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One of the most amazing things

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  1. Bugologist

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sat Dec 1 2007 21:09:00
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    Before you read this post, I don't mean this post in a negative or demeaning way. It's just an interesting topic with this insect and I think the most powerful feature of this bug.

    I'd have to say many aspects of this bug have amazed me from the first day I've worked with it. And I'll tell you that the day I say I've seen in all with this bug, I see something that blows my mind.

    That being said, I think one of the most powerful and amazing parts of this insect is the way it psychologically takes peoples lives apart. I cannot tell you how many calls I field and clients I deal with that have lost it and most frustrating, will not listen to reason. A lot of the times they don't even have bed bugs, or very little points to an infestation and they are completely insistant that they have bed bugs and will not believe anything otherwise and will shop around until they find someone who will complete a treatment. I've seen the most sane people deal with this bug and completely fall apart. We read about it every day on this site. I've seen tears, I've seen marriages lost due to the hysteria and it's all sad and one of the most frustrating things as a researcher/PCO, I can't do anything about the psychological aspect.

    Now some will say you haven't had them so you don't understand or that I'm an entomologist and you like bugs, and to that I say you're right I am an entomologist and you're wrong because I actually have dealt with them on a personal level. And to many's amazement, I dreamt about it every night while I was dealing with it and didn't sleep well. But what I did when I was a little uncomfortable with the situation was remind myself that IT'S JUST A BUG. I don't mean that to belittle anyone, just the bare fact of the statement. It's just an insect. I'm smarter, I'm bigger and I get bit by mosquitoes all the time every year and could care less. This bug isn't much different and if anything, doesn't transmit disease. Remember, it's just a bug.

    Try your hardest to take a deep breath. Close your eyes and say it's just a bug. Find a PCO that's knowledgable, or as good as you can get. Remember you'll win. Remember this won't kill you or anyone you know. Remember that at the end of the day what's important or what makes you happy: your family, friends, pets, whatever it is but most important, it's not the end of the world and take a deep breath.

  2. newlybuggy

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sat Dec 1 2007 22:01:11
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    I think you make a lot of sense. It truly is a waking nightmare...but I've been doing a lot of reading and it would become easy to become sucked into a vortex of panic. The worst is the feeling of "being sorry". They were in MY apartment. I may have brought them to the homes of family. I can't get bogged down with guilt and worry.

    I know it's going to be a battle, but I want to win in the end. And I need to try to laugh along the way.

  3. victory

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sat Dec 1 2007 22:15:42
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    bugologist,

    i totally agree with you. i have seen no bugs, no signs of bugs other than bites, have had THREE PCO's tell me there are no bed bugs, but i am obsessed. i have been washing, bagging and vacuuming for 10 days. it doesn't even make sense really. we don't travel, don't thrift store shop, rarely go to movies, etc. the likely-hood that i have bb's is slim and i've been told that by 3 PCO's. BUT something IS biting me. one PCO suggested bird mites and that seemed reasonable due to the fact that there's an old bird nest right outside my bedroom balcony. we've also found carpet beetle larvae. but i still fear bed bugs. i think partially because of all i read on this site. once i hear someone else's story that seems similar to mine (ie, single family dwelling, no signs of bb's just bites, etc) and they FIND them after MONTHS i become obsessed again with doing what i can to get rid of them even though i probably don't have them!!! it is just a bug, but it is amazing how i feel icky in my own home! anyway, i have a 4th PCO coming next week that is supposedly a "specialist" so we'll see how that turns out!

  4. Bugologist

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 0:36:13
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    That is the most difficult scenario for me. I deal with situations where people are complaining of "bites", they have visible "bites" but no matter what trap I set (light, monitor, water, etc...) I can't turn up any insects of any type. So I look the person in the eye and say "I know you feel a "bite", I know you have a reaction, but I don't know what it is and I can't find any bugs.

    It's probably not insects to be honest and I'd bet you don't have any insects in your house that are capable of what you are experiencing. I think doctors don't know enough about human reactions to things, I think the mind is a powerful thing and part of me is starting to believe we can manifest certain reactions on our body and I think people sometimes doubt a reaction to something common (detergents, soaps, fabrics, etc...) because they never reacted to it before. What's to say you didn't develop something?

    On the contrary, I think we also don't understand everything we need to about this bug. Could there be something present and we just can't find it.....sure. Is there a mite we can't see and can't catch....maybe. As a entomologist, the minute I give a half-a.s inspection and chalk it up to imagination or "other reaction" I get burned is when you get burned. But as an entomologist, we have to take what we have and what we know, put a likelihood on it and go with it. It's the people who have a very minute chance of it being bed bugs that can't let go of that minute chance that make me insane.

  5. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 1:03:06
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    I was mostly following until you said mosquitoes.

    Can we retire the mosquito analogy? It really is nothing like mosquitoes. Not even close.

  6. bugobsessed

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 1:21:22
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    Hi bugologist,

    I get what you're saying-- it's just a bug. I get it. But one thing that bothers me is when you said:
    "It's probably not insects to be honest and I'd bet you don't have any insects in your house that are capable of what you are experiencing. I think doctors don't know enough about human reactions to things, I think the mind is a powerful thing and part of me is starting to believe we can manifest certain reactions on our body and I think people sometimes doubt a reaction to something common (detergents, soaps, fabrics, etc...) because they never reacted to it before. What's to say you didn't develop something?"

    For 6 weeks I thought I was having an allergic reaction to something. Not sure what, but something. I thought it might be stress or too much coffee or a different soap. Bed bugs was the last thing I thought of. By the time I knew what it was, the situation was way out of control. They had spread througout my apartment. It's been two months that I'm living in a place that now looks like a warehouse. Everything I own is in plastic up off the floor on industrial wire racks. My bedroom looks like a scene out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, replete with me and my husband in white thermal pajamas (just imagine what this has done to our sex life). There is a constant film of chemicals on my floor. And the one thing that weighs most heavily on my mind is something I feel I can't discuss freely with others because of how I will be viewed. So I suffer. Quietly. And I pay $1000 in rent every month to live in a glorified storage room.

    It makes me wish I had assumed bed bugs from the beginning. I'd rather be safe than sorry. For the rest of my life, when I itch, the first thing I will think of is bed bugs. Now, I only wish it HAD been an allergy!

