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NEW YORKERS: We really need to come together and call for action

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  1. losingitquick

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Sep 9 2010 15:48:17
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    I have become an anxious, sleep deprived, paranoid and angry person. The government needs to step in and do something here. The EPA needs to lift the ban on Propoxur. We live in NY... we already pay the price in so many ways - now this. The bed bug situation is just too out of control right now to be ignored. They need to formulate an action plan to regain control. Everyone states that the lack of action is because these bugs do not transmit disease.... Well is depression not a disease? How about insomnia? How about OCD? These ARE debilitating afflictions.

    My quality of life has been reduced to 3rd world country status - yet I am still forking over my big city taxes.... we all are. We need to be more proactive - we need to organize marches - protest - do something! I don't know how to go about starting a march... I called 311 (who had their own bed bug problem recently) and they said I need to apply for a permit.... people please... if we all speak up we will be heard... we pay for this government - and right now we need to get it on our side... suggestions? Please.

  2. Raekownz

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Sep 9 2010 19:10:12
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    I agree and it's such an expensive situation, to the tossing of items - to what it does it the health of a person. It's an epidemic that needs supreme action!

  3. losingitquick

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Sep 9 2010 19:26:24
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    The expense aspect is the reason that it is bigger than us... while we may be able to afford treatment and extermination many won't be able to afford it - (we are talking about a nationwide problem)so our efforts will all be in vain because we will just get them again - over and over again - and who can afford to keep spending thousands on this? I could never just accept it and be able to sleep knowing that hundreds of bugs are feeding on me... this is insane. Just sitting around and not speaking up is pluralistic ignorance.

  4. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Sep 9 2010 19:30:44
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    Hi,

    Yes action does need to be taken but while we continue to target the tail end of the problem through treatment and seek solutions there we miss the crux of the issue which is that in order to stem the spread of infestations where needs to be better awareness and systems of reporting and resolution.

    In short it takes a paradigm shift towards the root cause rather than continuing to focus on the symptoms.

    I am increasingly looking at the model of antibiotics and infectious diseases with concern as to the potential similarities with what is being reported in the US is scary.

    I would therefore ask anyone rallying tot he cause to remember that education and communication combined with support and assistance provide a more solid foundation for a solution than spending all the savings on a silver bullet. History illustrates that such action often results in the issue being prematurely declared over and support waning quickly in time for apathy to set in just before the new super resistant wave hits.

    Sorry if I paint a less colourful picture but we have surpassed the tipping point where anything but a proactive approach will reduce the spread by much. The issue is too complex in its patterns and dynamics for anything other than a complete solution to work.

    Full power to the revolution though, we need more fighting spirit around here.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

  5. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Sep 9 2010 19:41:44
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    i might be able to force myself out of my bb free space to march in my borough (queens) so i'm thinking that a march in each borough might work if they take place on the same day and with plenty of pre march notice to the television and print media.

    but....just make sure that the guy marching next to me is about an arm's length away...okay? Don't want no freakin' bbs climbing off some demonstrator and climbing on to me!! AArrrrghghhhh...

  6. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Sep 9 2010 19:51:32
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    DeedleBeetle, get your marching boots ready for the 12th September 2011.

    David

  7. BugFreeForever

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Sep 9 2010 20:03:02
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    It is the eve of my follow up treatment for my 2nd infestation in the past 2 yrs. I am paying for my own treatment, so I can have it on my terms. I am lucky I can do that. Many cannot. I live in Brooklyn. I absolutely agree that education and public information is the way to go in order to make some meaningful differences in bed bug infestations. Even speaking up and informing landlords and neighbors and coworkers and friends matters. Keeping it secret does nothing but make the problem worse. I just hate that there is still a stigma, but there is. I was astounded when my current super claimed to know nothing at all about our city's bed bug problem. There has been very little if any public outreach on this issue, except for the sensational media stories and the very few of us on websites such as this, right?

    I keep thinking about how we have very nicely designed, easy to read posters in apartment buildings informing residents how to recycle. Why not flyers, brochures, posters or whatever, that gives the top ten most important bedbug FAQs? And make them multilingual?

    I wonder if a little creative street action, in the form of education, is in order? If the city won't pay for a uniform, well researched public education campaign, why not have activist bedbuggers get the word out in their buildings and neighborhoods in their own unique ways!

    There are some creative opportunities out there. I myself keep fantasizing about designing info sheets and leaving them in public places myself since no one else seems to be doing it. Posting them in building lobbies, subway stations, you name it. Why not? Or maybe designing a similar sticker like the orange ones Boston uses to stick on furniture left on the street to warn people not to take them due to risk of bedbugs?

    Maybe it is time for some smart, creative guerilla tactics!! Maybe lots of us could dress as bedbugs for Halloween and have educational signs with us? A little street theater to get some good word out. Just some thoughts I have had.....

  8. bugnut

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Sep 9 2010 21:37:09
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    There are pamphlets! If you go on either the DHCR or HPD (can't remember which) they are online. They should be distributed with lease renewals, new leases and yearly just like window guard notices.

    Unfortunately, your hard work and money spent could be for naught if your neighbor will not allow someone in to treat. We had this issue. Tenant had too many people in the apartment and an illegal washing machine. Would not let us in to spray. In the real estate management we say "there is one in every building"

  9. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Sep 10 2010 1:56:00
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    Hi David..

    9/12/2011???? That's a whole year from now? Nothing to do until then???

  10. losingitquick

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Sep 10 2010 8:39:05
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    Unfortunately this is bigger than a pamphlet... I am trying my best to educate the people around me - because I can take all of the preventative measures in the world but if my boyfriend (whom I live with) does not - I am just wasting my time. (And most people are not taking me serious at all)

    There has to be federal funding for this - just like they send out the fire department to inspect all the houses, etc - they need to contract reputable pest control companies and send them out task force sytle... this is the only way they can get a grip on this.

  11. uggnobugs

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Sep 10 2010 13:05:06
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    i see people not taking the bedbug problem seriously (and i live on the nyc/nj borderline so the problem is here too pretty badly), and i wonder if it's because of the mixup of info out there? i have read in some places that the bedbug problem today is no worse than it was 10 years ago, and in some places that it's out of control the worst it's been since wwII...but i'm not sure who or what to believe?

    i would love to see some citizen action in the ny/nj area concerning this problem...many people however seem to think that it's *so easy not to get bedbugs* around here but i disagree...people don't seem to be taking this issue seriously everywhere, and until bedbugs affect individuals and their homes/work spaces, i am afraid they wont take this problem seriously.

  12. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Sep 10 2010 14:47:45
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    Large marches are more effective than several smaller decentralized ones in a case like this. In addition stand out tactics (all legal and respectful) can be discussed and improvised as we get closer.

  13. KillerQueen

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Sep 10 2010 15:53:26
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    I'll drive my car and lead the pack. I'll get a giant blow up bed bug and put it on the roof.

    My plates already fit the profile.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/40819953@N02/3756196775/

  14. losingitquick

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Sep 10 2010 15:54:03
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    So we need a leader... Has anyone here ever participated in a march or rally?

    I agree that one large organized march is better than small multiple marches... But perhaps if we could pick a day where each state (or big city) held marches it would have the greatest impact... as far as a year from now - way to far out... we need action now - it is getting worse every day... google "bed bugs" then click on news up at the top... every hour that passes brings a new report...

    Enviornmentalists are vocal and they get their way - that is one of the reasons we are in this boat. We need to be louder... honestly what kind of life is this if we can't even sleep through the night? Should we worry more about some trees?? Lot of good that is doing for the ash trees that are doomed for extinction from that asian beetle... America we need to wake up and let go of the pompous attitude that we can destroy this planet... hello - the planet is going to destroy us first... earthquakes, hurricanes, H1N1, 'super bugs' - bed bugs... some of these events are of Biblical proportion we can't just go hug a tree and hope it whispers a solution in our ear.. .we need the EPA to release the Propoxur... I don't know how old the rest of you are - but I know that it wasn't banned for the majority of my life - so I have already been exposed to it... a little more right now won't kill us.

    Leaders? Organizers? Experienced speakers please come forward... our future is depending on you.

  15. KillerQueen

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Sep 10 2010 16:03:18
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    Losingitquick,

    Its not about the chemical, its about education as others mentioned.

    I kill off infestations everyday with 1 or 2 treatments (97% of the time on the first visit) and have access to the same products as everyone else. Its about how the work is done, not what is used. You can bring back any chemical you want ... without proper application and education .. we continue to fail.

  16. spideyjg

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Sep 10 2010 16:13:03
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    losingitquick - 15 minutes ago  » 
    .. .we need the EPA to release the Propoxur... I don't know how old the rest of you are - but I know that it wasn't banned for the majority of my life - so I have already been exposed to it... a little more right now won't kill us.

    If you read the Newsweek article the EPA had concerns about the potential effect on children exposed, that is the EPA's job ya know, and the maker did not answer those concerns.

    If the maker decides to not validate the safety of the product in some application, how is that the regulatory bodies fault?

    Jim

  17. losingitquick

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Sep 10 2010 16:47:20
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    First of all... they say IT WILL work for a few years... in the meanwhile they can work on other possible solutions... rather we just all lay down - literally - and surrender?

    Also the reason they banned it was because the manufacturer had to spend millions of dollars to re-register it... politics and money - period the end.. a fact... go research it... "Propoxur recently was tested on bedbugs at the University of Kentucky. The pesticide killed 100 percent of the exposed bedbugs within 24 hours and then kept killing after eggs hatched." So telling me that one day the bugs will be resistant is meaningless... the bugs became resistant to DDT eventually too - but it was enough of a silver bullet that they were almost eradicated for decades.... It costs hundreds of millions of dollars for a new product to get registered - and years of research... we need something RIGHT NOW... and the only something we KNOW works is propoxur.

    Back on to point... the point of the march/rally is not specifically propoxur - it is a call for action - something more than some pamphlets and a law that public schools need to inform parents when they find bed bugs at school (this law doesn't even go into effect until next year - which truly goes to show you how they are dragging their feet on this)... if estimates were that one in every 15 New Yorkers had bed bugs not long ago - and now they are saying one in 10 - time is running out here....

    And btw Killerqueen... I agree on one note... it is not just about the chemical - I live in Brooklyn, NY... in the last 2 days alone I have educated numerous people on this - ALL of whom were clueless as to what is going on ALL. They are making some pamphlets??? They need to interrupt prime time TV to notify the public... like they did when they thought that big bad earl was going to blow houses down... we all heard about earl no? We need public service messages on TV, Radio - messages on the sides of city buses....

    Leaders... speakers.... people who have ideas..... I am not looking to debate issues I am looking to call government action on a serious situation.

  18. The Reluctant Entomologist

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 12 2010 10:11:56
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    Well, you all know I'm in.

    It's too bad that terrorism has made it too risky to put KQ's big inflatable bb on top of the Empire State Bldg. That would be the best!

    The march is good, as is Ci Lecto's idea to give prep sheets to tourists. I also understand that if we do go to the movies naked, we have a defense att'y here on the forum who would try to help us.

    I forget now who it was who said here, "science is the answer," but I agree. I'm tired of mere "education." (We might as well just put a sign on the Empire State Bldg that reads "You all have bedbugs." Um, yeah, thanks, Einstein.)

    I noticed that someone posted a reply to one of Nobugs' recent main page postings, saying something like "It feels like the house is on fire and we're just being told, 'flames are sometimes orange.' " That's exactly how fed up I feel about the whole thing. The orange flame needs to be put directly under the a*ses of people who can make something happen.

  19. losingitquick

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 12 2010 10:44:55
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    I am glad to have another on board for action... we really need someone who will give us tips on how to go about this... obviously we could post and notify the members here of the date and time...

    We still need an actual leader or leader(s) - because the person who leads this, will be the person/people who will speak on TV and to reporters to get our point accross. Please note that we are not taking to the streets and chanting "we have bed bugs" - but that current predictions are that very soon WE WILL ALL HAVE THEM and that this is a matter which needs government intervention and action. It is creating financial hardship on an already suffering nation, creating debilating anxiety and sleep deprivation and diminishing our quality of life rapidly. They are our tax dollars and we need to unite to advise them that we need help. It is bigger than any one individual or household, there really is no way to live life like we once did without bringing them in. This should be our 'cause' - please anyone tell me if you do not agree...

    I will contact all NYC media agencies and advise of the purpose and date of our rally- as the more media the better - we need for it to be so publicized that President Obama hears about it. Newspaper, broadcast TV, Cable TV (CNN) etc.

    Leaders/speakers, anyone who is willing to commit a couple of hours to this?

    thanks

  20. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 12 2010 11:16:50
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    Hi LosingIt...

    I see you're still looking for a leader for this project (i've been down with some kind of bug the last few days -- Noooooo...not an insect type bug....a flu type bug -- i still feel like a piece of crap)....and i see that you mention that it's going to take a few hours of time invested. i don't think so.

    i did some organizing work for a labor organization when i was younger and one thing i know is that organizing people and politicians to support the activity, and professionals and that type of thing, leafletting (if that is still allowed), getting publicity, issuing statements that adequately and accurately reflect the thinking of the "membership" are not easy tasks to accomplish. Of course i'm not saying it's impossible either...

    since i do a great deal of speaking in front of people i don't know and am not shy on that account, and since i'm a lawyer here in NY which may in some way help lend some further credibility to the "movement," i probably could be of some assistance; however, i hesitate to commit myself to taking on such a task because i KNOW it's going to take more than a few hours....more than a few hours every week even (which might be doable). I just hate to not be able to keep my word once i have given it. i avoid that at all costs.

    I'm thinking that a panel of three people might be the way to go. Maybe a lawyer, a PCO or entomologist and a normal every day sufferer of bb infestation.

    We could use a committee to help us. One committee would be able to make up a list of Tv, Newprint, Radio stations and to make the first outreach to them so that when we follow up, or when those media reach out to us, the road has already been paved. I know that i would not be able to sit down and make cold call after cold call to these various media outlets.

    Perhaps others have other ideas?

  21. losingitquick

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 12 2010 11:29:09
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    I will gladly make the list and reach out to all of the media agencies... advise of the event, provide contact information for follow up, etc. and of course if any one would like to assist - perhaps I could put together the list and we could divide it among interested parties.

    I truly appreciate your assistance in helping to provide initial direction. I have no problem doing a heavy amount of the behind the scences work, I do however have a bit of a problem figuring out what steps need to be taken... so your input and additional input from others is critical to making this happen - and hopefully drawing much needed attention to this problem. If you'd like to be the attorney on the 3 person panel - consider yourself appointed... Should I reach out to entomologists and solicit participation?

  22. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 12 2010 11:41:58
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    Information about holding demonstrations in NYC...

    http://www.nyclu.org/content/know-your-rights-demonstrating-new-york-city

    if any one of our specialists became involved -- LouBuggs or KillerQueen...== that would be great - or both of them? Wonderful.

