into shoes, coats, etc. that are fresh out of the PackTite, and clothes that are fresh out of the PackTite or the dryer.

    Then I think it becomes optional but if you want to and if your friends concur, why not go ahead and throw that white sheet over your couch. Actually, I think you should use a sheet that's a light color but not white, since there are many light colors to choose from which will be equally as good as white is to "show up" bugs, and actual white is needlessly prominent and conspicuous and similar to a hospital or whatever. I think it will help if you also throw a sheet of the same light color over whichever chair *you* sit on if you don't sit with your friends on the couch, symbolizing "solidarity". Also for dinner use a light-colored tablecloth and put a light-colored sheet under the dinner table and dinner chairs unless your floor or rug under it already happens to be light-colored.

    Like I say, your friends have to be fully on board with all this and hopefully everyone can even laugh about it to a certain degree. But then at some point during the evening you'll forget about the bb worry and you'll have a nice time together *plus* your friends can come back again anytime and you now have a comfortable algorithm for hosting them...and for hosting any other friends who get infested at home too.

    If all the aforementioned criteria are met the risk still won't be "zero" because of course it can never be "zero". But it will be really, really low and in my view you can, and in fact should, regard the risk as being "acceptably low". Reason: the risk will be no higher than meeting your friends in the restaurant or pub where *you* might pick up a bug and bring it home. The bug you pick up there may have just landed in the restaurant booth or on the pub stool an hour before you arrived so even if the restaurant or pub has gone to all lengths to ensure *they* don't have bugs, they may still in fact have some since they serve the public constantly. By avoiding the public venue, you and your friends might arguably be *decreasing*, in this part of the equation, the risk bugs will come to your home.

    Remember: the restaurant or pub may indeed have a "persistent bed bug problem" every bit as bad as the one your friends have at home. And they may have a sufficient budget to meaningfully attack the problem or they may in fact not have such a budget, the latter being more likely in this economy I think. Either way, I can guarantee you the restaurant or pub will never let you hear anything about their problem if they do have one!

    What if your friends come to your home via mass transit where they might pick up bugs? Why should that be regarded as any different from driving their own car? Reason: *anyone* can pick up bugs on mass transit – that's not a function of the bb problem which your friends have at home. In fact if you take mass transit to meet your friends in a restaurant or pub, *you* might pick up bugs en route which you bring to the restaurant or pub and/or back home with you. So this concern in effect "cancels out".

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Feb 3 2011 12:43:59
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    Unless your friends have already employed specific steps to avoid spreading bed bugs to others, they may agree to take such steps, but may not fully comply. If you discover bed bugs in your home in six months, how will you feel?

    Sorry to be cynical, but I had someone close to me (otherwise a nice person) who knew what to do and could not be relied on to do it. I am not putting your friends down.

    I just think most people don't really get it that they even need to take such steps. The news media does not ever suggest them. Most pest control pros downplay those ideas and I have heard many people report their PCO told them bed bugs rarely "hitchhike".

    We know that bed bugs can potentially be moved from place to place. Otherwise, hotels, schools, cafes, hospitals would never become infested. Even apartment buildings that spread bed bugs from one unit to another require an initial bed bug (or more) being brought in, unwittingly, by someone.

    It may be a bit safer for you to be the visitor in their home, since you could yourself employ steps in our travel FAQs for people who are exposed to bed bugs and trying to avoid bringing them home. (You also will be taking a risk, however.) There is also a FAQ there about how to avoid spreading bed bugs to others, and it may be helpful if your friends are interested.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  7. jrbtnyc

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Feb 3 2011 16:24:41
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    Nobugsonme - 3 hours ago  » 
    ...
    It may be a bit safer for you to be the visitor in their home, since you could yourself employ steps in our travel FAQs for people who are exposed to bed bugs and trying to avoid bringing them home. (You also will be taking a risk, however.) There is also a FAQ there about how to avoid spreading bed bugs to others, and it may be helpful if your friends are interested.

    Indeed if you do wish to take the other approach, as nobugs suggests, and visit your friends in their home, it permits you to retain control to a much greater degree. You can in effect pay no attention to whatever precautions they've taken or not taken in their infested home, I would think. In fact this could be true even if you actually get bitten there...! You could even let your friends drive you home in their possibly infested car. It doesn't matter as to the question of keeping their bugs out of your home as long as you remember to put all your clothes and coat and shoes and so on into your PackTite and dryer as soon as you come in your door, and take a shower immediately.

    Ah yes, that means it's you that has to acquire a PackTite, not your friends. But just as it would be with your friends, you should regard that as a long-term one-time-only investment as a preemptive strike to minimize the likelihood of ever getting bugs in your home.

    Do read the travel faqs which nobugs refers to in the excerpt above.

    Note that you should not drive home in your own car after leaving your friends' place because you won't yet have had a chance to clear any bugs from yourself before that. But you could walk, thus risking spreading bugs to the street which is a poor environment for bugs so that seems okay. Or you could take mass transit, thus risking spreading bugs there and do we think there's a moral/ethical issue about that? Especially if you know your friends' home is seriously heavily infested? I tend to think there's not any moral/ethical issue about that because in the end any of us can spread bugs around public transit and locales no matter what daily choices we make and no matter how hard we try not to. We also risk picking up bugs in those places so on balance it seems fair. While riding home from visiting your friends, you might have two bugs jump off you but two others jump onto you .

  8. so unsettling

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Feb 3 2011 17:38:34
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    If they are real friends, they won't let you into their home. I haven't had a soul in here since August, not even my family. This place is BANNED by me!

  9. freetobe

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Feb 4 2011 18:52:42
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    Thank you all for your responses. There are some good ideas here for sure. I'm not sure what I will and won't do yet. Those Packtites sound nice...

    Thanks.

  10. Bug Slayer

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Feb 5 2011 2:01:01
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    They could show up at your door stark naked,this may work.


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