  7. NotSoSnug

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 1:44:43
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    Well they arthropods, so technically they are like mosquitoes. Or maybe more like ticks. Ticks are small, sneaky, crawling critters that like to poke holes in humans too. I've had ticks and BBs are creepy in a tick kind of way, only somewhat faster and more furtive. BBs are also like cockroaches in that they like your home's dark places and breed like, err, roaches. So: mosquito-tick-cockroaches from hell. Yup that'll do.

    Some research indicates BBs are vectors, so again I ask why does conventional wisdom say they aren't vectors? Let's all start by saying that they are vectors from now on so the meme will get going and we can actually get some truth happening before they get any worse... Oh wait, too late.

    But yes, they are just bugs, I tell myself that too. And interesting bugs at that. In a book. Not in my home.

  8. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 2:04:17
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    Not So Snug, meet Dr. Jerome Goddard:

    Bed Bugs Bounce Back - But Do They Transmit Disease?

    Dr. Goddard is helpfully on record calling bedbugs "no big deal."

    About the bedbugs/mosquitoes (or other bug bite) analogy, it is used as a kind of rhetorical device to downplay the anguish that bedbugs can cause. After all, it's just another bug bite... Someone reported a lawyer for the hotel industry using it in a conference. Surprising, that.

    It's particularly repugnant because, as if I need to explain this to people here, mosquitoes do not infest homes like bedbugs do. They don't cause families to have to throw out their belongings. They are not freighted with a historical association with poverty and filth. They don't infest buildings to the point where traditional treatments will not avail. Do I have to go on? I'm not even talking about the bites which, for people who are actually allergic to them, cannot be compared with mosquito bites even for a second.

    Okay, stopping now.

  9. nomorebugs

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 2:13:58
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    Bugobsessed, well said. Many of us understand. Saw the doctor after 2 weeks and I even suggested beg bugs. "Nah." Ok. Now, I only wish it was an allergy. I now wished he knew the tell tale breakfast lunch dinner pattern. This is what finally tipped me off.

    But It's how we find our lives now ...

    At least you have your husband in white thermals. Hope that's someone you can talk to about this. While I'm not totally alone, I haven't exactly called up my friends with this. I even wonder if the people at my laundromat know. When I see people doing alot of bed linens I wonder.

  10. nomorebugs

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 2:21:08
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    Hopelessnomore,

    I'm not really following this mosquito thread.

    But mosquitoes can spread west nile virus which can be fatal.

    Peace.

  11. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 3:12:42
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    And malaria which kills millions.

    I'm just being cranky about something else, what people say about bedbugs and what it means to have bedbugs. A year of bedbugs on the mind will do that I guess.

    Good night.

  12. kraystone

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 4:44:43
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    Yeah I have the bed bugs for 2 months and couldn't get proper sleep and concentrate on drawing. My bites itch like mad and the later bites swell really bad. My finger swelled so much I had to spend $120 to see a dermatologist and couldn't draw nor click the mouse for days. Whenever I'm at the computer table, I keep looking around for any bugs, whenever I sleep, I look at my bed sheet before sleeping. Whenever I feel itchy, I fear it was a bed bug.

    They don't transmit disease, but they made me spend so much money buying encasements, ziplocs, tapes, insecticides (before calling PCO), laundry money...
    and also spend so much time sorting and throwing out things. Also not to forget spending about an hour everyday to research on this bug... gosh...

    And it's just a bug! Yet it can cause so much trouble.

  13. Bugologist

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 10:31:00
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    Bed bugs are not a vector, period. There is absolutely no evidence indicating otherwise. The army has been researching this for years. Bed bugs, to this point, cannot not transmit disease.

    Like Hopelessnomo's soapbox on the mosquito analogy (which I'm not sure I follow either, all I was refering to is that it's an insect that bites and people don't really care), bed bugs are not a vector of disease. There is no other argument.

  14. buggedoutinbaltimore

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 11:25:14
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    just bugs, indeed. and people are smarter, bigger, and far more complicated. we cannot argue with the sophisticated workings of the mind as it experiences trauma. i think we have to remember and be sensitive to the fact that it is traumatic for many people to: face fears around bugs and more generally, the unknown; lose their possessions; lose sleep; experience bodily discomfort; experience financial distress; lose time at work; become socially isolated; experience relationship problems; have to move, and more. not everyone will experience all of these, but some will.

    these little buggers have the opportunity to bring about an onslaught of life-changing, traumatic events, very quickly.

    i think it's important for people to learn how they can take care of themselves so that they can enjoy life, loved ones and family while dealing with these unexpected traumas. and i think part of spreading the word about bb's is shedding light on the totally unfun, yet realistic traumatic effects of these critters.

  15. pleasehelp

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 11:35:05
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    Bugologist, people tend not to care so much about mosquitos because they're easy to escape from, usually don't cost $, mosquito bites don't itch as intensely and as long (months, years for some), and mosquito bites don't don't scar. Also, people don't innocently expose others to them. Mosquitos and their offspring don't hunt you and your family down night after night after night after night. BBs can easily make what's important to you, your family, friends, & pets, miserable. BBs ARE much different from mosquitos, and it makes perfect sense that they psychologically take peoples' lives apart.

  16. NotSoSnug

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 11:49:27
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    Let's just keep on repeating the same old mantra shall we. Then all vested interests can keep their liabilities off the books. And a potential human health risk can be significantly overlooked.

    "...Crissey stated that bedbugs play a significant role in the transmission of the hepatitus B virus."

    This paper: http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v93/n5/abs/5613182a.html

    This citation: Crissey JT: Bed Bugs: An Old Problem with a New Dimension. Inter. Jour. Dermtology 20:411-414, 1981

    "Bedbugs in the fourth collection were captured and kept alive without a blood meal for 30 days. 3 of 89 of these samples were HBSAg(+). These are the highest field infection-rates of hepatitis-B virus reported in any insect species. The bedbug must be considered a potential vector of hepatitis-B virus."

    Hepatitis-B virus in bedbugs (Cimex hemipterus) from Senegal. Wills, W., Larouze, B., London, W.T., Millman, I., Werner, B.G., Ogston, W., Pourtaghva, M., Diallo, S., Blumberg, B.S. (1977) Lancet, i i , 217-220.

  17. newlybuggy

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 12:20:17
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    I changed my myspace music to "Once Bitten Twice Shy" by Great White.