    I have not actually accepted any appointment. I'm just throwing some ideas out there. I can't imagine that i am the only NYC lawyer on this forum. Anyone else out there of the legal eagle persuasion?

  23. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 12 2010 11:50:18
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    Also would be good to have a representative from a hospital or nursing home that suffered infestation, elder rights org, tenant's rights organization, public school, public library, someone who rides the subways...etc... each should have a time to speak about their particular concerns.

    Try to make a list of all of the various types of bb sufferers.

    When were you thinking to hold this demonstration? Next year Sept 12? or sooner than that? Next Spring? Sooner than that?

  24. spideyjg

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 12 2010 13:23:20
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    Propoxur recently was tested on bedbugs at the University of Kentucky. The pesticide killed 100 percent of the exposed bedbugs within 24 hours and then kept killing after eggs hatched." So telling me that one day the bugs will be resistant is meaningless... the bugs became resistant to DDT eventually too - but it was enough of a silver bullet that they were almost eradicated for decades.... It costs hundreds of millions of dollars for a new product to get registered - and years of research... we need something RIGHT NOW.

    It is a debate for a different thread but Tempo dust displayed a 100% 24 hour kill, has long term efficacy, and, provided vacuumed after, can be applied to some furniture.

    It can't be put in a liquid and used by a spray and pray baseboard jockey though. That is why people clamor for propoxur.

    In an article in 2009 a PCO trade journal said that dusts were the closest thing to a magic bullet but IMO because application takes longer, the industry would rather stick with liquids and aerosols regardless of the evidence.

    Almost guaranteed that once a "magic bullet" shows all the BB research will dry up until we are in this same boat.

    Propoxur gets released and then search for the next generation will slow dramatically down or stop. David mentioned before the parallels of pesticides and antibiotic development.

    Jim

  25. losingitquick

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Sep 13 2010 21:09:55
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    ok.... so it seems only a couple of people are interested in speaking up with me.... I really thought that there would be many people here that agreed that we need the government to step up and do something since the entire nation is suffering... strength in numbers - I could sit here 24/7 writing letters and calling senators (which I have done) but one small voice is meaningless. I worked for a major airline supervising hundreds of frontline employees and I can tell you that if everyone was quiet, yet there was a problem that the 'leaders' were aware of - nothing was done... but when the frontline would 'organize' and speak up - they would jump on the problem - creating action plans and teams, everything else we were working on went back burner and the problem was addressed... meeting after meeting - brainstorming sessions, etc.... with no public outcry - there will be little action, or more too little too late efforts... again note the school must notify parents law - which was signed prior to the start of this school year - but goes into effect next year.
    If you all think your life is a living hell now trying to get rid of bed bugs just know that no paktight in the world is going to stop you from getting them again and again given how this problem is spreading -not everyone can afford the efforts - and let's face it this is a lazy country - do you really have faith in your neighbor taking the same efforts as you are? It will just be a never ending cycle until you can no longer afford to get rid of the problem and become used to bugs crawling all of you and feeding off you while you sleep.... how many times do you think you could afford to go through this?

  26. KillerQueen

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Sep 13 2010 23:53:23
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    OK losingitquick,

    This is the part I never get from anyone who brings it up.

    My questions is this: What on earth do you think the gov't can or should do besides education?

  27. losingitquick

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Sep 14 2010 8:20:41
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    The EPA needs to release the propoxur... if that means that the government aids the manufacturer in the multi-million dollar cost to re-register it... or that means the EPA or CDC, etc. join arms with the manufacturer to further test it, etc - there's a start... In addition to setting up action teams that educate - they need to set up action teams to test new formulas, new methods for eradicating the bugs... this type of research is bigger than you and I - and 20 million dollars to get a new product approved is what keeps some would be product developers from coming up with something to help... there are things they can do... putting our tax dollars to 'work' for us - rather than just educate it a start.

    I can come up with a better education plan right now off the top of my head...
    1. Public service announcements on radio and TV during peak hours
    2. Mandatory education of children - including 'pamphlet' to bring home to parents
    3. Public ads on buses, bus stops, subway stations
    4. Announcements at airports - as well as signage
    5. Disclaimer to be signed in all real estate transactions - like the mandatory lead disclaimer we have
    6. Business owner mandatory 'education' course (could be online)
    7. Fact sheets mailed out along with every welfare, SS check... handed out at unemployment offices, food stamps etc...
    8. A street team that drives around NY and hands out the information to the illegals where they gather on corners in the morning waiting to be picked up for 'jobs'

    Do we all have to pay taxes? Do we all know when tax day is? Do we all know the penalties for not paying taxes? How do we all know that? They do a mailing to us all... Warning notices of the current situation, fact sheets, do'ss and don'ts - an information package sent to all residents.

    So please don't try to sell me on the notion that they are doing all they can do

  28. The Reluctant Entomologist

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Sep 14 2010 8:49:53
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    Very good (and very fair) question.

    What I want the government to do is to take this problem seriously enough to make it a priority, financially speaking. Treatment is ridiculously expensive, and as long as some people won't pay to get it done/ done right, we'll all just keep getting bbs over and over again. (Again, no one's ever asked to front $4000 when they're house is on fire; why is this so different? Is it because water doesn't cost the city that much?)

    Whether that should mean funding treatment or funding more research (both?) obviously shouldn't be up to an ordinary person like me but, rather, someone who has the scientific knowledge and skills to know what the possibilities are. The point is that we can't keep going on like this and expect that bedbugs won't just keep popping up constantly, everywhere, over and over again.

    I'm not going to lie, though; I don't have a lot of hope. There are a few random "neediest cases" funds out there for bbs, sure, but I want to be clear that I frankly think that's a very bad model for addressing such a ubiquitous problem. To understand why, indulge me for a second and just look at our education system as a comparable model:

    We live in a country where supposedly everyone is equally entitled to a decent free basic education -- but what's being done to address the fact that this isn't happening?

    Instead of ensuring that all schools are adequately funded, what happens is that parents who live in places where the schools are failing -- let's be honest, places where the schools are badly funded and parents, as well, are poor and can't afford private schools (and why, by the way, should they have to send their children to private schools when the the government is supposed to be funding an adequate education?) -- parents, instead, a) have to be pretty savvy b) have to have lots of time on their hands to do their research and make connections -- i.e., not be scrambling around, working three jobs to make a living, and c) have to speak English well enough to navigate the system [i][i]because their only option is to figure out how to get vouchers to send their children somewhere ELSE -- or to find funding on their own for private schools, etc.[/i][/i]

    A decent, basic life (education, food, no bedbugs) should be the rule, not the exception. This is the United States of America.

    My point is simply this: if we look at living without bedbugs as a human right (and one that's in jeopardy for the whole city!), then it would be nice to think that funding for granting that right would be made a priority. But seeing as how we as a country supposedly consider a decent education a right too (but are content to turn the other way so long as people of privilege can take matters into their own hands with no regard for those who aren't in that position), my fear is that the bb situation will play out much the same. People who can scrape the dough together will just have to have a private school tuition worth of bedbug money put aside, by hook or by crook, will just have to keep doing that for single every time they get them, and screw the "unwashed masses" who can't (even by hook or by crook).

    But that's just the way it is, right? If not, I suppose we'd just be a bunch of commies. We all gotta just pull ourselves up by our bootstraps!

    Sorry if I'm coming off as too flip or sarcastic, but I'm already anticipating all the fights I've probably just started; I know the school vouchers thing is a very contentious issue, and I, like many others, feel as strongly about it as I feel about the bb issue. I don't have kids, BTW; I just get upset by the fact that there are so many Americans who seem to think it's okay for their neighbors to live as though in a "3rd world" country. It's an embarrassment.

    So yes, I'll say it: SOCIALIZED BEDBUG CARE. I'm a freakin' Marxist, people.

  29. losingitquick

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    Tue Sep 14 2010 13:24:26
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    The Reluctant Entomologist - you are on the money. If everyone thought like you and I this country would not be in the mess it is in. And that is beyond bed bugs and education...

    I agree - it is my right as a tax paying American citizen not to have bed bugs. This is truly becoming a 3rd world country in terms of living conditions...

    This nation is at war with bed bugs - but our country is not behind us... period the end, today bed bugs, tomorrow who knows what - we are letting them get away with turning a deaf ear to a serious matter - a horrific precedent to set when it comes to our rights.

  30. DeedleBeetle

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    Tue Sep 14 2010 13:40:47
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    well i'm no Marxist...but i agree that at least some things are better handled with gov't involvement..and maybe even federal involvement since, although we could look at the bb issue as one that comes under the X amendment -health and welfare issues reserved by the States, since bbs easily travel from one state to another and happily hop on trains, busses, planes, etc., the bb issue and the containment of bb infestation could easily be seen to be within the authority of the feds as 'afffecting interstate commerce.'

    So while i am rather to the right of most people i know (including my family -- those are some spirited thanksgiving dinners - but hey, it's hard to get through law school without buying into the system), i do understand that although to my mind small government is best, there are occasions where gov't involvement and leadership and even some fund spending is a good thing. BBs might just be one of those instances where we want more gov't involvement and not less.

  31. controlfreak

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    Tue Sep 14 2010 14:07:33
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    When there is an epidemic of a disease, you go three ways. Vaccinate uninfected population so they don't get it. Aggressively treat infected population to get rid of the bug and finally educate to prevent future spread. When current epidemic is under control you keep on vaccinating to prevent come backs. These things are done by the big gov so everyone gets equal chance in surviving and a health crises does not turn into a situation for companies to make profit. This is one of the reasons we pay taxes. So there should be new laws mandating active monitoring and yearly or more often treatments in public places. Just like cleaning carpet and painting the walls landlords have to treat between tennants. And there should be year or two active war against bbs including search/treat proactively rather then wait to get infected in every state in every building. More trained PCOs and federal standards for bb treatments and proper punishment against landlords, owners, renters, moving companies, pcos etc who do not follow these laws and finally anti-discrimination protection against people dealing with this. I think this war would be over when anyone living in any state can afford to treat and prevent (chemical, thermal, vicane etc at any time (decrease in price, landlord involvement and gov support).

  32. losingitquick

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    Thu Sep 16 2010 6:42:18
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    So I guess that's it... we will just sit back and let them do absolutely nothing about it, we will just have to go into debt trying over and over to rid ourselves of this horrible affliction that soon everyone will acquire in public places.... they summon us to jury duty - we'll get them there - need to renew your driver's license - you'll pick some up there, etc, etc, etc.... meanwhile the mayor is hard at work coming up with plans to further infringe upon our rights - like yesterday's news story that he is trying to pass a law that people can not smoke outside on beaches or in parks.... this is fast becoming a communist country - but I guess you all are too busy to fight for your rights. I will start my own campaign, petition whatever I, as one person, can do. Thanks for at least reading and best of luck to you all.

  33. DeedleBeetle

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    Thu Sep 16 2010 7:31:26
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    Losingit...

    who said we'll do nothing? I sent you (and a couple of others who expressed an interest in this thread that you began) a personal message including my personal contact information, telephone, email, etc; and, i heard back from everyone but you!

    Did you see the information i posted (linked to, actually) about how to go about getting a permit (if one is needed) to hold a rally in NYC?

    I think that if we want to plan something, we can do it off the forum and then perhaps we can ask NoBuggs if we can link our website or blog about how the rally is shaping up to this site or whether it would simply be best to have a sticky subject or an ordinary post that we can bring back to the top when there's something new to announce.

  34. losingitquick

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    Thu Sep 16 2010 10:55:44
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    Deedle, forgive me - I did not mean that you, or the other few people that did respond with useful input and info - were not going to do anything - I meant that not many seemed eager to second the idea and get involved. I did not get a personal message - perhaps I did - I am new to posting rather than just reading and do not know where the PM went or how to retrieve it - it did not go to the email account I have associated with this site. So again, I am sorry, I did not mean anything towards the people who did respond - but rather to the people who read and moved on with no care for the cause

  35. Eve

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    Thu Sep 16 2010 11:11:52
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    Not everyone who reads and doesn't respond is apathetic, LosingIt. Some of us are not in New York (like me). Some of us have experience with attempting social change via street demonstrations (like me) and are sceptical of the efficacy. Demonstrations do serve a purpose when a particular issue is not well understood, but I think that New Yorkers are aware of the bed bug issue given all the recent publicity (and not being a New Yorker I bet I miss most of the local sources).

    The core problem is that this is a problem for which there really is no good solution yet. There has been much progress in the last while but most developments happen behind the scenes as new techniques are researched and new devices developed. More and more researchers are doing controlled experiments to determine bed bug lifestyles, habits and weaknesses (some of these researchers have been working all along in the research shadows).

    Yes, bed bug eradication right now is expensive and labour intensive (for both the PCO and the householder). Yes, it is taking a while for the PCO industry to catch up with a bug that is not vulnerable to the normal PCO tools (because bed bugs don't eat bait nor do they groom themselves). Yes, the bugs seem to be everywhere (but this is Mother Nature's doing and she doesn't pay attention to street marches).

    I am not apathetic. And this is not the only issue going on in my very busy life right now. I think I can contribute more by dealing with my own situation and sharing what seems to be working and what seems not to be working. I try to stay alert to upcoming developments (and I can see one or two really promising ones).

    But fervour and enthusiasm does not equal effectiveness. I prefer to husband my energy.

    Eve

  36. losingitquick

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    Thu Sep 16 2010 15:27:55
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    If there is a solution or not they need to fork over some tax dollars to assist... assist the individuals suffering - assist the research - assist in finding the solution. If we can not rely on them when we really need them - then what do we really need them for? To fight ficticious wars? To take our money in the name of taxes and then use the money to buy yankee tickets or hookers? Open your eyes people this is becoming a commie country at warp speed .

    I am very busy too btw... literally working 3 jobs - which is another reason I am so passionate about their involvement. I have enough problems just trying to keep up to make it in NY... this city robs us of every penny we earn... there is no middle class anymore - because if you can afford to live in NY you are rich, all of the rest of us are fighting a daily battle. This should not be my problem - nor anyone else's problem that is on the forum... unless one of you traveled to a third world country and slept on a hostel floor...

    We need them to do something. I am getting tired of losing sleep.

  37. Beth

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Sep 16 2010 18:39:47
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    This is very interesting in light of what I brought up a couple of months ago. I agree with the reluctant entomologist. There needs to be socialized bed bug care. This is going, in the next year or two, my prediction, to be labeled a "natural disaster" in NY, if not the entire nation. I spoke recently to Eric Schneiderman, running for Attorney General, and he is very interested in this issue and I believe we may be able to get him to attend an event like this, and possibly to create a strategy for regulating the pest control industry.