  18. Bugologist

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 16:06:27
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    I'm not going to get into this NotSoSnug because in order for me to do a complete literature review it would take days which I don't have. There have been many instances with many different bugs where research done 20 or more years ago has been proven to be inaccurate. Whether it's an improvement in methodology or something overlooked, etc... there has been older experiments that were proven to be inaccurate.

    Harold Harlan, medical researcher for the army for many many years, and Richard Cooper, bed bug expert, authored the chapter on bed bugs in the Mallis handbook (bible of pest control) and reported bed bugs do not transmit disease. Many many other publications have stated the same thing. I've heard that there has been some insecurity in Hep B transmission but it's yet to be proven and I've never heard anyone report they're acquired Hep B from bed bugs. For the one paper you can provide, I can provide 10's of 100's that state otherwise and believe me, the Army has researched it if it were true.

    They don't transmit disease. One paper doesn't prove otherwise. You can believe what you want to believe.

  19. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 16:38:56
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    NotSoSnug, this is a post from Doug in another conversation on the subject in which he shares what he heard from Dr. Goddard in a conference.

    I think that everyone agrees that bedbugs carry a hell of a lot of diseases but the apparent consensus is that they cannot transmit them.

    What is important is for there to be public health monitoring of bedbugs because their vector status may change in the future. But public health departments are largely not on the ball on this one. And I guess it doesn't help when public health officials are dismissive of bedbugs.

    Here's another Goddard article that doesn't require login: http://pctonline.com/articles/article.asp?ID=2052&IssueID=74

  20. victory

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 17:10:40
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    Hey, bugologist. I PM'd you earlier today--noticed you haven't picked up.

  21. bugobsessed

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 17:27:40
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    Look, I think there's something underlying here that is creating a friction-- I am a sociologist by trade and if there's one thing I've learned from my way too many years of schooling is, lots of times folks in the medical and natural sciences tend to look down upon psychological and sociological sciences as not being real science or hard science because they aren't "objective". You hear people say things like, 'it's all in your head,' or 'don't get so emotional.' But let's face it, the mind and body are not mutually exclusive. They are part of the same whole and you can't remove one (or it's influence) from the other no matter how hard you may try or pretend to. What's happening in this thread reminds me much of how many people (presently and historically) misunderstand mental illness because you can't necessarily see its physical effects, so it doesn't appear to be real. Folks who don't have the same psycho/socio-logical experiences can't understand those who do because they can't relate. Some may think, 'why can't you just get over it?' As examples think of new mothers with postpartum depression or soldiers with post traumatic stress syndrome. Or even within those afflicted with bed bugs, those who react to bites and those who don't.

    Bugologist, this is not an attack by any means, but please understand that the ideas that 'they're just bugs' and 'they aren't vectors' priveleges the importance of peoples bodies over their minds. I'm sure most will agree that our emotional, psychological and social experiences are indeed very real and very debilitating in their own ways; perhaps not physically, but debilitating nonetheless. To devalue that is to devalue our struggle and by association us.

    Yes, it is important to keep things in perspective. No, having bed bugs isn't going to kill me. I appreciate and value the scientific knowledge that you bring to the table. I need it to battle my bugs. But this knowledge is not what helps me sleep at night and wake up the next morning thinking, 'today is going to be better.' Hope does that for me, and communication with others and sharing stories-- even when they're sad-- gives me hope because I know I'm not alone.

  22. NotSoSnug

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 18:51:22
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    I can't debate the issue as I am a layperson with no vested interest. I merely offer the papers to show that science is an unending exploration of the reality of things, funding and intramural competition notwithstanding.

    In public health there are many ongoing and vehement debates concerning vectors for pathogens. Most notable in my mind is Dr. Susan Scott's thesis that the Black Plague was viral by an unknown vector, not bacterial vectored through fleas/rodents. APAI H5N1 has proven another lively area for debate amongst researchers, an especially topical issue due to the great risk we can face from high mortality rates. Where science, faith and money converge there is vehemence bordering on zealotry. Watching debates on H5N1 Blogs can be fascinating.

    If it weren't for creative and novel research we would not progress in any scientific field let alone public health. Once BBs are widely established, to conclusively overlook them as a potential route for pathogens could be foolhardy from a Public Health perspective. With life, conditions change all the time.

  23. SleeplessinChicago

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 19:03:25
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    It's been brought up before, but...this is much different from being bitten by mosquitos. Honestly, I'm not a squeamish person. I pick up spiders I find around my house in my bare hands to stop my kitten from eating them, am not the least troubled by massive centipedes, and am only slightly unhappy when seeing a roach. But none of these things are like bedbugs because bedbugs get into most anything you own and they breed until there are so many that they're swarming the walls and floors all day. THAT is what terrifies me. A few bugs are fine, but massive nests and swarms are NOT. Not to mention that, unlike roaches, bedbugs start out incredibly tiny and therefore can just follow you no matter where you move. So...basically, with bedbugs, you have to keep exterminating for the rest of your life or else have a massive swarm of them wherever you live. This is worse than any other bug I've ever experienced, and I am someone who has experienced many bugs and has barely noticed or cared. And yet with this, I'm near suicidal. It's one thing to be afraid of "just a bug". It's another to be afraid of thousands of bugs that, unless you are very lucky, you will never be able to escape.

  24. Lelaine

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 19:07:11
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    Bugobsessed, that was very well put.

    Something else PCOs may want to remember is that some people (like me) have obsessive-compulsive disorder. You ever see people who have to wash their hands 50 times a day, just so? Fear of contamination is a big trigger for OCD, and bed bugs make you feel contaminated. The social isolation, the strict routines for daily living, the PCO prep lists, the constant vacuuming or steaming or Steri-Fabbing -- I'm not sure whether it's an OCD nightmare or dream come true. Anyway, I was one of those people absolutely CONVINCED I had bedbugs and I got a couple of preemptive treatments. I have been living out of bags and will continue to do so until 30 days has passed since the first treatment with no evidence of bugs. Having read all the horror stories on this site, it seemed the cautious thing to do. I'm also working with my therapist on my OCD flare up caused by the possibility of bed bugs. I guess my point is that PCOs may want to consider the possibility that you have an OCD customer on your hands if you've got someone who is really hysterical.

  25. NotSoSnug

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 19:16:39
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    It occurs to me I am mouthing off in the wrong place. I think Bugologist was making the point that no current resarch indicates BBs can convey pathogens in order to reassure the infested folks hereabouts.

    I was trying to make the point that Public Health policy can't be constrained by that since conditions change and vested interests can use the current status of research to end all discussion/political efforts about this while BBs gradually increase to saturation.

    I apologize for taking the discussion off on another tangent in this thread and for any tension I may have caused.

  26. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 19:18:20
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    I would add, NotSoSnug, what we've sometimes had to make clear to others who have raised this issue before, that it's not that we are not relieved, incredibly relieved, that bedbugs have not been shown to transmit disease, but that it's dismaying to see this reason cited when public health departments explain why they can't do more. We desperately need public education and bedbugs are a public health issue, regardless of their vector status.

    Bugobsessed, thank you for that post!

    Now I want to give Bugologist some positive feedback. Just because. One time there was a guy, a pro, who came here and, without even reading the site, the FAQs or even the thread where he posted, came out and basically said that sheesh, we should really consider delusory parasitosis (DP) and posted a link to Hinkle's work. (Always hate it when people think we haven't done our homework.) So, I am deeply grateful to Bugologist for NOT doing that, and for acknowledging that it starts with a thorough inspection. Telling a customer who complains of bites that he or she does not have any bugs, without making a careful inspection, is wrong. I like the way he does it, saying that he can't find any bugs.

    Just recently there was someone here who did not find a bedbug for 5 whole months. Five months of bites and, presumably, PCO inspections and no evidence. Finally, with the found bug, treatment could begin. Such cases exist and it's nice to see someone who, even if he may be inclined to think "no bugs" acknowledges that a half-assed inspection may be at fault.

    [EDIT: The person described in the paragraph above, text in italics, has posted that the bug found was NOT in fact a bedbug.]

    On the other hand, it's certainly possible that there may be people who are ill who latch on to the idea of an insect infestation and cannot be persuaded from it. But compassion and careful inspections are what is necessary in every case.

    I also appreciate that Bugologist has suffered from bedbugs himself. Although I wonder if you reacted to the bites as well?

    These uncomfortable conversations can be valuable provided we all respect each other. I apologize for my crankiness. I've been doing this too long.

  27. bugobsessed

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 19:27:12
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    Good point, Lelaine, and exactly what I mean. A PCO may look at someone with a condition like cancer and be sympathetic. Or maybe they look at someone with a small child and are sympathetic, but someone with OCD does not appear on the surface to be suffering from or at risk of an affliction. A person who is not knowledgeable may label that bedbug victim as being hysterical or out of control or over the top. It reduces people and their lived realities to something 'less than' or 'invalid' when we are intolerant and we don't take a moment to consider that not all people share the same experiences. Now let me be clear, I don't expect my PCO to be my therapist. But let him at least not reduce me to a hysterical freak. (Which, I'm happy to say, mine hasn't).

    NotSoSnug, I also agree with you. There is still so much we don't know about science and the world we live in, that we can't assume anything. Sure there is plenty of evidence that proves the BB's aren't vectors now, but in a constantly changing and unpredictable world, we may learn in years to come that they are. At the least, we can link them to other health problems that are not viral or bacterial-- such as sleep deprivation and stress. Both of these things are very damaging to the human body if endured over time.

  28. Bites44

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 21:44:50
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    Bugologist, interesting comments, and a lot of what you say is just fine. I too like to think it’s just a bug.

    But you wrote:
    “I don't mean that to belittle anyone, just the bare fact of the statement. It's just an insect. I'm smarter, I'm bigger and I get bit by mosquitoes all the time every year and could care less. This bug isn't much different and if anything, doesn't transmit disease. Remember, it's just a bug.”

    I take it to mean that: It is a bare fact . . . . . . this bug is not much different than a mosquito.

    I’m sure a lot of us do not relate the BB to the mosquito.
    A mosquito is not hiding somewhere in my bed where I can’t even see it, after tearing the bed and innards apart.
    A mosquito is not hiding there to climb upon me in the night and bite me somewhere that I can’t even see, and then scurry away as fast as possible.

    A mosquito is not breeding and laying eggs in every nook and cranny, and I worry all day where they are hiding.
    And constantly searching, steaming, cleaning, spraying.
    A mosquito is not reducing my pension savings to a tiny dot.
    I can put up screens on windows for the mosquito, and still sleep soundly.
    I wouldn’t have to climb up and down doing the laundry and suffer angina attacks.
    I wouldn’t need laundry money (water bills), a new box spring, mattress covers that tear as soon as you put them on.
    I wouldn’t be on the computer for hours and hours seeking solutions for a mosquito.
    I wouldn’t be traumatized. I can hear it and see it (the mosquito).
    With a mosquito, or even tens and tens of mosquitoes, I could still have my family over, and enjoy my grandchildren. Netting is cheap.
    I could unpack all their toys and books.
    I could go to my sister’s house.
    I could read any book in the house without fear.

    With all due respect.
    give me a truckload of mosquitoes, and I’ll trade. (grin)

  29. Bugologist

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 23:06:57
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    Victory, I have to figure out what a PM is, then I'll answer. Sorry, just me not knowing what that is.

    Wow a lot of posts in the few hours since I checked. First and most importantly, in no way have I become agitated, irritated or any other negative reaction to anything anybody has posted. One way you learn is by people questioning you, no matter how much experience or education or however good you think you are. So I appreciate people arguing their point, or questioning something I say and although I may argue my point vehemently, I'll never go anywhere other than being professional (or at least I try as hard as possible).

    Psychology/sociology is a difficult science to grasp for someone who lives by boundaries and biology and behaviors and other "hard" sciences. I definitely didn't have any appreciation for it until I myself was diagnosed with anxiety about 10 years ago. For the first year it was tough because I couldn't control my reactions, anxiousness or anything else related to the situation and I had never dealt with that before. Over time, I learned how to subdue the anxiety, what to do to get my mind off of it, understand that sometimes I need to have a 2 hour melt-down about something and move on and now, it really doesn't bother me. Because of this, I try to take sympathy on all sufferers of bed bugs because of the unknown and their own personal situations. The problem is when I cross over from simple anxiety or nervousness into hysteria and distrust from bad experiences. It puts me in a bad situation because I run into people who are obviously having a tougher time then most with this and it seems apparent that a more serious mental illness may be involved and as an entomologist, all I can suggest is to see someone which a lot of times they just don't hear.

    I don't even know if that last paragraph made any sense. What I'm trying to say is that I do appreciate psychology, I just don't always know how to deal with it when I'm trying to help a client.