    Losingit, I have a lot of experience in organizing political activism and I can tell you one thing: rallies and protests are a lot of work for often little return. HOWEVER, in this situation it might be worth it because it is a new situation that politicians have not had to publicly answer for and it's interesting to the press because it can create hysteria (unlike, unfortunately, the immigrants rights movement or universal health care movement, etc.). If a march is to be had, it should be in Albany because bedbugs are a problem for all of NY, not just the city, and that is the capital where most decisions get made.

    What the government can and should do, in my opinion, has nothing to do with propxur or any aerosol. These are the things that we can fight for:

    1) government funded treatment for people below a certain income bracket
    2) government attention to shelters, nursing homes, etc. in the form of getting the residents out and vikaning/thermal the entire structure and ensuring when they move out they do not bring them with them.
    3) regulation, regulation, regulation, of the pest control industry and others making money off of this. In fact, I'd say the biggest thing to protest would be this--and not just pco's, but licensing and equipment suppliers and other companies in the stock market.
    4) funding research, including non-toxic methods

    Other ideas?

    I agree with you losing it, and I also agree with Deedle that organizing an event of this magnitude takes A LOT of time and effort. There's the license for the march, the permit to utilize the place, the inviting legislators (over and over again), inviting the press (lucky if you get two cameramen), lining up speakers, ensuring the sound system works and that it can be powered (you're talking a van and generator), printing out hundreds or thousands of pamphlets and bringing them along, renting tables to put the information out on if you so choose, advertising the event, etc. You can't do it on $0. You'd need at least $1000 to have a shot at an effective campaign, or to luck out in finding someone with a sound system, someone with a printer and loads of paper and ink they are willing to donate, someone willing to contact all the press and legislators, people willing to speak and travel for free...then you'd still have the cost of the license and permit and generator. I'm not saying it's impossible, just that it takes time. You often have to apply for a permit to use a public place months at least in advance of an event unless you want to choose a place that isn't high traffic and claim a right to peaceably assemble (but it would be harder to get people to attend) and there would be no march.

    I also would be interested to get an environmental scientist on board with some research and advocacy around this issue, both for the dangers of pesticides, but also to investigate the role of the state of the earth currently in the bed bug resurgence.

    I am willing to help in any way I can being dirt poor. I'm good for ideas and communications, as well as researching how to ensure the march is legal. I have a ton of organizing contacts who can advise on how to hold an event in Albany.

    What I think will happen though once we start to get this together is a lot of...poor people will come out of the woodwork with their stories and it will turn into a call to socialize the control of the epidemic or regulate the pco industry, and guaranteed, you may not have the support of this forum.

    Amy

  38. losingitquick

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Sep 16 2010 20:12:52
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    Amy, thank you. I agree with many of the things you have said and I appreciate the info you have provided.

    I understand what you are saying about Albany - I only figured on NYC because although Albany is the capital, NYC is more 'spotlight'.

    I do however have a different opinion on the propoxur... I am not saying using propoxur forever - but to use it for a huge knockdown of the current problem - then by all means find a more eco-friendly, healthier alternative. There are soooooo many toxins that we are exposed to on a regular basis - for example BPA - The FDA has finally (Jan. 2010) stated that humans should limit their exposure to it - it has been linked to cancers, developmental problems, diabetes and a whole bunch of other serious health problems - but bottled water, soda, etc in packages containing it are still legal and flying off shelves. I could name dozens of other similar things, the point being this is a real problem - and while propoxur may not be the silver bullet - it would help tremendously so that the country can get a grip and work on education, assistance, laws, etc. In the meanwhile people are resorting to dangerous methods trying all different chemicals on their own. Malathion comes to mind.... I read a research document yesterday about a man who suffered kidney failure after using it in his house for 3 weeks. I read another story about someone's house going on fire in Arizona from something the guy used to try to get rid of them... As this problem gets worse and worse there will be more similar stories - without a doubt. when something is this out of control you need to resort to what you know works - even if there is a down side to it... a temporary fix to afford you some more time at the drawing board.

    I have to add this... it was ok for NYC to spray (over and over again) the Malathion all over... while I heard on the news (back then) that they were going to spray I was never personally informed of exactly when and where and never gave it much thought ... until one night when I was walking down the block after parking my car and encountered the sprayer... I didn't know what was going on - didn't immediately put it together - but fact was... I had been directly exposed to the spray... if you read the info the government put out on it you'll get a laugh (http://www.nyhealth.gov/publications/2740/) They claim there is little risk of health problems from being exposed to it at low levels... so it is ok to spray us with malathion... but a controlled use of propoxur is out of the question? Seems like they are picking and choosing out of a hat. They just don't see bed bugs as the real problem that it is.

    I have to admit that the more I learn (from all of you helpful people) about organizing a march, the more I worry that it will not happen. Like I said - I will gladly solicit the media, and the speakers as well. Everyone of the 3 jobs I do is sales related - so I am no stranger to cold calling and selling... in this case selling a headline and selling a cause. I can write and design the literature and make many copies - perhaps others would be willing to print some copies and collectively we can make that happen with little expense to any one person. I have a friend with a van and a generator - not a sound system... There are other things I am willing to do... I really believe that without them intervening we are doomed.

    Here ya go... hot off the press: http://www.wkyt.com/home/headlines/103084389.html

  39. socraticlogic

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Sep 16 2010 23:27:27
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    I would urge everyone to contact their elected representatives. They are in their position because they were elected to serve our interests. I've sent this letter to my senators and representative (and I'm waiting to do state gov't and city gov't tomorrow) and I'm happy to post a generic version of what I wrote here that requires you to enter your state, name and location as well as a salutation:


    Mr./Ms./Senator NAME:

    I'd like to bring your attention to the recent bed bug epidemic that is sweeping across the nation. While New York and Ohio have been touted by the media as being the epicenters of the epidemic, INSERT STATE is not immune.

    We have few good tools at our disposal to deal with the issue and prominent entomologists such as Michael Potter at the University of Kentucky have said that the situation is growing very quickly and that they are very concerned.

    At the same time, there seems to be some research coming out of the EPA/USDA, however, I believe that we really need to push this issue more in order to avoid disastrous consequences. I am asking for your help in making funding available for education, eradication, and further research into the issue to prevent a bad situation from getting worse.

    I believe education is a core part of this eradication and prevention effort so a concerted effort on behalf of the nation and the nation's leadership would help everyone understand the gravity of the situation.

    I also hope that you urge the EPA to quickly reconsider proposals from Ohio and other states to use Propoxur, a chemical which, in an experiment performed by Michael Potter at the University of Kentucky, performed well against bed bugs. While I support the EPA's willingness to be cautious in bringing back the chemical and I support reevaluation for safety(it was last legal in 2007 for indoor use in the manner that's been requested), I also want to make sure that we are doing what we can to save people from the physical and emotional toll that bed bugs are having on them.

    Thank you very much for your consideration.

    Sincerely,

    INSERT NAME
    CITY, STATE

    If anyone has ideas for improvement, please suggest them. Please also note that I'm not trying to get on one side or the other of the propoxur debate and if you don't want to include that section, obviously don't, but since I don't know enough about it, I thought it would be a good thing to at least encourage research (although at this point I wish the research would speed up, but I'm reminding myself of how time consuming the scientific method can be ).

  40. losingitquick

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    Fri Sep 17 2010 11:56:03
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    Thanks for this letter... I am going to add a bit - but great template. Please everyone write and send letters...

    Anyone with any other suggestions on ways to draw their attention to this problem - please do advise. I will still keep my hope of a public display alive

  41. The Reluctant Entomologist

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    Sat Sep 18 2010 11:42:31
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    Hey, I wanted to bump this up.

    I think what people are saying is good. However, I want to up the ante a little, as I think, for instance, that while financial assistance for people with bbs below a certain income might be a good start, it's still going to lead to people who don't quite make that cut burning their houses down, living in denial, etc. out of desperation. Which either means a lot of house fires, etc. and/or bbs still popping up everywhere, all the time, over and over again.

    But, hey, at least the fire department doesn't ask for a major credit card!

    Again I say that even people above a low income level don't have to PAY (and a LOT, at that!) if their house is on fire. Again I ask how different this really is.

    And keep in mind that we live in a country where the poverty line for a family of 4 is just over TWENTY-TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR. Think about that. Even when I myself was so underemployed that I had regressed back to my childhood of growing up in a first-world nation with no health insurance (don't even get me started about the contradiction of how wonderful an option that paying for COBRA is, btw, when the point is that suddenly you have no income; DUH) & was having to work three different jobs to piece together a living,(not that long ago, actually), I was making more than that -- and it was just me I was struggling to support. I was not fresh out of school either; I was just another thirty-something non-trustafarian trying to get by in NYC after having bought into the myth that higher education is the key to self-sufficiency.

    The truth is, people who determined that you had to make about $22K (or less) to be considered "poor" couldn't even wipe their as*es on TWICE that amount per year. And face it, those same people would be the ones deciding whether you had $4-$10K or whatever just lying around and waiting to be consumed by bugs.

    Consider that 1) about 1/3 of bb capital, Brooklyn, residents live in 2-to-3-family homes, 2) the average family income in Brooklyn is only about $40K (lower than the national average, despite being part of one of the most expensive cities in the world!), and that 3) by these standards, only about 7% of houses in Brooklyn meet "affordability" guidelines for the people who actually LIVE in Brooklyn; it's pretty obvious that a large number of those left to shoulder the financial responsibility for bedbug eradication are about to be part of the already-frightening Brooklyn foreclosure statistics, even if their mortgage payments are considered "reasonable"/comparable to those of renters (i.e. still too damned expensive, even for people with graduate degrees! )

    I ask,who, among small property owners of modest (Brooklyn) means, will be willing to continue to rent out part of the space where they live , in a market where there's already only a 1% vacancy rate for people already struggling to find an affordable place to live? (I got the 1% from a recent news roundup on the main page of Bedbugger).

    Sorry to spit out all of these statistics, but this has become a recent obsession of mine, obviously. If you want to see what my sources are for what I mentioned above -- along with all kinds of other statistics and bits of info about bugs (much of it ludicrous, depressing, and contradictory) -- check out the "factual" collage I posted recently on my own personal website. After reading so much ridiculous info about bbs for so many months, I felt like I was drowning in b.s., and this was my way of making sort of a cowpatty sculpture of it all, sort of my way of saying, enough already!

    I'll step of my soapbox now.

    Back to the activism thing : I guess that getting permits, bailing people out of jail(!), etc. would be complicated/expensive, as far as protesting goes. Going to the movies naked, itself (assuming no one got in trouble, some how?) would only cost a movie ticket each! How fast can all of you run naked?

  42. bugcouver

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Sep 18 2010 19:05:42
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    I think calls for action/awareness strategies need to be stepped up everywhere. (I'm not in NYC, but think that an effective NYC strategy could have ripple effects and create a model for citizens in other regions to be heard).

    Since there are some financial barriers to some strategies and there is the challenging issue of getting a bunch of bb sufferers to want to hang out with a bunch of other sufferers in a shared space (transmissionitis!)... does anyone have any creative suggestions as to how we could play with social media to generate awareness or momentum?

  43. losingitquick

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    Mon Sep 20 2010 15:14:09
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    I so agree about Brooklyn... One of the many hats I wear is that of a real estate agent... what I can not wrap my arms around is the fact that people aren't out rioting in the streets... I feel like I can not be the only person in NY who feels cheated of the american dream... I know there are others on here - but still the more and more people I speak to the more I realize that despite the articles and news stories this borough is oblivious to what is going on. I am mocked on a daily basis for spraying alcohol, mocked for being afraid... they think the chances of getting bed bugs are slim to none... just over the weekend I was speaking to someone I know who said she isn' so concerned because she is a neat freak and is constantly cleaning... they just don't get it. The problem is the education and laws should have been happening back in 2006-07 - when we still had a chance. It is hard to convince many people that the building is on fire when they haven't seen or smelled smoke. I love the buring house comparison... that is the summary of everything I am trying to say.

    What is most frightening to me is that there is no law in place that commercial property owner/operators need to disclose a bed bug problem. So lets put aside the victoria secrets and niketowns, and think of the small stores, the ones who are turning a blind eye to the problem and knowingly dispersing this horror on consumers. The Nikes of the world are only acting on the problem to protect the brand image... there is a lot at stake for them... but small owner operated stores don't have a marketing and legal department dictating their actions... they may already be suffering from the economy and can't afford to close down, can't afford to properly treat, and can't afford the local buzz of "don't shop at joe shmo's they have bed bugs" For Nike and such, their quick response will serve to stregthen the brand... for the unkowns a bed bug problem can be there demise.

    Again... this is just too complex for us to combat on our own. I really have to question this great country of ours as to why they aren't doing anything about it. Is it truly because they can't? What if these bugs did transmit disease - consider how they build resistance so quick, what if they were to evolve and suddenly trasmit disease - scary to think how quick they could wipe us out. They can come up with ways to use some old french fry oil to power a vehicle but they can't figure out how to kill bugs the size of apple seeds?

  44. Beth

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Sep 20 2010 16:09:13
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    reluctant entomologist...omg, I just read your blog, it is awesome. I will go to the movies naked.

  45. cilecto

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Sep 20 2010 22:50:41
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    People. If you're organizing, don't overlook resources that are already in place:
    - Renee Corea and New York vs. Bed Bugs
    - Councilwoman Brewer
    - The unions
    - Metropolitan Council on Housing.

    At the very least, read the report of the BB Advisory Board, as this is the baseline that NYC's blue ribbon panel recommended.
    http://council.nyc.gov/downloads/pdf/bed_bugs_report_2010.pdf

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  46. buggerthebugs

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Sep 21 2010 13:06:43
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    I think we should have one day of mobilization where we strangle New York city: nobody goes to work, rides the subway, goes to movie theaters or shops. That is the only way Bloomberg etc. will understand the seriousness of the situation and peoples' concern: by exercising our rights as taxpayers and consumers. If we do not contribute financially or provide services to the city by working and consuming, then there will be a measurable consequence and probably the only one that will be taken seriously. Like most things in this country, voices are not heard until there is an economic impact on business and government. So, let's freeze New York for a day. We can call it whatever we want but the message is that we will not leave our houses, ride the subway and be productive if we are not protected against this epidemic.
    And yes, I realize that not everyone has the luxury of taking a day off from work as lots of people do not have paid sick leave or vacation days (don't get me started on that) but perhaps if we have enough of a critical mass, those of us who can take this action can speak for those who cannot.

  47. DeedleBeetle

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    Tue Sep 21 2010 16:36:19
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    hmmm..."Day of Absence" type protest, huh? I like...

    I'm emailing a politician guy i know right now...Want to see if he's even thinking in terms of bbs...will report back.

  48. spideyjg

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Sep 21 2010 17:07:00
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    DeedleBeetle - 30 minutes ago  » 
    hmmm..."Day of Absence" type protest, huh? I like...
    I'm emailing a politician guy i know right now...Want to see if he's even thinking in terms of bbs...will report back.