    Hopelessnomo, I did react to the bites but not much differently then other insect bites. Slightly more itchy, lasted slightly longer.

    I'll tell you though, if I've learned anything from this site, it's that bed bug sufferers do not like any comparisons to mosquitoes regardless of the intent of the comparison.

  30. victory

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 23:24:47
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    bugologist,

    "private message". scroll to the bottom of this screen and in the right corner click the green button. it will take you to your pm's and you can read them.

  31. NotSoSnug

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 23:40:46
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    Oh yah, anxieties are not fun, I've been in some bad places from them. But BBz are the 'perfect medicine' for me, I have to practice all my 'tools' to keep from losing it whenever I come home and have to deal with the protocols and incessant searches for invisible nymphs. I suppose that's one reason I went hunting them "one bug at a time" as NoBugs called it, I had to do something positive or I would do something very bad instead. To be honest I still think of camping (it's 0degF outside) rather than face taking them with me or dealing with another stubborn, uncommunicative landlord when I leave here. That's my anxieties talking but they talk loudly and make 'sense' sometimes. Hmmm freezing cold, yummm.

  32. Nobugsonme

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    Sun Dec 2 2007 23:47:33
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    Bugologist,

    I don't think you can reduce it to "bed bug sufferers do not like any comparisons to mosquitoes regardless of the intent of the comparison."

    Assuming the absence of Malaria and West Nile, mosquitos are much better than bed bugs.

    Others here frequently tell stories of searching for the cause of their itchy "bites" for months, and even being told they aren't being bitten by anything by PCOs, doctors, and others--only to later find a bed bug (as in the story hopelessnomo relates).

    This is all too common.

    My policy is always to tell people to seek an inspection by a PCO who knows bed bugs (and we have FAQS--see button below--to help people find such a PCO).

    But bed bugs can be elusive. In my experience, some of those folks who don't seem to have bed bugs are just highly allergic--they appear to be reacting to a small infestation which may be hard to identify (at this early stage) by the PCO who inspects.

    And it is true that some people who think they have bed bugs, don't.

    I think most of us try to help people avoid becoming hysterical. It is just a bug--a bug that takes a lot of hard work to find and then get rid of. So a bug to be taken seriously.

    That said, the story of Nicholas Brown is all-too-typical here in NYC: an intelligent person who gets an experienced PCO to treat his home. And after seven visits, he is moving because there is no end in sight. Bugologist, I'm sure if someone in your family, or someone you encountered in your work, had such a persistent case, you'd be quite sympathetic to how this can be more than "just a bug."

    http://bedbugger.com/2007/11/28/nicholas-browns-bedbug-chronicles-part-7/

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  33. bummedindenver

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    Tue Dec 4 2007 13:20:50
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    I've posted about this elsewhere, but will add my story here because it is relevant.

    The elusive nature of these bugs makes all the difference and does serious damage to one's mental state and relationships

    I had bites, but no other evidence. I suspected bed bugs due to intense travel and 3 bites in a row. Even my husband questioned my interpretation (and sanity) because he hadn't yet been bitten. A PCO saw trails and cast skeletons--never an actual bug---and we did 3 treatments. During these two months we have had as evidence only the cast skeletons ID'd by our PCO initially, a couple of spots of blood on the mattress encasements (including one AFTER the final treatment), and some spots of blood on the bed sheet. The PCO finds no evidence other than our bites and so claims that our bites now are due to something else. Carpet tape EVERYWHERE in the bedroom. On the floor along the baseboard, over the baseboard and even along the ceiling. PCO says, if we've got 'em, we'll see 'em on the tape. Nope. Not a single bug has been caught--though we've caught a few spiders.

    We got rid of the bed after treatment 3 and got a new one. Totally fresh, totally isolated. My husband got bites after 3rd treatment in the family room. We now have tape all over that room too. So, where? Where? Where? We aren't catching them, and meanwhile PCO says, nope, they aren't here, because THEY don't see them and we can't produce a bug.

    It's maddening. literally.

    I did find one thing that could be a cast skeleton. Will take it to an entomologist to be ID'd. But I feel so totally abandoned and disrespected by our PCO that even with "proof", I can't see letting them continue in our home.

  34. Bugologist

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Dec 4 2007 16:15:30
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    This is the perfect scenario, lets step back and think.

    First lets consider what we know. You have been "bitten" by something. Never found a live bug. Found trails which I'm not sure what that is. Skeletons which are cast skins and to be honest, unless it's a perfectly in tact one, can be difficult to ID even for an entomologist let alone a PCO who probably other than killing bugs, doesn't know much about them. And even though you didn't give a timeline, it sounds like this started a few months back.

    So basically, you had a reaction to something and it looked like a set of 3 bites, heard about bed bugs affecting travelers, read that they bite in clusters, took 3 leaps (reaction that I can't explain, I travel, therefore I have bed bugs). I know I'm minimalizing the situation, but an outside professional analyzing the situation HAS to look at it this way. So what proof do we have that makes this bed bugs?

    First off, if they were there for 3 months, they would most likely be reproducing and bites would most likely becoming more frequent and evidence left behind would be building, etc... That being said, is it impossible that you brought home one immature bug or an adult male or something that cannot reproduce and there's one bug you can't find that just occasionally bites and will eventually die, sure that's possible but with everything you've done to think you didn't kill the one bug, not so sure.

    I think the bottom line here is how good is your PCO? Does he really know what he's talking about or doing? Trails might mean spotting and unless you're familiar with it, dirt, roach feces, stains, etc... could be confused with it. Also, we have our skeletons. Could be mis-ID'd with carpet beetle skins and other stuff. So all we know for sure is that we have unexplained reactions, a PCO that we aren't really sure he knows what he's talking about who very well could have mis-identified the infestation to begin with for economic gain and yet you're insisting you have bed bugs.

    I said it before and I'll say it again, take a deep breath and lets think about what we have. Now what do we do? I suggest hiring another PCO for a second opinion and if that guy comes in and says he can't find anything (assuming he completed a good inspection) don't just get frustrated. Try to at least open your mind to other possibilities.

  35. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Dec 4 2007 17:33:11
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    "Bed bugs are not a vector, period. There is absolutely no evidence indicating otherwise. The army has been researching this for years. Bed bugs, to this point, cannot not transmit disease."

    Screw the military the big shots do not have us in their best interest anymore.