    Citywide BB inspection day.

  49. buggerthebugs

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    Tue Sep 21 2010 17:58:20
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    Glad you like the idea. I'm completely serious about this. If your politician friend has any suggestions, etc. do let us know.

  50. DeedleBeetle

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    Wed Sep 22 2010 6:03:51
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    Hi gang...This is a copy of the email that i sent to the political guy. I did not divulge his name yet. Let's see what comes of it first.

    ". . . . . But today i'm writing about something different and I hope your office will want to help us.

    I've been hearing a lot of complaints from clients and neighbors about bedbugs. Since the people upstairs from me and in the apartment below me had been treated for bb infestation, and since I saw that lone bb in my own apartment, I became concerned and began to read everything I could on the Internet about it.

    I am particularly concerned about our community's elderly, especially those in nursing homes, who may not be able to even move out of the way of bbs coming to feed on them. Also, I am worried about people in hospitals and people with disabilities. Recently I spoke to a lady who is blind and could not see the bbs. She knew something was biting her because of the itchiness, but she could not inspect her place or confirm the infestation because she could not see! Many of our elderly also have poor vision.

    Apparently Queens (especially Astoria, Corona, Woodside and Jackson Heights) is ground zero for bb infestation in NYC.

    Has your office had any ideas about what else can be done (besides the new form that landlords must give to tenants about infestation in the premises upon entering new leases) to battle this problem? I am sure that our city's preeminent entomologist from the Museum of Natural History who is an expert in bbs, infestation, etc. would be willing to help us. It's amazing to me that the NYC group that was recently organized has not even reached out to him. People have asked me about whether organizing some type of community outreach effort or rally in Albany or in NYC might be the way to go to raise consciousness about this problem.

    From what I can understand there are some basic misunderstandings about bbs. First, people think that you have to have a dirty living place in order to get them. This is not true. Also, people just don't know exactly what they can do to prevent an infestation in the first place or how to avoid spreading an infestation from home to a work place or from a work place to the gym or to church or to school. As you can often see, many mattresses and sofas are left on the street and I suspect that they are infested with bbs. People have to be taught how to dispose of their things in a safe manner. Many New Yorkers love to pick through things on the street for great finds but this is only helping to spread the infestation. The word must go out to our community that this practice is probably no longer acceptable.

    1. Infestation by bbs is very difficult to confirm even though many victims report ugly and itchy welt skin reactions.

    2. It is terribly EXPENSIVE for poor or middle income folks to treat their infestations because all clothing, towels, curtains, bedding, etc must be at least dried for an hour at temperatures reaching at least 120 degrees. Then all clothing must be bagged in heavy plastic bags. All pillows, cushions, etc must also be treated to kill eggs, larvae and bugs. In order to avoid the cost or in order to avoid telling their landlords about their bb infestation, many people decide to use sprays that can easily and inexpensively be purchased from local supermarkets and hardware stores; but, these insecticides only serve to spread the infestation deeper into the premises.

    3. Landlords generally prefer to use their own porters and superindents to treat individual apartments with over the counter products. Over the counter products have been proven to actually help spread the infestation because when the bbs realize they have been used, they send out their own chemical alarm system that tells the other bbs to flee and hide in some other deeper location in the premises until it is safe to come out again.

    4. BBs can live without a blood meal for about 18 months!!

    5. Many people get ripped off by professional exterminators (especially the ones with the dogs who often give an indication that they have found an infestation but there is no specimin produced for confirmation. Victims are charged for the dog service but never actually get confirmation of infestation. ) There could be some clearing house for information about particular professional exterminators. I happen to know of some well respected ones in the city.

    6.There is a horrible stigma attached to having an infestation which causes the victims to want to remain anonymous and this only helps to spread the problem. As you probably heard more office buildings, stores, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, prosecutor's offices and even city agencies are being infested with bbs.

    7. There is a psychological consequence to this problem which is similar to post traumatic stress disorder including hypervigilence, avoiding people and public gatherings, insomnia, anxiety, depression. (Just talking about bbs seems to make people itch...it's amazing)

    Sebastian, if your office has any ideas about what we as a community can do to bring attention to this problem especially as it relates to already financially challenged families, I would be interested to know about it.

    I have been contacted by a community activist who is near Albany and who is ready to help spearhead a rally to get more effective legislation in this area, including, possibly, tax rebates for some of the costs of preparation before treatment. There are also other professional folks, students, housewives, etc. right here in the metropolitan area who will become involved and who are much more well-spoken on the topic than I am.

    I have begun watching cases related to bb infestation, not only in the New York area but nationwide and although most cases have to do with financial damages owed to victims by hotels, i expect that we will see more and more local cases in the civil court as well.

    Why don't we schedule a meeting in the community, perhaps, to discuss this problem. I have a bunch of ideas that I think may help stop the proliferation of this infestation. Perhaps my dad, who used to be on the NYC Board of Health, may become involved or help in some way. (I say perhaps because my dad is 91 and just may not physically feel up to it but i'll ask him). Perhaps we can set up a system of "bb czars" that are readily available in our communities. We may need a central place to bring infested furniture and bedding for destruction. There are many ideas we can put on an agenda.

    I hope that you'll have a few minutes to read this email and to respond.

    Thanks!"

  51. DLTBBB

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    Wed Sep 22 2010 8:28:30
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    Great letter, Deedle. I'm in Nassau county, but I'd truck into Queens or Brooklyn for such a meeting.

  52. DeedleBeetle

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    cool...will let you know if and when i get a response. This gentleman is soooo busy and usually takes about 5 business days to respond. So let's hope for a response sometime early or mid next week.

  53. Nobugsonme

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    Wed Sep 22 2010 10:24:58
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    Deedle, have you tried to contact New York vs. Bed Bugs?

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  54. losingitquick

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    Wed Sep 22 2010 14:11:24
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    Great letter. I am on another phone call mission today.

    I am not sure why everyone is down on the dogs... I would rather have a dog look and alert to bed bugs than to just have an exterminator (who they say are only 30% accurate) confirm the bbs. Properly trained dogs are reported to be 98% accurate, from my extensive research... I would think a dog handler without any affiliation with an exterminator would be a safe bet - because they are not trying to make money off a false positive.

    The freeze on NYC would be absolutely perfect - better than any rally I could ever hope to organize... How can we get people to participate? Perhaps solicit the media to assist... If each of us sends out an email to everyone we know (Lord knows I get plenty of such emails) - and we ask all of our contacts to forward - try to viral market it... perhaps someone on here has an IT background and could provide tips on how to blow it up all over the web.... Maybe others in big cities will follow suit...

  55. DougSummersMS

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    Wed Sep 22 2010 14:15:52
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    DeedleBeetle - 4 hours ago  »  "5. Many people get ripped off by professional exterminators (especially the ones with the dogs who often give an indication that they have found an infestation but there is no specimin produced for confirmation. Victims are charged for the dog service but never actually get confirmation of infestation. ) "

    DeedleBeetle,

    I love your letter and I encourage every consumer to write a similar letter to their elected representatives complaining about difficulty of identifying an infestation affording treatment, landlord / tenant issues, effective solutions and greater education, but I must take serious issue with the section that I have quoted above. ..

    It is a major overgeneralization that is both inaccurate and insulting to the honest hard working professionals that are following the proper protocols and doing a good job for their clients.

    I am a BedBugDog handler that follows a proper verification protocol.

    I have been publicly telling anyone that will listen that K9 alerts must be confirmed to be valid for the last five years. I have been denouncing those sloppy handlers that are unwilling to perform a proper inspection since the inception of this website (I originally had a different user name before I started commenting under my own name).

    I feel it is extremely unfair to overgeneralize about dog team accuracy.

    I ALWAYS perform a manual search in any location that is identified by my K9... without exception.

    There are a handful of companies that perform shoddy work that are being complained about on the forums over and over... Because they are unnamed... There is an unfortunate perception that all K9 teams are failing to perform a proper search... This is simply not true...

    K9s are going to be an important tool to help control the spread of bed bugs in our metropolitan cities and elsewhere... The answer is for the consumer to demand that the company perform a proper search and ask the inspector to "Show Me The Bed Bugs".... This standard of care and proper continuing education for the handlers will solve the problem that you are describing in your letter.

    Many people are reluctant to name the companies that they are complaining about on the forums.

    A consumer feedback rating system that is team or inspector specific is be best way to sort out the companies that perform well in the field from the incompetent ones. Let us not throw the baby out with the bath water or create a situation that has the unintended consequence of keeping K9 inspection prices artificially inflated by restraining competition..

    Demand is way up and the supply of reliable dog teams is very limited in your region.

    This is not an issue that is going to be solved by legislation... Education is the solution for this problem.

    Unless you can clone off a couple of thousand Killer Queens and David Cains... One of the best tools that is going to be available for the next decade or so is an honest pest control company that utilizes the best detection methodologies and qualified personnel to perform an accurate inspection... Monitors, dogs, encasements, heat and fumigation chambers are all going to be critical, if we are going to see any improvement over a highly predictable future of greater bed bug prevalence.

    I consider myself to be an activist in the fight against the spread of these parasites... I also urge people to get involved in lobbying the government to support effective programs and regulations to facilitate an efficacious response that will help people who are having their lives turned upside down by the resurgence of bed bug infestations.

  56. DougSummersMS

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    Wed Sep 22 2010 14:19:16
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    Let me be clear... I want to see better quality control for the K9 industry, but I don't believe that a vote on the part of our elected officials will fix the problem.

    I specifically do not want to ignite a debate about K9 accuracy on this thread... Lets stick to rallying the public to lobby the government for effective assistance here on this thread.

    There are existing threads or the K9 sticky thread that are more appropriate to discuss that issue in detail

  57. Beth

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    Wed Sep 22 2010 15:17:49
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    "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

    — ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER (1788-1860)

    So glad to see others here writing their legislators, particularly on behalf of the poor. Without ridding infestations in this sector, the problem will continue to grow at alarming rates. If I can be of any assistance in terms of a rally in Albany, let me know. I plan to be down in NYC at Christmas time and wouldn't mind participating perhaps in something like a "Buy Nothing" day as liberals practice the day after Thanksgiving. This could be a "Bring Nothing New Into Your Home" day and would seriously impact Christmas sales if its locus was NYC. Having it on a bulk garbage day in Queens would send an even bigger message. Anyone infested would be asked to discard all their infested items they chose that day, with everything labeled, and everyone one urged to not pick anything from the piles. If we could get the garbagemen involved...I doubt they like subjecting themselves to infestation. Bring in the pco's for a free day of inspections at shelters, hostels, nursing homes, group homes. Offer a free day of fumigation services. Residents with means offer packtite sharing to the indigent. Send a message about the trauma, cost and extent of this nightmare.

    It would be a call to the government to do something for poor people who are suffering with bed bugs, especially as so many stores are now getting infested. Fumigation, thermal, detection, fire pit, yes yes and yes. There could be other elements to such a day.

    peace-
    Amy

  58. buggerthebugs

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    Wed Sep 22 2010 16:09:43
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    Contacting NY vs. Bedbugs is a great suggestion for this "freeze on NY" day. They might have longer reaching arms in terms of their audience and the more people hear of this idea, the more people we can sign up. I also think it would be a good idea to let our local politicians know that we are planning this. They should know that there is a real protest brewing and, if they're smart and want an angle for reelection, they will take this seriously and take action. We're handing them a real issue on a silver platter.

    I also think that we need to let politicians understand that this problem is very far reaching. It is indeed a terrible burden particularly amongst the underserved, but it is devastating to the middle class as well. I know too many people who have had to go into major debt because of a bedbug infestation. And we haven't even scratched the surface when it comes to mental health repercussions. I imagine we are going to start seeing more and more missed days at work - either because people have to deal with their infestation - or because they have become insomniac, anxious and unable to really function. And I'm not even talking about traumatized kids refusing to go to school.

    The bottom line is, this is a collective problem so we, as individuals, cannot combat it one by one. We need a public/governmental intervention. So, let's boycott the city until they are willing to protect us.

  59. DeedleBeetle

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    Wed Sep 22 2010 16:33:28
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    Hi Doug...

    Yeah...when i reread the email after sending it i thought i might have worded that paragraph a little differently -- a tad more gently. (I certainly can related to having my profession trashed because of the actions of some (i won't say 'a few'). Anyway, i know that i try to do the right thing by my clients and i don't let the world's opinion about lawyers get to me personally.)

    If i write another letter in the future, i'll remember to be more cautious about the way i refer to the PCO industry

    (this is a problem of having each of us go out on our own doing our "own thing.") Perhaps it is time to get a committee together to make a game plan about who will be contacted and what the party line is.

    Hi NoBugs.. i did see that website when i first had my bb problem. It's a good website. Does anyone else want to reach out to them??

    Hi Beth...Yeah...there could be something like "bring out your dead" during the plague times. That would be the time to bring out infested mattresses, sofas, and other buggy stuff!

  60. The Reluctant Entomologist

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    Wed Sep 22 2010 17:02:48
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    OMG, I am so busy right now, but I finally got to read through the latest in this thread and love people's ideas here.

    I just want to reiterate the reason I feel this goes beyond education: money. (BTW I LOVED Colbert's spin on this: "You mean we have to EDUCATE the bbs TOO????") I like people's points about the middle class pinch. I hate to say it, but basically what I HATE about the inadequacy of everything only being about education, disclosure, and making sure the landlord takes responsibility for paying for a proper, expensive treatment is this: IT'S AN UNFUNDED MANDATE. PERIOD. (Wow, amazing how many similarities there are bt bbs and the public education issue).

    BBS ARE NO ONE'S FAULT BUT *EVERYONE'S* PROBLEM. I stress "everyone" because that's why it requires the kind of consistent adequate treatment not everyone can or will (etc.) pay for w/o help. Think about it. This is why people have homeowners' insurance for catastrophic stuff. But for some reason insurance doesn't cover THIS?????

    I love the "bring out your dead" bulk garbage day suggestion. One of my other ideas for an activist ploy would be to actually pick a day when a bunch of us in all parts of the city put out signs that say something like "PROBABLY NOT INFESTED WITH BEDBUGS (???)" on any and every disposed item that seems appropriate (including those piles of clothing people sometimes just leave on the curb).

    Parenthetically, I hate how "ungreen" these friggin' things are. Plastic, fear of reusing stuff, toxic chemicals, etc. They are the Devil.

    What I like about several of these suggestions (including the sort of bb equivalent of "Take the 'Black' out of Black Friday by not shopping) is that these can cost nothing (so great of whoever it was to acknowledge that no one should stay home from work if they can't b/c of having no sick days, etc.) and can be done in a simultaneous, widespread fashion -- and, perhaps unlike my naked movie idea, these won't result in anyone going to the slammer.

    Peace out for now.