    "But what I did when I was a little uncomfortable with the situation was remind myself that IT'S JUST A BUG."

    I know that you are trying to comfort us but other than the facts that some people experience bites that itch for much longer than they should and scar is the fact that they destroy your furniture and posessions with blood and poop marks. The thing that I guess people are concerned with the most is that if you let one pregnant female live you will have a bug population the size of a town in no time at all. Also, I do not think one entomologist would bet their entire savings on the data that bbs do not spread disease.
    That is still a big question as far as I am concerned.

    mosquitoes. At least if you are getting bit my mosquitoes you leave and go inside. Also mosquitoes do not harbour in your bed and attack you in the middle of your sleep and then after they feast they are repelled by you and run for the hills. Your bed is a private place, a sanctuary, a place where you escape from the daily stress. Intimate. These little bastard devils have no respect so I will continue to try to hunt them down and get them before they get me.

    "It's probably not insects to be honest and I'd bet you don't have any insects in your house that are capable of what you are experiencing. I think doctors don't know enough about human reactions to things, I think the mind is a powerful thing and part of me is starting to believe we can manifest certain reactions on our body and I think people sometimes doubt a reaction to something common (detergents, soaps, fabrics, etc...) because they never reacted to it before. What's to say you didn't develop something?"

    Let us not forget all of those chemicals the PCO sprayed. Add that to the list.

    No such thing as "just an insect" Some people in society are experiencing roach infestations numbering in the thousands. Roaches will crawl in you ears and up your ass. Who wants that? Insects multiply and then an infestation gets way out of hand so my point is that we have to deal with the problem the best that we can until some professional invents something that can help us. I believe we have to battle and find out what are causing the skin reactions or mystery bites because it very well may be bed bugs, we know how stealth they can be. And if not it might be something else that professionals missed. They missed the bed bug come back, it surprised the hell out of most professionals so maybe we are missing something all over again. The unknown.

    How can an inspector see ever possible hiding place. They cannot see through walls or under floor boards so how can an inspection or two be 100% accurate.

    I never had skin marks like the ones I have now until bed bugs and all of the chemicals the PCO sprayed.

    Bugologist,
    Thanks for giving us a chance to vent. I hope that was your intention and you were not being serious about your post.
    If you were serious then it can be considered insulting.
    You have to know something about the people on this site. We are Warriors and we do not surrender. We will fight until we are positive that every last bed bug is gone and then some. So call us nuts if one wishes to do so but I believe the Warriors are the ones that need to receive credit for having the desire and will to protect their homes and health and having the desire to live a bed bug free life.

  36. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Dec 4 2007 18:28:29
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    I am not at all insulted by bugologist's post. I think most people are actually agreeing with him (her?). Yes, bedbugs are very much like mosquitoes, both are bugs designed by nature to suck blood. I think that all bugologist was trying to point out is that on a basic biological level they are very similar, it is in the impact they have on your life that they are different. We all agree on that. But it is interesting to note that we get bitten by one bug and (in North America) we don't care, and yet that is the bug that spreads disease that kills millions. The other insect bites us and it is not life-threatening, and yet emotionally and psychologically it breaks us down completely. I agree, that dichotomy is fascinating.

    As a layperson I have to also agree with the evidence that BBs don't currently transmit disease to humans. I don't think the military and scientific communities are conjuring up bad science just because they don't have our best interests at heart. The military community probably does have an interest in pest control, they do not need infestations in military barracks or Bancroft Hall. In fact, I believe the military gave us permethrin and I am damn glad to have it. Could BBs become a vector in the future? Maybe, but that doesn't mean that the existing research is worthless. Results are results. "Screw the people who don't say what I want to hear" is not how I would respond.

    Finally, I have to say that I am really uncomfortable with the tone of this thread. Apparently if you don't like what you read it is OK to attack the poster and be agressive? ltdan, perhaps I have read more into your post than was intended?

  37. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Dec 4 2007 19:18:15
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    I agree with Itchy. Let's not shoot the messenger.

  38. NotSoSnug

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Dec 4 2007 19:23:16
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    I have to add that I care that I get bit by mosquitoes. Especially those that carry West Nile.

    I worked on the Canadian Prairies a few years ago for several years and I was regularly bitten in areas that had known West Nile in birds and the odd human case. I became sick with something that for many months left me tired and given to an extreme rash but I wasn't tested for West Nile as it was before the cases reached sufficient profile to warrant Doctors testing for it. I recovered and as I am not experiencing further symptoms I haven't pressed for a test to confirm my suspicions since. A dermatologist I saw at the time figured my rash was related to an antibiotic allergy, something I had never had before in many years of using them.

    If you work or recreate outside in rural Canada you will get bitten by many, many, many mosquitoes and there's little you can do about it personally. In some Canadian jurisdictions there are other pathogens that can be acquired by mosquitoes which are equally as dangerous. While we spray extensively for mosquitoes in many communities in Canada, it's not feasible to spray in rural areas and there is no innoculation for West Nile.

  39. NotSoSnug

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Dec 4 2007 19:25:43
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    BBs are the messenger. The are harbingers of doom! </joke>.

  40. Bugologist

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Dec 4 2007 20:26:19
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    Itchyincharmcity, don't be uncomfortable, not everyone knows how to express their opinion in a friendly fashion. You are correct, I meant no harm in my post as it was just a professional opinion and observation and up until now I didn't think anyone took anything negative from it. If there's one thing I learned from teaching, it's that no matter how good you are and no matter how nice you are, you will never please everyone. There is always someone who will give you a bad review and if that person doesn't exist, something is wrong. There is always someone in the class that can't take a figure at the front dictating information to you somewhat as a superior. Lt. Dan is that man.

    If you've read any of Lt. Dan's previous posts in any other threads you can infer that Lt. Dan doesn't like "the man". He continually second guesses anyone who claims to be an expert or the government. He doesn't believe anything anybody says and has obviously had some bad experiences. As for his professionalism, I have no comment.

  41. Bugologist

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Dec 4 2007 20:30:29
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    Nobugsonme, I ask that you don't stop the thread due to some negative tones. As a professional I'm valuing and learning from others opinions on what I'm writing and I would like to continue to hear what people have to say, especially about my post prior to Lt. Dan's rant. I assure you, nothing negative will come from me.

  42. Nobugsonme

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    Wed Dec 5 2007 1:37:07
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    Bugologist,

    No one has requested I close the thread, unless I missed anything (please point me to it if I did--this is a long one and I tend to read late into the night here...)