  61. DougSummersMS

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    Wed Sep 22 2010 20:23:07
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    Deedle,

    Thanks, I appreciate your help.

    Letter writing campaigns have been tried before ( See Renee's site NY vs BB for some history), but I think the media frenzy is creating some opportunities to get some better cooperation and funding for an initiative from the government... now that we seem to have the public's attention.

    We are on the political radar now... A viral letter / email grassroots approach may enjoy a much better reception given the shift in public perception..

    Maybe bed bugs will finally become a subject on Oprah..

    TRE
    BBs are no ones fault and everybody's problem is a great educational slogan ... It would make a good T shirt... I really enjoyed that Colbert clip too. ...

    Be sure to check out the Daily Show clip with Lou Sorkin now posted on the blog page.

  62. DeedleBeetle

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    Thu Sep 23 2010 12:44:15
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    Here's the response i got back from the assistant to that politician guy (i redacted my name)... My initial googling of Mary Mejia public health official shows someone who is a medical doctor trained in Lima, Peru and who has a Masters in public health/environmental health from Hunter College. I suspect it's the same person, but don't know for sure, yet.

    I have sent her a short email asking her to contact me at my office or by email at her convenience. I'll keep you posted on what i hear from her.

    "Dear Ms. C....and Mejia:

    I am writing to introduce you to each other. Ms. C, I would like to introduce you to Mary Mejia, who is working with us on the issue of bedbugs. Ms. Mejia is a bilingual public health professional who is helping us reaching all populations of Queens. In addition, Ms. C, the links below will take you to forms related to the new disclosure law:

    http://www.dhcr.state.ny.us/Forms/Rent/dbbno.pdf

    http://www.dhcr.state.ny.us/Forms/Rent/dbbn.pdf

    Ms. Mejia, please read the email Ms. C sent me. She wants to get involved. Feel free to contact her directly if you feel she can be of assistance."

    Hi Doug...and other's with the viral email idea.... i haven't clue how that happens. Would love to learn how that's accomplished. Are there any regulations pertaining to beginning such a thing?

  63. losingitquick

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    Thu Sep 23 2010 16:52:30
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    Ok... I just wrote this - I KNOW it needs work... please provide feedback... am I on the right track with this as far as an email?

    IMPORTANT WARNING:
    THIS IS A SERIOUS PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERN WHICH WILL SOON EFFECT YOU
    TAKE A STAND TO PROTECT YOURSELVES FROM BED BUGS
    [center]NYC SPEAKS UP

    WHEN: OCTOBER 10th 2010 – 10/10/10
    YOUR SUPPORT & ACTION IS NEEDED:
    NEW YORKERS SHUT DOWN NYC COMMERCE – 10/10/10:

    ON 10/10 DO NOT PURCHASE ANYTHING – NOT EVEN A PACK OF GUM… IF YOU HAVE TO PURCHASE NECESSITIES PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY TO ACQUIRE THESE ITEMS PRIOR TO 10/10/10.

    WE NEED EVERYONE’S PARTICIPATION IN ORDER TO CREATE AN IMPACT THAT IS NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED.

    PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THIS EMAIL OR CHOOSE NOT TO PARTICIPATE

    UNITED WE STAND – DIVIDED WE FALL

    Our rights are being compromised – and we need to stand up and fight for our rights.
    If you are not aware, the United States is experiencing a Bed Bug Epidemic. This is not media hype – this is fact (at the bottom of this email you will find links which I suggest you read to understand just how serious this problem is). YOU ARE NOT IMMUNE – CLEANLINESS WILL NOT PROTECT YOU.

    NYC residents are organizing to call the government to action. FACT: We as individuals can not combat this epidemic alone… not logistically – and not financially. NOTE: Your insurance does not cover bed bug infestation. It can cost THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS to attempt to rid your home from these bugs.

    THERE IS NO CHEMICAL AVAILABLE THAT KILLS THE BUGS.

    The government is really not doing anything to protect us, they are not attempting to control the problem or provide financial assistance for us when the infestation(s) hits our homes. They are recognizing that it is an epidemic but not calling a state of emergency. It can cost THOUSANDS of DOLLARS to attempt to get rid of them. In addition – they are more difficult than cockroaches to eliminate from a home – again, THERE CURRENTLY IS NO CHEMICAL AVAILABLE TO KILL THEM.

    THE MESSAGE WE WILL BE SENDING TO GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND TO THE MEDIA IS:

    • WE NEED EMERGENCY GOVERNMENT ACTION
    • FINANCIAL ASSITANCE FOR HOMEOWNER’S BED BUG TREATMENTS
    • EPA REVIEWS OF CHEMICALS WHICH ARE KNOWN TO KILL THE BUGS BUT ARE BANNED
    • PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS
    • MERCHANT DISCLOSURE LAWS – PROTECTION FOR CONSUMERS WHO ARE UNKNOWINGLY BRINGING THE BUGS HOME ALONG WITH THEIR PURCHASES.

    These bugs are being transmitted socially and to consumers throughout the country – with NYC being hit the hardest… retail stores, Movie theaters, court houses, the 311 call center, public libraries, - they are spreading like wild fire… it is estimated now that 1 out of every 10 New Yorkers has bed bugs… ONCE YOU HAVE THEM LIFE WILL BECOME A NIGHTMARE…. Not only will you lose sleep, you may have to discard your furniture, mattress, box spring, sofa, personal belongings… People are suffering from anxiety, depression, insomnia and stress as a result of the bed bugs.

    AT THE RATE THEY ARE SPREADING ODDS ARE YOU WILL SOON HAVE THEM.

    The way I wrote it in "Word" has colors, pictures of bed bugs, etc - this forum is not allowing me to provide such formatting

  64. spideyjg

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    Thu Sep 23 2010 17:05:13
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    losingitquick - 10 minutes ago  » 

    THERE IS NO CHEMICAL AVAILABLE THAT KILLS THE BUGS.

    – again, THERE CURRENTLY IS NO CHEMICAL AVAILABLE TO KILL THEM.

    Tosses the BS flag.

    You are flat out lying!

  65. KillerQueen

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    Thu Sep 23 2010 17:22:40
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    I guess I should not really be in this thread as I feel gov't is the problem right now and would make matters even worse if they had more direct involvement.

    A hugh part of the problem is coming from public or gov't funded housing. If they can't get it right in those buildings .. what makes you think they will get it right in others?

    But I have to say it looks more like a "scare the hell out of everyone" type letter and it should be formatted with more education and less fear factor. Some may see it that way and not even read it in its entirety.

    Again, I'll tell you that for every 10 successful treatments you may hear about 2 that failed and again, most pros will tell you its not the chemical failing when you have an educated PCO. People are using products and methods each and every day to eradicate infestations. Everyday!

    So, I'm not against your efforts, I just think the approach needs to be done differently. Why not arrange for a gathering of folks looking to get the public message out there first. Work your ideas together in person, you know, brain storm ideas together before writing or hitting the pavement.

    I don't see how it should be the governments responsibility when you are dealing with a pest of exposure but I will say again ... the gov't messes up everything in their path.

  66. DeedleBeetle

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    Thu Sep 23 2010 18:11:54
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    LosingIt...

    i think i see what you're going after. I think it contains some critical points. I'm wondering if it fits on one side of a page.

    I agree with KQ that it sounds pretty scary and so scary that people might take it as being "over the top."

    I'll print this out tomorrow morning and let's work on it over the weekend? I think i can make some suggestions about the organization of it. Or do you think you could email me a copy of it so i can see what it looks like? You have my email address.

    I think another thing that we can rethink (it's never a bad idea to rethink things) is the point that KQ brings up about public housing...i'd like to know more about that if KQ would do me the favor of enlightening me more about the size of the public housing problem with bbs and what being and not being accomplished about it.

    By the way, i also agree with KQ about having a preliminary meeting (although i hate to go out as you all well know) in order to map out a plan. Although i happen to think it might be able to be done on-line with a virtual meeting, i sort of thought it would be best to meet if we can. I am hoping that the public health official will contact me and perhaps we can meet with her and see what she's up to. there's no sense in reinventing the wheel. Perhaps she already has a workable game plan.

    I yes to what Spidy suggests...that we should be awfully careful about presenting information that can't be challenged as untrustworthy or inaccurate. So whatever the flyer says it must be reviewed very carefully to screen out anything that can be the used to undermine the intent of the effort.

  67. losingitquick

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    Thu Sep 23 2010 18:17:36
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    I am "flat out lying?" Wow... so you are saying you know of a pesticide that kills bed bugs just like that? Please do indulge... since every single thing I read is about pyrethroid resistance... if it worked - the PCO would come in spray your home and you'd be done with it. If it works why are we in such a panic? If it works why are states begging the EPA to release Propoxur?

    NY TIMES SEPT 4 2010:

    "Some pest controllers are placing their hopes on resuscitating propoxur, a highly toxic chemical that was phased out of indoor uses because it could cause nervous-system damage in children. Ohio and Kentucky have asked the Environmental Protection Agency to allow professional exterminators to use it indoors, and other states may follow suit. The requests are based in part on laboratory tests by a Kentucky entomologist on small groups of bedbugs. Some of today’s leading pesticides could not kill even half of the bugs, while propoxur wiped them all out in two hours. The E.P.A. is studying whether there might be limited situations — a nursing home with no children present — where it could be used. "

    Hmmm.... kills some of them... but not all of them... THERE IS NO CHEMICAL AVAILABLE TO KILL THE BED BUGS.

    Not a lie... fact or we all wouldn't be here sharing trial and error stories, looking for hope, hoping for help... we would all just run out to lowes and buy a pyrethroid based spray for 9.99 and be done with it.

    I had carpet beetles (EVERYWHERE) a couple of years ago... I called the PCO - was treated and they were gone... I have never seen another. The chemical they used worked for carpet beetles - there is no such silver bullet for bed bugs.

    I assume from you short - unsupported response that you are a PCO. I bet you convince your clients that it will work like magic too.

  68. losingitquick

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    Thu Sep 23 2010 18:24:26
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    Deedle... I will email it to you and of course I am willing to work on it together... I understand what YOU are saying about making statements that can undermine the intent... and also that we need to work on the length and the organization... I literally just sat down and wrote it in 5 minutes - because I figured better to rush to a start than to procrastinate and accomplish nothing ( I am ADHD)... I think it needs to be shorter... to be honest with you, the only thing I liked about it is the date - because it is memorable.

    I am going to email to you now.

  69. spideyjg

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    Thu Sep 23 2010 18:38:45
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    losingitquick - 15 minutes ago  » 

    THERE IS NO CHEMICAL AVAILABLE TO KILL THE BED BUGS.
    Not a lie... fact or we all wouldn't be here sharing trial and error stories, looking for hope, hoping for help... we would all just run out to lowes and buy a pyrethroid based spray for 9.99 and be done with it.
    .

    Tempo dust, 100% mortality in 24 hours, Drione 24-72 hours. Deltadust, 24-hours to 7 days, DE up to 10 days

    http://www.mypmp-digital.com/pmpdigital/200905/?pg=32#pg32

    So the statement there is nothing is false since that study list 4 products that have 100% mortality.

    So your E-mail claiming there is nothing would come across as deceptive.

    Jim

  70. Beth

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    Thu Sep 23 2010 18:53:10
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    Losing it:

    I like it.

    We need a catchy name. Something that plays on the idea of bed bugs coming out during the day...

    Needs a flyer, which will only be able to have a few points on it. 10/10/10 may be too soon to get the word out. It needs national news attention, before and during the event. I'm good at flyers and media releases.

    Stuff does kill the bugs, just not the eggs. But that is a good point to make "No pesticide currently available kills the source of the infestation." The flyer/media release will need statistics. Like that 1 in 15 homes was infested in NYC this year. The average cost of extermination. The EPA's release on its health effects.

    And we need a gimmick other than shut down NYC commerce, which is obviously the objective. We need to advertise everyone to put all of their infested stuff out on their lawn, let's pick a bulk garbage day. When is the next one in Queens? There needs to be visibility of this issue all over the streets of NY. And still I say, free inspections for shelters, etc. Because....they will show up. And, when they do, we have another set of statistics for our next action: the percentage of public housing that is infested.

    The government does screw up a lot of stuff. But, money is money. And poor people in this area need it to fight these things. They do destroy lives. They are not just another pest, they are a natural disaster. I know of no other pest that makes people throw out all of their stuff. Even cockroaches can be treated with some boric acid in a move. I know people who have had lice and toxic mold lose less. THAT is why the government needs to be involved, besides the fact they are spreading like wild fire. I just looked at an apartment today and thank goodness the one mattress didn't have sheets on it, because...bed bug feces. It is out of control. Intervention is needed. The streets of my city are littered with mattresses constantly. It is so sad.

    Losing it: we may need to relax a bit on the propxur. Speaking as someone made ill by the pesticides they used, in terms of public health, pushing for poison is not the best strategy when non toxic methods kill them and should be made available to all people, especially those impoverished by illness.

    Also, 10/10/10 while perhaps too soon is also not at a high shopping time. Somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas would be a better strategy for this all around, even though 10-10-10 is a cool number.

    peace-
    Amy

  71. DeedleBeetle

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    Beth...LosingIt...That was one other thing i meant to mention in my last post...i wanted to ask again why exactly stopping commerce would be seen as a good thing even if it brings attention to bbs..it'smight bring negative attention. Perhaps we should brainstorm more about HOW to bring attention. I rather like the idea of putting out infested stuff...but i'm not sure whether there are regulations about when and where things can be discarded. I believe there are certain days when larger things can be put out. We don't want to encourage people to do stuff like putting out infested stuff on days when there won't even be a truck scheduled to come and pick stuff up...and we certainly don't want infested stuff sitting around the street for days waiting to be picked up and thereby chancing the further spread of the infestation.

    I think we better think about this more and more carefully.

    I like the viral information thing, for sure...but what else could be done to bring positive attention to the cause? Could we do something affirmative like offering to go speak to school children, to nursing home patients, etc? Could that possibly be at least a prong of what we plan so that if there is some boycott aspect of the demonstration, there is a balancing affirmative educational and "giving back" to the community as well?

    (my brain is tired, but i wanted to get this out before i hit the hay).

    And one other thing i'd like to suggest...if we can manage it....we should all make a concerted effort to avoid using words and terms that might be hurtful when communicating among ourselves. Also, let's not let ourselves be sidetracked by such terms if we see or hear them. If we can squeeze something instructional from them, then great; otherwise, let's just try to stay on track and be supportive of each other. We can and should criticize when necessary...but in a way and with words that are kind.

  72. KillerQueen

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    You need to set a goal. What exactly do you wish to accomplish by making yourself heard?

    I think something like figuring out how or who could make inexpensive bed bug costumes/suits .. (and ones that look good). Have 50 volunteers gather in NYC and have 50 people stand at different corners and hand out bed bug fact sheets ... and carefully have some pressure statements to spark gov't involvement if that is what you want. You can even stand around a pool of white jelly beans .. to represent eggs all around the bug.

    This will wake people up on the street and also bring media attention. Just remind me of the date you do this so I don't shoot anyone with chemical in a crosswalk

  73. DeedleBeetle

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    Oh KQ i love that idea...but how to make a costume...

    i remember we actually had a costume maker on the boards...do you remember? And the idea about the white jelly beans is marvelous!

    It could be a little skit taking about 4 minutes...it could start with just one bb on the corner...and then another one shows up...and another and another until it's a full freakin' infestation!!! The bbs could squirt out reddishbrown liquid (food dye? Intense Hibiscus water?) and leave little dried up skins behind...and black smudge marks (chalk?)

    We could video tape it ourselves and then put it up on Youtube.''

    But who could make the costumes?

  74. spideyjg

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    Thu Sep 23 2010 22:31:34
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    losingitquick - 4 hours ago  » 

    I assume from you short - unsupported response that you are a PCO. I bet you convince your clients that it will work like magic too.

    I'm not.

    As Deedle asked I'll leave it at that.

  75. bugcouver

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    Thu Sep 23 2010 23:44:29
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    Maybe you could perform the skit with dolls... Barbie gets bed bugs... lol.

  76. DeedleBeetle

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    Fri Sep 24 2010 5:16:21
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    Yeah dolls and/or puppet shows for little kids to teach them about

    1. not picking from garbage

    2. nothing to be ashamed about with bb

    3. how being tidy will give bbs less places to hide

    4. what signs to look for

    and other stuff...

    who can make bb puppets!??? Some creative soul out there must know how to make them...i only know how to make sock puppets....i suppose that might work...with some old brown socks (i can swipe a pair from hubby's collection)...some buttons for eyes...some stripes along the back in a reddish brown/black color? some legs and antennae on it (i don't have the foggiest about how to make legs and antennae).

  77. DeedleBeetle

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    Fri Sep 24 2010 5:28:11
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    So we'll want to avoid these charges by getting a permit..

    I. Section 240.20 Disorderly conduct

    A person is guilty of disorderly conduct when, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof:

    1. He engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior; or

    2. He makes unreasonable noise; or

    3. In a public place, he uses abusive or obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture; or

    4. Without lawful authority, he disturbs any lawful assembly or meeting of persons; or

    5. He obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic; or

    6. He congregates with other persons in a public place and refuses to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse; or

    7. He creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose.

    Disorderly conduct is a violation.

    II. Penal Law Section 240.35 Loitering

    A person is guilty of loitering when he:

    1. Loiters, remains or wanders about in a public place for the purpose of begging; or

    2. Loiters or remains in a public place for the purpose of gambling with cards, dice or other gambling paraphernalia; or

    3. Loiters or remains in a public place for the purpose of engaging, or soliciting another person to engage, in oral sexual conduct, anal sexual conduct, or other sexual behavior of a deviate nature; or

    4. Being masked or in any manner disguised by unusual or unnatural attire or facial alteration, loiters, remains or congregates in a public place with other persons so masked or disguised, or knowingly permits or aids persons so masked or disguised to congregate in a public place; except that such conduct is not unlawful when it occurs in connection with a masquerade party or like entertainment if, when such entertainment is held in a city which has promulgated regulations in connection with such affairs, permission is first obtained from the police or other appropriate authorities; or

    5. Loiters or remains in or about school grounds, a college or university building or grounds or a children's overnight camp as defined in section one thousand three hundred ninety-two of the public health law or a summer day camp as defined in section one thousand three hundred ninety two of the public health law, or loiters, remains in or enters a school bus as defined in section one hundred forty-two of the vehicle and traffic law, not having any reason or relationship involving custody of or responsibility for a pupil or student, or any other specific, legitimate reason for being there, and not having written permission from anyone authorized to grant the same or loiters or remains in or about such children's overnight camp or summer day camp in violation of conspicuously posted rules or regulations governing entry and use thereof; or

    6. Loiters or remains in any transportation facility, unless specifically authorized to do so, for the purpose of soliciting or engaging in any business, trade or commercial transactions involving the sale of merchandise or services, or for the purpose of entertaining persons by singing, dancing or playing any musical instrument; or

    7. Loiters or remains in any transportation facility, or is found sleeping therein, and is unable to give a satisfactory explanation of his presence.

    Loitering is a violation.

    III. Penal Law Section 240.45 Criminal nuisance in the second degree

    A person is guilty of criminal nuisance in the second degree when:

    1. By conduct either unlawful in itself or unreasonable under all the circumstances, he knowingly or recklessly creates or maintains a condition which endangers the safety or health of a considerable number of persons; or

    2. He knowingly conducts or maintains any premises, place or resort where persons gather for purposes of engaging in unlawful conduct.

    Criminal nuisance in the second degree is a class B misdemeanor.

  78. Beth

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    Fri Sep 24 2010 9:39:36
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    hi everyone,

    stopping commerce is critical because basically, the government is business. Money talks. If we disrupt business, the business sector, who is already plagued by this problem, may become more vocal with the government. But more importantly, when the stock market dips, people in power listen.

    It also shows the seriousness of the situation in NY. Puppetry is all well and good, but we need more than theatrics and education. Decluttering does nothing to limit the number of bugs. People need to not be bitten in their sleep, have their blood sucked and lose their homes and work hours because of the stress.

    We don't need a permit if we simply advertise and participate in a boycott, and dump our wares on a legal bulk garbage day. I will try to find that info. out for Queens when the next one is, usually there are four a year. What we will need is a facebook page, flyers and media releases. However, if we decide also to hold a gathering, we may consider a permit, or not. A march, we would definitely need the ok from the police. But if we just gather in a park in Queens, we wouldn't really. Or perhaps, just taking leaflets to major public areas and distributing them, then again, we wouldn't. If you advertise enough, the police won't bother you if you are peaceably assembled because their is support behind you.

    But I'm on board with holding an actual event, inviting the press, and getting a permit. Don't sell food or sell things: costs too much money. Just an ok from the park and the police is what we need, and a permit which will cost money.

    KQ said we need a goal. First, then we need to decide on the problem.

    In my mind, and it seems some others here, the problem is: AFFORDABILITY OF TREATMENT.

    Losing it also mentions the lack of funds going into research, but NY vs. Bedbugs was able to get $500,000 earmarked for the issue (don't know how it was dipersed) and the EPA is calling on more research as well. Losing it also mentions propoxur, which I think is going nowhere fast with its history. The Chicago Bed Bug summit shows Phantom, Temprid and one other to work. So the problem isn't pesticide resistance, at least not the biggest problem.

    The problem, again is: AFFORDABILITY OF TREATMENT.

    There are treatments that can knock them down in one shot, but the people who are spreading bed bugs everywhere CANNOT AFFORD IT.

    So what is the goal?

    MAKE TREATMENT AFFORDABLE. Either by regulating the pest control industry or subsidizing treatment for the poor. And yes, I'm sorry, but making $11,000 a year is qualitatively different than $40,000, no matter how many mouths you are feeding (within reason). Subsidizing those who would, say, qualify for food stamps, makes sense. In addition to the government putting dollars towards non-toxic treatments and eradicating them with vikane in public housing. We need a mass extermination happening here, or we're screwed.

    So, we call on the government to eliminate or substantially reduce bed bugs in poor communities. Or we don't buy things that could be infested and we certainly don't give a hand to the stock exchange where companies are making money off of this. In fact, rather than a one day boycott, I think this should be a longer term boycott. Call me crazy, but I participate here in what is called a "free market" which is basically where people can donate and pick things up for free. I know, crawling, right? Well, I've got the packtite. It's been a godsend to me after tossing so much, the packtite in coordination with the free market. It might be interesting to have a place where the poor can go to get deinfested items or to deinfest their things for free.

    And nothing would speak louder than a fire pit. But...that would require lots of permissions. I will mention again free inspections of public housing.

    I say, if we have an event, let's make it useful at least to the poor.

    peace-
    Amy

  79. losingitquick

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    Fri Sep 24 2010 9:53:27
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    I love all the different ideas...

    If it is a puppet show - I can make the puppets, another one of those hats I wear is that of an artist and I am crafty - I have made costumes, puppets and such...

    Perhaps we can script it where one bed bug is telling another bed bug about how great america is... maybe a visitor's welcome booth attendant - providing the new comer with info... "hitch a ride in the cuff of an uneducated human... once you enter the home, seek shelter in a cluttered area to go undetected"... He can go on and tell them how he'll get free room and board and there are so many people to feed on because the government isn't even properly educating them or addressing the problem.

    So would we send this to the media? How would a video puppet show call the government to action?
    I am open to all ideas and especially anything that will work... I just don't see this as being the move that gets results... Again.. I still will gladly make the puppets...

    It is a shame that we live in a world that makes it difficult for the masses to be heard... permits, laws, etc...

  80. losingitquick

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    Fri Sep 24 2010 10:05:03
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    Oh by the way... this morning when I was walking my dog I stopped a NYC department of sanitation supervisor - one of the men who drives around in the car looking for violations... I asked him about bulk... (we actually need to throw out windows)... he told me that there are no more bulk days. He said items that are large and can be recycled (like a full metal filing cabinet) are to be put out on recycling days all other items (he used bedroom furniture as an example) are to be put out on either of your 2 regular pick up days - there is a maximum of 6 bulk items per residence. He said if the items are very large they ask that you put out 3 on day 3 on the next and so on. I then called 311 to confirm.

    He also shared with me that soon it will be a law that infested mattresses must be wrapped and sealed in plastic...

    Beth - I agree that it has to have a huge impact to be effective.

  81. Beth

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    Fri Sep 24 2010 10:54:51
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    6 bulk items per residence on one of the two pick up days. perfect. it will be very easy to coordinate perhaps a "week long" deinfestation. It is not law yet that mattresses are sealed. We can call on people to label and toss them. It might be good to make a whole week of this with the different components: buy nothing, toss infested wares, public education, rally, visits with legislators, free inspections, leafletting. How about the name: "WAKE UP NEW YORK!" Oh I can see a bullhorn now (now THEN we'd need a permit!)

    It's not that I don't like the puppet idea, it's just that it's not enough. Public education certainly is a part of this and should be included in actions, but with all the news stories, education isn't really the problem right now. We need government to fork over cash to poor people. If it takes puppets to help that along, cool. I think it will take an effect on the economy however, mass visuals (like garbage day) and visits with legislators and media to really get anything done.

    Amy

  82. Beth

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    Fri Sep 24 2010 10:55:34
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    you know what would be cool?

    having an action in the dead of night...

    WAKE UP NEW YORK!

  83. DeedleBeetle

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    Fri Sep 24 2010 11:29:24
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    all these are interesting issues and points of view.

    I see that affordability of treatment is an issue. I think that there is not just one main issue..i think it's a combinatinon of

    affordability of effective treatment
    education

    I think it was KQ who was talking about how the public housing sector is being treated for bb infestation. Perhaps they need to clear everyone out of those public housing complexes for one full day after a week of preparation of the residents' possessions.....putting folks up for 24 to 48 hours somewhere while the building complex is treated. I'm not even sure that could really be coordinated.

    The idea of affordability in terms of low income folks...say, for instance, folks in public or subsidized housing..they're not going to have to come out of their pocket for the actual treatment. There, the issue will be how they can be reimbursed or given stipends for the preparation before treatment. For those financially challenged folks who are not in public housing but who find themselves unable to afford treatment and preparation, then some actual help in terms of reimbursement, vouchers, coupons, etc., might work.

    For people like myself...who are neither poor nor rich...i suppose we'll do well with a tax write off for both preparation and treatment too ( where we have to come out of pocket for treatment)

    i get the idea that effective treatment is not going to be accomplished if one apartment unit is treated at a time. I'm not even sure it would be worthwhile to treat one floor at a time. I'm thinking that whole buildings will have to be wrapped for treatment...And would it be even better if whole square blocks could be evacuated and treated? I don't see how that would be possible.

    I certainly understand that cute (or not so cute) little puppets are not going to change much...but again, just to reemphasize my earlier point. I think the effort to reach the youngsters (and elderly too) about bbs and have it be entertaining and positive is a good balance to any detriment that might be caused to NYC economy....

    and...personally, although i remember quite well my mother taking me to march on picket lines of all varieties as a kid, and having worked for unions when younger, i still wish there were something else that we could come up with that would not negatively influence our economy. I want to spend more time thinking about what other kinds of actions we might take to bring out point to light.

    By the way Beth....i like the 10/10/10 but i think we're too late for that. What about 1/11/11? Would probably be cold...and that's just around the corner....I could help plan but will probably be far away from NYC that month and the next...at least i think so.

  84. KillerQueen

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    Fri Sep 24 2010 13:07:49
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    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
    The fifth would pay $1.
    The sixth would pay $3.
    The seventh would pay $7.
    The eighth would pay $12.
    The ninth would pay $18.
    The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

    So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers", he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20". Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his "fair share?"

    They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

    And so:

    The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
    The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
    The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
    The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
    The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10!" "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!" "That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!" "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!" The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

    The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

    And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

  85. Beth

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    Fri Sep 24 2010 15:29:25
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    By "beer" for poor people, I'm assuming you mean moonshine. And by "beer" for wealthy people I'm assuming you mean Guiness?

    By "first four men" I'm assuming you mean alcoholics who must drink away their bed bug problem. And by "tenth man" I'm assuming you mean alcoholic who must drink away the crimes of his associates who will imprison no one but the "first four men" for beating him up (especially if they are black). And by man 5-9 I'm assuming you mean alcoholics in therapy because their life is going absolutely nowhere with their profoundly boring work days in which they try to help others, change laws, or build better technology but fail at all three because our service economy has ensured that we have no more blue collar jobs left to support such esoteric growth. So really men 5-9 are just counseling each other, representing one another in a court room, performing second-world medical interventions on one another and exterminating one another's properties with toxic chemicals and (sometimes) getting paid for it.

    I've been those "four men" that can't afford a night at a bar. Trust me, even my best of friends didn't treat me more than once or twice. The people who did the absolute.least. were the wealthiest people that I know. I got more from poor neighbors living on welfare than close friends who own multiple houses. And this is not unique, this is THE story among the poor.

    KQ, you may know bed bugs, but most people in America disagree with your conclusions on how our economic system works. See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/23/americans-support-wealth-redistribution_n_736132.html?ref=fb&src=sp#sb=1027052,b=facebook

    8 out of 10 people's economic situation sucks in this country because of the rich, not the poor. It's called corporate welfare: bank bail outs, unethical company bailouts, tax loopholes and breaks, even things like rich people being able to get tax write offs for giving to their friends through "philanthropic" trusts. But. I'm reminded of another article: http://www.sott.net/articles/show/215377-The-Angry-Rich

    Newsflash: According to the US Census Bureau, if you make more than $86,000 a year you are the upper class (not upper middle). You are the 20% who own 84% of the wealth of this country.