    I do want to say that everyone should avoid taking shots at others. If we can keep things civil, on all sides, and treat others with respect, then this can be a useful forum for all.

    Let's try to focus on the substance of others' answers and avoid attacking their character.

    One other response, if I may, Bugologist.

    I think much of what you say is rational and it would serve many people well to try and be calm, enlist the help of professionals, and find evidence before jumping to conclusions. (I am not sure if you read our FAQs--button below--before joining the forums, but the information there expounds upon such an approach).

    While professionals do have a lot to offer us in terms of their expertise (and this is something we do appreciate here at Bedbugger), it is sometimes true that professionals on the forums are overly focused on the worthwhile activity of sharing their professional knowledge (which, again, we appreciate), but at the same time, don't take time to recognize what, in return, what we Bedbuggers have to teach _them_ about the experience of bed bugs. (And I don't mean that you'll learn we're hysterical or jumping the gun. I mean _useful_ things you can learn.) I am not saying that you fall into this category, but I hope that you will keep an open mind and avoid that trap.

  43. persona-non-bugga

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Dec 5 2007 3:07:29
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    Bugologist wrote:

    "I don't even know if that last paragraph made any sense. What I'm trying to say is that I do appreciate psychology, I just don't always know how to deal with it when I'm trying to help a client."

    and from another post, Bugologist wrote:

    "I've seen the most sane people deal with this bug and completely fall apart. We read about it every day on this site. I've seen tears, I've seen marriages lost due to the hysteria and it's all sad and one of the most frustrating things as a researcher/PCO, I can't do anything about the psychological aspect."

    --------------------

    Hi Bugologist, I take it you're a PCO &/or an entomologist (?) who interacts with a lot of folks in distress over bedbugs. I sense you're frustrated at the amount of emotional weight some clients bring, and your impulse to help is understandable. But you're in luck - you're their PCO (right?) Not their therapist.

    While good bedside manner is appreciated and usually pays economic dividends, doing "anything about the psychological aspect" is not a key function of your job. If you feel ill-equipped to manage the emotional and mental issues involved with bedbug infestations, then no need to try. I hope you keep in mind that your mission is even more crucial to a client's well-being: eradicating the infestation.

    Explaining to a bedbug sufferer that the conflict in their marriage is due to hysteria, "psychoanalyzing" their alleged issues with authority, etc ... well, I have my own opinion about how helpful that would be to a person. But I know for sure that it ain't gonna kill a single bedbug. So, all that stuff is extraneous to you rendering quality professional services.

    If you feel a client is mistaken in his belief that he has bedbugs, then the cure is as simple as parting ways. You've done what's within your control and purview. Best let that client continue his own journey - rather than either of you waste each other's time.

  44. insomnia

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    Wed Dec 5 2007 9:17:43
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    Why bb's are "not" just a bug...and psycologically traumatizing...
    1. Sleep--they attack during our most vulnerable state of being...in the dark...and in stealth mode
    2. Lack of Sleep--people suffering from lack of REM suffer mentally. People can live without food longer than they can live without REM sleep.
    3. Breeding--the incredible speed at which they multiply appears to be an unstoppable invasion
    4. Phantom bites...I refer to these as the "creepy crawlies". Whatever causes this...mental or physical (from the bb's saliva)...it's really there. This is not the case with mosquitoes or ticks.
    5. Disease...maybe not, but several on this site have noticed an increase of small red moles....a coincidence? doubtful. What else could be happening that we don't know about yet??
    6. Cleanliness...while we KNOW that bb's do not reflect housekeeping skills...it still feels like failure to keep ourselves and loved ones safe.
    7. OCD personality type....addressed above....this is the reason relationships suffer, lives are destroyed...one family member maintains the "it's just a bug" perception while the OCD person cannot accept the attacking vampires--and will do anything to stop them.

    Bugologist, please have patience with "hysterical" clients. Even if your inspections show that their home is bb free, it's always possible that they are getting bites......somewhere else. Then, as persona so wisely wrote...sometimes you just have to walk away.

  45. lieutenantdan

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    Wed Dec 5 2007 10:13:57
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    Bugologist,
    Do not take my post as a personal attack on you I have never met you in person you are probably a very good person. When anyone post an opinion like you did you must be willing to take the good with the bad, I do. You should not get so bent out of shape, I understand that in your heart you were just trying to help but you did touch on a sensitive subject and displayed a lack of sensitivity toward the bed bug Warrior.
    May I ask you a question? Are you friendly with Doctor Pollack at Harvard? Just joking.

    Bugolist says
    "If you've read any of Lt. Dan's previous posts in any other threads you can infer that Lt. Dan doesn't like "the man". He continually second guesses anyone who claims to be an expert or the government. He doesn't believe anything anybody says and has obviously had some bad experiences. As for his professionalism, I have no comment."

    First as for the government some perfect examples why not to trust is #1 the Vietnam war #2 Watergate #3 the war that we are currently fighting. Should I continue?

    Also your statement "He doesn't believe anything anybody says and has obviously had some bad experiences."

    You do not know me, so you got pissed at how I replied to your post and you decided to do a little research on me while your adrenaline was a pumping. I have many friends that are the U.S. top bb entomologists and I listen to them and I respect them and I question them and some have helped me greatly. I am a free thinker and I can think for myself and to question someone is to go more in depth, to explore.I find it hard to believe that so many people in our society can follow like sheep without questioning anyone who has the desire to put themselves in a superior position. In this day just about everyone is some kind of expert on something, even me.

    "Nobugsonme, I ask that you don't stop the thread due to some negative tones. As a professional I'm valuing and learning from others opinions on what I'm writing and I would like to continue to hear what people have to say, especially about my post prior to Lt. Dan's rant. I assure you, nothing negative will come from me."

    First of all Bugologist just because someone may see things differently than you and his or her answer you may not agree with it may not be a rant as you put it. And why even consider asking Nobugsonme not to stop the thread, that is absurd.

    If you are a professional in the bug business or not I welcome your posts and comments along with everyones else who wishes to speak freely, I love it and I embrace it. I thank you.

    In my opinion I think this was a good learning experience for you.

  46. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Dec 5 2007 10:43:17
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    For the record, I totally overreacted, jumped to conclusions, became hysterical, and generally made a huge deal of what now appears to not be a very big problem. Very little points to an infestation in my home but I was completely insistent that I had bed bugs and would not believe anything else. After treatment I calmed down and realized that I and my PCO may not have taken the most appropriate course of action.