    I would encourage anyone who wants to dissuade a major action to get the government to help poor people rid themselves of a plague, to reduce your earnings to $90 a week (that's welfare), infest your place with bed bugs and see, even you pco's, if you'd be able to eradicate them (even be able to afford the caulk, sprays, gloves, paper towels, laundry bills) and stay alive and sheltered, with that income. Never mind having a beer, or friends to go out to have a beer with.

    But seeing as most of America agrees with equitable wealth distribution, I'm not too concerned most on here will get it when people remark that something must be done to aid the poor here. So back to the matter at hand.

    I suggested before an action at night. In Chicago is it, people are leaving their homes for the safety of sleeping in the parks. Not such a bad idea if planned properly.....

    But seriously, we need a conference call for those INTERESTED.

    peace-
    Amy

  86. losingitquick

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    Fri Sep 24 2010 17:25:28
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    I will say, I am not poor. I also am not rich. Who can afford this? Even if I could, I would rather have an LCD TV than to throw the money at a problem that I did not cause and was careful to avoid. We as a nation should be protected from such a thing. This isn't a roach nibbling on someone's crumbs - these are bugs feeding on us. You can call that a nuisance if you choose - I on the other hand look at it as living hell... a scary, disgusting, unacceptable living hell. And again I will say, with the way this is spreading what is to say you won't just get them again, and again... and yet again?

    Just the increase in electric and gas bills from running the dryer non stop day and night is more than most families can afford. I am scared to death of what September's bills are going to look like.

    You all know I am bent on the propoxur... and rightfully so. DDT eradicated the bugs in the past. Propoxur works now and can do the same. No need for everyone to jump all over me with the resistance or the enviornmental impact angles... because first of all the 2-3 years it will take for the resistance will give this government an ample opportunity to come up with a real action plan. This has been slowly mounting for years - it takes a full blown epidemic for them to come up with some lame laws??

    2nd of all - my carbon footprint has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few weeks - and I have no intention of stopping... I can't. I use a dozen plastic bags a day easy. Everytime we go out I insist those clothes are bagged and hit the dryer for an hour then the wash machine - then what can stand the heat - the dryer again... I am spraying every available OTC pesticide everywhere - I have gone through gallons... I am wasting water, energy, plastic... throwing out almost everything to reduce clutter... THIS IS INSANE. I really can not see paying income tax, sales tax, & property tax and not having a dime of it to work for ME (not just the poor) at a time when I need it the most. If I keep this up I soon will be poor. What type of a country is this that the poor must literally endure being fed on by bed bugs?

  87. The Reluctant Entomologist

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    Fri Sep 24 2010 18:45:22
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    Beth/Amy, I think you're really making great points. (I've also been meaning to thank you for your positive feedback on my blog – that was you if I remember right). But I'm not complimenting your ideas here just because I'm letting your kind words bias me!

    I'd like to add to the discussion by fine-tuning just a few points:

    1) Believe me, I agree that there's a huge different between a household income of $40k and $11k. Growing up, my family was uninsured and had an annual income half of that latter number, and I'm not that old, so we're not talking about a billion years ago. Most Americans have absolutely no clue what it's like to REALLY go without, and until I lose the roof over my head or start going hungry (it may happen at this rate), I will continue to consider myself quite fortunate.

    Having said that, though, people making $11k are NOT the ones who own property and thus have to pay for treatment (at least certainly not in NYC, where the problem is the largest).

    So,
    A) KQ, I agree at least as far as to say that the gov should get its crap together in the buildings it actually RUNS, first and foremost, especially given Beth's point. People who are that poor have enough to contend with, without also dealing with bbs and improper treatment for them on the part of those who are responsible for the upkeep of public housing. Perhaps the people in power who make laws about who is financially responsible could start by enforcing such laws in the gov't itself, then, if this isn't properly being done?

    B)Since the only financial cost for renters (in NYC at least) should be household products, Climbups maybe, replaced furniture, laundering, etc. (I know, I know: “only” sounds dismissive, and that's really not how I mean it at all), the gov should CERTAINLY provide some kind of assistance for the actual poor. (When I was growing up, we could barely afford to keep shampoo in the house, much less buy furniture or millions of dollars worth of laundry detergent). I'm just pointing out here that under the law, in NYC anyway, very poor people wouldn't need help paying for TREATMENT. They shouldn't be paying for it anyway.

    C) I still think it's important to recognize that the average $40k income in bb capital Brooklyn is insufficient if a homeowner is expected to do proper treatment. Having to spend up to one tenth of one's income every time there's an infestation is completely unreasonable; it's simply not going to happen. The end result is that this problem will occur over and over again (and everywhere) under current conditions. We commute together, work together, etc. in this city.

    Again, other such financially catastrophic expenses are covered by insurance for good reason.

    Continuing on that same note, I think it's essential to emphasize again that 2/3 of bb capital Brooklyn residents live in private multi-family houses, not huge apartment buildings owned by companies or other big-time property owners raking in tons of money.

    As a property owner, I of course understand that the rent I am collecting must go not only toward the mortgage I'm paying for a place that's both too large and too expensive for just one person or a couple, but also keeping it properly heated and in good repair, “habitable,” etc. for both me and my tenant or tenants.

    However, to give myself as an example, with the amount of rent that I was able to charge my tenant (the one who brought something infested into the house), minus paying for his portion of the space of the house, minus the cost of keeping his space heated, minus the portion of utilities and internet cable that was included in his rent, etc. I had to spend almost an entire YEAR (10 months) of what I actually gained from his rent payments just to cover the treatment alone, never mind other expenses and psychological damage. (This guy also happened to be what I could only describe as basically a sociopath; that's another story altogether, but it certainly didn't help matters).

    I should add here that my ex-husband and I (yes, I was dragged into this brilliant plan by someone who was no longer around to deal with the aftermath) bought this house for what was considered a “song,” so the figures above are based on someone (i.e. myself) paying probably HALF the mortgage that most small-time landlords pay here in Brooklynn, even in my “ 'hood” of a neighborhood. (Then again, I probably also EARN less than half than what they do, so I guess it's okay that it would take two years' worth of rental gains per infestation for them, maybe???)

    I ask, what other uninsured property maintenance not only costs that much money but also may happen over and over again AND makes one a risk to EVERYONE IN THE ENTIRE CITY????

    Also, why on earth would anyone continue to live like that and be a source of housing in this city (rather than just burn their houses down and flee the scene, just like back in the good old 70s)?

    Homeowners and small-time landlords DO need help! They're largely the ones left to pay for this municipal problem, and of those having to pay for actual treatment, they (not big-time property owners) are the ones who truly cannot afford it.

    E) Parenthetically, I don't know about elsewhere, but my PCO here in NYC told me that in housing projects, the spread is almost always due exclusively to dumpster-diving, etc., because the walls are usually brick or concrete, which the bugs supposedly generally don't travel through. So yes, education (and financial assistance with furniture replacement, etc.) needs to be part of the plan too.

    F) Back for a moment to the controversy about treatments working vs. not working, etc. As far as I can tell, no one in this discussion has been wrong. The point is that yes, there are some chemicals that work, and yes, the prep and followup that's usually expected to work is COMPLETELY UNREASONABLE, thus still making the chances of success fairly los. Deedle has pointed out how difficult dealing with this all must be for people with disabilities, for instance. Word! It's really too much for the fully “abled.”

    Now, I haven't tried every PCO in the business (and hope I never have reason to) so maybe I'm wrong & there ARE those who don't require you to, say, wipe even your toothpaste tube down with alcohol and keep it in a bag when not in use for 3 months -- but the part I love about all of this (no, wait! There's so much to love!) is that my PCO (at least) wouldn't even [expletive deleted] TELL ME what the full prep was until AFTER I agreed to give my credit card number. Then it was basically like, “Pay us $4000. Oh, yeah – and you do all the work!”

    My point is, if all of this sanity is really necessary to make the effective chemicals, well, effective, then I say that until the bugs learn the virtues of reason (Jon Stewart: “My God! They've learned math!:) – as in, Mr. Bug, I'm going to spray something; will you please just die instead of trying to hide in my walls or inside the head of the wrench I used to bash your cousin's head in the other night? Thanks! – then I say, yes, we sure as hell do need to keep the research well-funded too.

    Yes, I want it all!

    I mean, all of it except the bugs. Just to be clear.

    Either that or we just live with 'em like in the good old days. It would be a lot cheaper and a lot less trouble if this b.s. we have now is the best we can do. Who's gonna invent the bb vaccine? You know – one bite and they go back and sexually transmit death back to all their friends? Sorry; I'm a sick [expletive deleted]. But how different is that from Combat for roaches or the research now being done on a lice vaccine?

    Let's GET 'EM!

  88. socraticlogic

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    Hi everyone,

    There are some great points on here. I thought I'd just chime in with some thoughts of my own:

    Boycotting: I think that a day without buying things could be really interesting and at LEAST would hopefully generate some media attention. That being said, I'm not sure how much impact would actually be created (not a reason to not do it, but just a thought)

    Taxes: This is my personal view, but I look at bed bugs as a societal bad. As such, economically, I should bear some of the cost of the cleanup that people have to do. Why? Because if I don't, the problem can increase and soon affect more and more people including myself. I know that there are several thoughts about taxes and I'm not trying to say that either is wrong or right, but that when there are issues that affect society as a whole, prevention can be a great tool, and in order to be effective, needs to include everyone.

    Resistance to pesticides: I don't know a ton about this, but it seems that yes, there is resistance, but no, pesticides are not totally ineffective. KQ, thank you for sharing your stories. I liked your 10/2 success/failure stat. That gives me hope. However, releasing propoxur may or may not be a good solution in my opinion. I don't know enough about the chemistry, so perhaps this isn't true but here goes: If we use propoxur now to temporarily rid ourselves of bed bugs, researching new techniques may be difficult (again...a scientist may totally disagree with me on this). If a bed bug can (and once again I emphasis "can" because I don't know enough about this) develop a resistance to it, I wonder if scientists would have any relevant populations to test new chemicals on for the day when bed bugs developed a resistance to it. Just some thoughts.

  89. Beth

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    Fri Sep 24 2010 20:16:59
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    Reluctant entomologist:

    more kind words: you have such a good understanding of the social impact of this problem.

    I want to chime in on one thing: you said the poor don't have to pay for treatment. No, technically, legally, the landlords are supposed to. But they don't. I lived on disability, got a rental subsidy for my disability and lived in multi unit dwellings. I am fighting in court now for a measly 1/10th of what this has cost me because both landlords refused to treat. You see, being poor, so much sh*t goes down, not to mention being disabled. If you're on a month to month, forget it. Eviction. You have no say or power as a poor tenant in subsidized housing unless you want to risk eviction or sue. And to sue and not risk retaliation, you have to move. Being poor seriously sucks. Being disabled and poor: you will never get rid of bed bugs.

    10 months ago I was 84 lbs. I should still be giving myself a break until spring to go back to work, but I can't. There is no way I am continuing in poverty---I just end up moving and spreading them. This is what I mean: without treating the poor, this problem is going to keep exploding. I have another friend, destitute and disabled, who goes from place to place as well with these things. I want to see stats of how many people are left homeless or permanently transitory because of this problem. I used to have excellent landlord references, and each time I move it is harder to get a place. Landlords of low income housing simply on average DO NOT treat for bed bugs in a responsible manner. Heck, when my fridge busted they barely got me a new one.

    So I think for people who don't understand what it is like to be destitute, and I lived on a rental subsidy and $150 a month for nearly a year, please listen. Bed bugs as an epidemic are a result of unbridled capitalism, plain and simple. The poor can't get a break, and after Bush's magic 8 years, there are so many more poor I am not suprised bed bugs have exploded. Because it ain't do to international travel which no one can afford anymore. In my eyes, this epidemic is only the beginning to a large subset of Americans living in third world conditions. Having been in a shelter, I can tell you people do here. I almost went hungry. In America.

    Sure, no one in the middle class can "afford" this, but let's look at that word "afford". What does it mean? Does it mean they will go hungry and homeless without that $4000. No. It means the porch can't be redone, or the car upgraded or perhaps remortgaging, spending less on extra curricular, pulling the kid out of dance. Not starvation and homelessness. Yes, I say, tax breaks for middle income for treatment, all about it. Let's address everyone who this is a burden for. Especially the poor. Subsidize treatment.

    peace out-
    Amy

  90. losingitquick

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    Fri Sep 24 2010 20:26:21
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    Reluctant... you are on the money about Brooklyn. I have to say when I first learned that the owner is responsible for the treatment my thought was - wow! That is so unfair. The majority of the people in Brooklyn own 2 or 3 family house simply because they can not afford a one family house. There are people who need every dime of the rental income to put towards their mortgage.

    So if a tenant in a 3 family house picks up an old lamp from the trash and ends up infesting the whole house - the owner now has to pay to treat all 3 units - one of which is most likely their own living space. So they not only get tortured by having THEIR house infected by this renter, they are also responsible for the bill! That seems criminal to me. How can the owner properly 'prevent' infestation/re-infestation? Who is to say that same renter won't do the same thing come next month? There were no financial reprecussions for him... the expense fell upon the innocent bystander (the home owner).

    The fact that insurance does not cover this is ridiculous. This seems to leave a lot of room for foul play.

    We need to be heard.... petitions are useless huh? What if we picked a day where we all sent emails to the council men, senators, mayor's office, governor scooby doo... (sorry can't help it the man is a moron) - But honestly - what if we all sent emails on the same day... each of us only would have to send like a dozen emails... a mere copy and paste. I could put together a list of the email addresses... if each of us did this on the same day it would be hard for them to ignore... there would be hundreds of emails crying for action flooding their inboxes.... Is this a stupid idea or perhaps a good first step in the interim while we work on something bigger?

  91. losingitquick

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    Amy... I just have to point out that I was not saying that the 'middle class' need help more than the poor - I think the poor need the financial help without a doubt. This is a given. The fact that there is no such funding in place is proof that the government is doing nothing of significance. I might consider myself middle class if I lived somewhere else - but living in NYC on this income is living poor.

    Kudos on the capitalism - it is nice to hear that not everyone walks around like zombies buying into the BS they feed us... Again - back to the I am not rich, I am not poor aspect... We used to be comfortable prior to the recession... we haven't paid a bill on time in years, we know what it is like to have the foreclosure papers served... cell phones shut off - no cable... and it doesn't mean the porch doesn't get fixed - the porch has gone broken for about three years now... it means more ramen noodles. The more money you HAD, the more problems you have now. Having to pay 4000 for treatment really could put us into default at this point... please don't think oh well poor rich people lose their house - because the market is so upside down that we would surely be responsible for the gap between what the house is worth and what we owe. I grew up 'poor'... I know what it is like to go hungry. The bottom line is that this is a problem that america as a whole is facing and we can't fight this war and expect to win as individuals - we need the support of our country.

  92. Beth

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    Fri Sep 24 2010 23:12:48
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    Losing it:

    I'm not interested in a class war. I am trying to get at a goal for our actions, which means we need to agree on the problem. And yes, the problem for many is affordability of treatment. Agreed. Education and funding for research are also targets for action, but I do believe affordability of treatment should be the focus and that effecting business is the only way to get people to listen. Deedle---oh, your roots! I just saw the play (got a comp ticket yeah!) "The Furies of Mother Jones". Wish I could have taken you to jog your memory... nothing gets done in America to change anything without effecting money.

    What next?

    peace-
    Amy

  93. KillerQueen

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    Sat Sep 25 2010 0:48:51
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    Beth/Amy,

    My comments in this thread are not directed toward you, nor am I interested in a direct debate about socialism or your distorted views of how America should be. You are wasting your time asking me to read articles about trickle up poverty, I'm not interested. And frankly, should you stay on this site, I'd rather you not try and discuss or point anything out to me directly.

    You accused me, as well as others, of "cyber bullying" and made mention you were contacting the FBI. So to be honest, I don't even understand why you would even think of coming back on here let alone single me out for discussion in this thread and another since your return.

    So in short, it's your option to interact on the site, I just ask that you leave me out of your comments or views.

  94. DeedleBeetle

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    Sat Sep 25 2010 7:51:42
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    okydoky....so....

    This is what i distilled as basic ideas and suggsetions from all of our posts on this thread (I am not going to take the time here to give credit to each poster, so don't feel badly). Also, i want to say that i don't agree with all the points listed below but i'm wearing my "court reporter" hat and trying to set out in a clear way, all that the above post contains. We can hash out what we agree with or don't agree with later:

    PROBLEMS TO BE ADDRESSED:

    Affordability of Treatment - While we agree that gov't now has the responsibility to treat in public housing sector, since they apparently are not doing an effective job, perhaps gov't should provide vouchers or money to use with reputable and (perhaps) approved (i'm not sure who would give their approval) list of PCOs.

    Lack of Effective Treatment Strategies especially for the poor, disabled and people in public housing.

    Funding - Costs to treat not only poor and disabled, but also small landlords and small businesses may need extra help with cost of treatment because the income they generate in a given year may not be sufficient to write off expenses of bb infestation treatment. Also, costs to educate the children and the community in general should be funded by gov't.

    Lack of Education about bbs generally (both children and adults) - We should have a well-rounded curriculum including reliable (if possible) statistics about infestation, rate of reinfestation, cost of treatment, number of treatments generally required, etc.

    GOALS:

    Main Goal: STOP, REVERSE, ERADICATE BB INFESTATION

    Bring attention of the gov't to the above problems and have gov't become involved

    Bring attention of the public to the above problems and have public become involved

    Mass extermination of bbs through various means.

    POSSIBLE WAYS TO REACH GOALS:

    Disrupt business to get businesses to pressure gov't

    One day boycott

    Longer boycott involving various educational, rally, demonstration components

    "Bring out your Dead" campaign for designated bulk trash days around the city

    Awareness Campaign - Handing out free stickers on 10/10/10 that has a bb or two within a circle with a red line through it along with a flyer that talks about 1/11/11 boycott date. The flyer should be informational and not too scary.

    Email campaign (probably 10/10/10) where everyone emails politicians about bbs and talking about 1/11/11 date

    Night Time Action - (Wake Up New York) Like sleeping in the parks (will need to see about permits for that)...(During black out a few years ago, people were sleeping outside on the sidewalk..maybe that might work if it's spontaneous, peaceful...would have to check laws again)

    Viral email/video Campaign - on YouTube and otherwise....about the upcoming dates and then after each activity, posting more videos on line.

    Human size BBs handing out leaflets on the street in pool of white jelly bean "eggs." (All during months leading up to 1/11/11).

    Educational and entertaining BB puppet shows for kids at school and elderly at buildings that have primarly elderly living there and at nursing homes.

    Big PackTite centers....and drying machine centers (in the poor areas, they could close down all the liquor stores you find at almost every corner and put in free (or coupon card operated) PT or drying machine centers -- don't get me starrrrrrrrrrrted!!)

    Flyer - informational and not so scary that it automatically turns people off.

    okay...that's about it. i wanted to make some comments of my own but i'll have to do that later 'cause i have to get ready for office hours.

    Please feel free to comment.

  95. wheresthebs

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    Sat Sep 25 2010 8:41:48
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    If it's not too late, I'd like to add something to the list of things to fight for.
    It's around corporate responsibility.
    My manager didn't want me bringing bed bugs to work, but also didn't really want me to work from home as I prepped for extermination.
    I imagine that in some jobs, it's even harder to get the time off to deal with this.
    We need governmental policies around protecting workers who need to manage their bed bug problems. If we don't want people bringing bugs to work or while they commute, we need to protect them and their jobs while they are dealing with it. Corporate workers, freelancers, you name it. Very important part of consideration set.
    where's the bs

  96. wheresthebs

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    Sat Sep 25 2010 9:26:43
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    I only know what my company says, but it's sure gotten me thinking.
    Yes, you could use sick leave or other PTO for your bed bug eradication prep.
    I personally think it sucks to have to use vacation time for BBs. I get a boatload of sick days at my company, but what about people who only get 10 days? And actually get sick and need to use them for being sick?
    And what about people in non-corporate settings - I'm talking everyone from freelancers to home health aides (who we know are at risk by going to people's homes...but they may be covered under union protections) to waiters to babysitters to people in small companies without major corp policies. There is the stigma of being the person with bedbugs and the risk of needing to take time off in today's work environment. people are scared to go to work with a cold or the flu. Is this worse? I don't know. But I do think we need a policy, and I think that it has to happen at the federal level. Maybe we need some bbs in the halls of congress to get them thinking about it.
    and just imagine if they come to Albany...

  97. The Reluctant Entomologist

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    Sat Sep 25 2010 9:59:50
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    Just a few quick things:

    -In my last post I accidentally said 2/3 of Brooklynites lives in 2-3 family homes, but I meant 1/3 (as I'd stated in my earlier post). I don't want to come off as hyperbolic and wasn't trying to imply it was the majority of Brooklynites, only that it's a hell of a lot of us.

    -I think what Beth is saying about low-income landlords not paying (even though they're supposed to) is important for a number of reasons: 1) again, if we're talking about gov't-owned property (housing "projects," etc.), it absolutely sickens me that we're paying tax dollars for the gov't to make laws that impoverish ordinary people while not obeying those laws themselves -- and all to the suffering of people who are already going without, 2) if we're talking about run-down private homes (such as mine, where it rains in my kitchen, for instance, and where, when my ex and I first moved in, we discovered that when the top floor toilet flushed, it all just ran down into the basement), then it's my point exactly that that means homeowners who are probably on the verge of foreclosure and really CAN'T afford treatment without help, themselves, and 3) I don't think the vicious cycle of the financial consequences of the epidemic due to issues of "disclosure" (for everyone involved) can be stated enough. Let me explain:

    Beth is talking about how difficult it is to find a place to live when it comes out that you've had to sue your landlord. Absolutely. I think that the problem with enforcing some laws is this very same one: if, for instance, I were able to get into a helicopter to see which one of my neighbors plays horrible music so loudly in his back yard that it literally makes my house shake every weekend, the police might be able to come and stop him, but he'd have a right to know who made the complaint and might come and burn my house down. He has no legal right to do so, obviously, but he still might do it.

    And the difficulty of finding housing with a history of having sued your landlord doesn't just go for low-income people, either, when it comes to landlord responsibility not having been enforced. (There was an article in the Times about a guy who can't find a place to live now for the same reason).

    However, if it comes to the difference between someone who might be able to stop renting by actually getting a home loan (I, for one, certainly can't, btw; I tried to refinance and was turned down w/o anyone to co-sign for me) and someone who is on public assistance, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out which person is most likely to yes, in fact, even end up in a shelter, which most of us probably can't even imagine.

    Again, though, I'm furious that low-income people are being forced to pay for treatment when our tax dollars helped create laws that say they shouldn't have to sue their landlords to make this happen, thus facing retaliation. If we could figure out a way to make this happen without ll/tenant retaliation, we could avoid reinventing the wheel and paying twice -- once in tax dollars and a second time in subsidies for people with low incomes who need assistance to pay for the treatments themselves (or three times, in the case of us who also have our own infested homes to pay for too).

    But I am almost equally as furious that our tax dollars are also going into laws that merely require landlords to confess, yes, there were bedbugs in this building in the past year -- without doing anything to REALLY reduce the number of cases that thus, by law, end up having to be reported to frightened potential tenants.

    So we're left with all of these buildings no one wants to live in and all of these tenants that nobody wants to give leases to.

    Parenthetically, I fear the day when my own mother, who doesn't live in NYC but is on SSI in another city competing for bb capital of North America, gets these things. She is old and sickly and poor and lives in a run-down rental where she'd be the one responsible for paying, not due to ll negligence but BY LAW.

    Another parenthetical: does it tell us nothing about the lack of organization in solving this problem that in some of the major bb cities in the US the landlord is responsible while in others the tenant is? Salon.com recently had an article about a guy in SF who was deemed responsible bc they were only in his apt., and yeah, obviously if that's true, that means it was HIS bag or whatever that they crawled into at the movie theater, but again, BBS ARE NO ONE'S FAULT BUT EVERYONE'S PROBLEM.

    On that note, is more government involvement the answer? Less? How about this: maybe, for instance, all of the money NYC recently spent on hiring undercover detectives to pose as potential renters and respond to rental ads on Craigslist for the sole purpose of entrapping small-time landlords into revealing all of their code violations so they could be fined $6000 apiece, they could use that money to help those lls deal with the nastiest "habitability" violation of all, which I guarantee they were NOT ooking for.

    Honestly, the only way that most of us would be able to afford to buy a place in this city is to buy one where it rains in the kitchen -- but again, I consider myself lucky to have that privilege now, since I grew up on a household income of $5000 a year (no missing digit), in a rental where when it leaked in the kitchen it was from the toilet upstairs. My point being, yes, we are all in this together, and for any of you who never, as an innocent child, by the accident of where you were born, or through illness, or otherwise had, to live like that, IN AMERICA, I hope you will nonetheless remember to have compassion on those who really do struggle.

    Sorry this is such a downer. I also happen to be feeling extremely overworked, underpaid, and cranky as hell right now. I'm grateful for you guys coming together to think this all through to try to make things better.

  98. DeedleBeetle

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    Sat Sep 25 2010 11:13:04
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    right...so i've included "Bring attention of corporate culture to the above problems and corporations become involved"

    This might be accomplished by convincing corps to grant a certain number of bb days off (perhaps at 3/4 pay? 1/2 pay? or without pay for some corps if it's truly a question of protecting corporation bottom line (and survival) while preserving the employment position for bb victim) for preparation before treatment (with some type of certified proof of infestation, of course)

  99. spideyjg

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    Sat Sep 25 2010 13:08:24
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    Have y'all read everything here...

    http://newyorkvsbedbugs.org/resources/

    Especially this.....
    http://cpmapestworld.com/GovAffairs/documents/WhatCongressCanDoAboutBedBugs.pdf

    and this...

    http://newyorkvsbedbugs.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Bed-Bug-Advisory-Board-Report-FINAL.pdf

    http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/cb/ppdc/bedbug-summit/partic-recom.pdf

    Viable plans and changes are already identified but the powers that be need to act on them.

    Screaming for socialized pest control or propoxur like it is some magic cure all is going to fall on deaf ears.

    Screaming for action upon the already well researched recommendations could gain traction.

    Hell as David says public education is the main key and still the masses think DDT is the freaking answer!

    My favorite recommendation from the EPA summit,..

    In addition to education of government officials, there is a strong need to have these officials in the field and experience the reality of the bed bug situation. Aside from PCOs, many stakeholders have never actually seen a bedbug.

    Send the city council members on ride alongs with PCOs doing the killing.

    Jim

    Oh was that bullying?

  100. The Reluctant Entomologist

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    Sat Sep 25 2010 14:09:25
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    Hi, Jim --

    (Got to stop procrastinating here and do my actual work! But this is such fun...)

    Have y'all read everything here...
    http://newyorkvsbedbugs.org/resources/

    I can't speak for others, but I would assume, based on what many of us are saying, that we're pretty familiar with NYVBB?


    Especially this.....
    http://cpmapestworld.com/GovAffairs/documents/WhatCongressCanDoAboutBedBugs.pdf
    and this...


    Okay, now THAT'S a really good find, Jim. It does at least recommend the following:

    Additional resources are needed to help combat bed bug problems that
    plague lower or fixed income housing. Congress can provide much needed
    relief by directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S.
    Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to divert existing
    resources to fight bed bugs in lower and fixed income housing. Specifically,
    Congress should direct EPA and HUD to make funds available from the
    Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program, Environmental Justice Small
    Grants and other programs to states, local governments, and local housing
    authorities to combat bed bugs.

    But I still say that if people of merely modest means can't also afford to deal with this properly each and every time there's an infestation, it's an uphill battle.


    http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/cb/ppdc/bedbug-summit/partic-recom.pdf

    Now, I think that one is the one that talks about "sharing costs"? -- though it doesn't specifically says WHO is sharing them with whom, unless I just never found that part? I looked at this for the first time probably last winter and was disappointed about how little it actually said.


    Viable plans and changes are already identified but the powers that be need to act on them.

    Okay, good point, and no disagreement here. These links contain a lot of "shoulds" and "recommends" and "propose." Now how to make Congress (who should this and should that) listen? Closed meetings are one thing. Turning up the volume and visibility in mass numbers (and publicly) is another.

    Screaming for socialized pest control or propoxur like it is some magic cure all is going to fall on deaf ears.


    Well, I for one certainly make no pretense to know about DDT or propoxur. As far as the other point goes, fine; we don't call it "socialized firefighting" either, so let's call it something else.


    Screaming for action upon the already well researched recommendations could gain traction.

    Right! So we DO have to figure out how to start screaming! (Some of the well researched recommendations, btw, seemed to be to do more research...just sayin')

    My favorite recommendation from the EPA summit,..

    In addition to education of government officials, there is a strong need to have these officials in the field and experience the reality of the bed bug situation. Aside from PCOs, many stakeholders have never actually seen a bedbug.

    Send the city council members on ride alongs with PCOs doing the killing.


    Drop a family of bbs down their pants.

    Sorry if I messed up and matched my comments to the wrong links. All this back and forth looking at stuff again is giving me a headache. That and my obnoxious neighbor whose stereo down the street is shaking the whole block. Maybe that's how HE drives the bbs away?


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