    So it does happen. Probably more than we think.

  47. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Dec 5 2007 11:18:27
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    Lelaine,
    What is wrong with washing your hands many times a day?
    The health officials and the media are now telling people to wash their hands often because of MRSA.
    What expert is it left up to to define how often is often?

  48. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Dec 5 2007 11:26:44
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    Also,
    hopelessnomo why apologize? You are free to voice your opinions.
    I see nothing incorrect about your comments infact I think your comments show a very sensitive understanding of the people who are suffering from the bed bug epidemic.

  49. pleasehelp

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Dec 5 2007 11:50:05
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    LtDan, re your post of 1 hour ago: RIGHT ON!
    Well put, & thanks for standing up for us.

    Bugologist, please keep posting! I don't really understand why you don't understand the suffering, but maybe someday... And thanks for your contributions.

    Everybody here: Thanks for taking the time to express yourselves.

  50. poorBugger

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Dec 5 2007 12:01:06
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    lieutenantdan,

    people who suffer from OCD wash their hands (and do other behaviors) because they are compelled to do so in order to 'feel right', or gain relief from the compulsion...as opposed to voluntarily washing your hands to reduce your risk of MRSA...one you're forced to do to have peace, the other you wish to do...

    it's like having a very itchy bedbug bite and trying not to scratch...the itch continues and seems to amplify, occupying your thoughts, calling out to you to scratch it and get some relief...eventually, you scratch and feel better, until the itch builds and you scratch again...you know you shouldn't, but relief for a short time beats constant torture...

    i think OCD ranges from the annoying to completely debilitating...just a little perspective

  51. nyjammin

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    Wed Dec 5 2007 16:11:13
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    This thread to me seems to be about being emotional about these f..ker bbs. Here's my take on the matter:

    How many of you have been to doctors years ago when they did not have what's called good "bedside manner". Doctors would just treat you and tell you what you had and that was it. Could not questions Doctors 'cause they were the ones with the degrees and how dare you question a professional who has so many degrees, etc. Well, times have changed, haven't they? Doctors are being told to have good bedside manners and be good emotionally to their patients. Doctors are not therapists, right? Yet, now in their field they comfort those who are going through personal things associated with their illnesses and the such.

    The same should be true of pcos. They are not therapists, but they are human, aren't they? Pcos have feelings, right? Now, substitute the above paragraph from doctors to pcos. No one has to be a therapist to sympathize or empathize w/a person who is going through a bug infestation. My goodness, have a little heart, huh?! Get a better bedsie manner. Listen to your customers questions and concerns. Doctors do and they sure as hell have a lot more education than pcos. Although doctors could have a lot more education on bbs and bites, but that's another story and meant for another thread.

    I applaud LtDan. for being so vigilant and getting rid of his bbs and questioning others. I also question others and I'm a woman. A lot of times I know a lot more than these pcos who have an education because of the internet. It's not like years ago when you needed to go to school to learn something. There's a whole lot you can learn through the internet. I'll tell you a story. When I was in school and the teacher purposely said something wrong. Not one child said anything. This teacher said "Did you know I just told you guys the wrong info.? Don't always believe what your hear, even if it's a teacher." Bravo!

  52. NotSoSnug

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Dec 5 2007 20:57:33
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    OCD. I am a little obsessive anyway, but these protocols drive me nuts. Its one thing to be obsessive in your own way, but to have to be obsessive in the way the protocols require is half the cause of my stress. The good news is since I am obsessive I stick pretty close to them, because I can't really not do so. Although, there are times when I bug-ger it up and go oops and say to myself "Well, what are the chances.." Bad, bad, bad...

  53. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Dec 5 2007 22:31:29
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    NotSoSnug,
    I guess it depends on what protocols you are following.
    There are many recommendations on the site, but none are absolutely positively required and some work well for some, others for others.
    As far as your PCO's protocols, even those vary from one company to another. As hopelessnomo has said elsewhere, it is possible to get rid of bed bugs without, for example, isolating the bed. Some people bag, others don't.
    I think the site can stress people out when they feel like they need to do everything everyone mentions, which is impossible.

    Oh, and to LtDan, I believe the definition of OCD is that it is a disorder--doing what might otherwise be normal activities to the point where they become a problem. People don't get treated for OCD unless they are concerned, or others are. People can wash their hands often and it helps prevent disease, as you note. But do it too often, and you can end up with dry, bleeding hands. Similarly, anti-bacterial soap is good in moderation, but used too much can lead to resistant bacteria. No one would mistake washing your hands 50 times a day, for example, for a helpful behavior.

    I'm not sure it works when we use the term "OCD" to apply to "diligent bed bug fighting methods."

  54. NotSoSnug

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Dec 5 2007 22:57:54
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    When I discovered BBs 4 weeks ago, I hit the Net. The consensus was bag, treat and heat. This site repeats and refines those suggestions. I can see from my own experiences how BBs can act. Plus, I'm an old fart, always interested in nature since a little kid, took biology in Univ and subject to a lot of personal building and bush bug experience in general (fleas, ticks, roaches, carpet beetles, carrion beetles, silverfish, springtails and now BBs). With my BB hunting and observations I am drawing my own conclusions about these critters.

    But after finding a number of 1st instar nymphs I have no illusions that dressing and bagging protocols must be followed fairly rigourously or risk spreading them hither and yon. This site certainly doesn't stress me out, the BBs do. And stubborn, cheap landlords and inexperienced PCOs and ill defined Gov policy and money being more important than human beings etc etc.

    PS DBBFM is in the DSM-IV, I looked it up.

  55. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Dec 6 2007 0:24:29
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    LOL NotSoSnug!

    Just to be clear, when I said, "some people bag," I didn't mean clean clothes. I meant other stuff (which is more complex and controversial, but covered in the FAQs if anyone else is wondering what I mean.)

  56. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Dec 6 2007 8:45:30
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    Many pre-existing mental health problems can be exacerbated by severe stress. I think everyone here appreciates how stressed out one can get while dealing with a bed bug infestation.

    Bed bug related issues are emotionally charged for victims. Trying to reassure a victim by explaining the situation with a scientific perspective can be perceived as an attempt to trivialize the experience.

  57. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Dec 6 2007 10:50:28
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    NotSoSnug,
    You mentioned that you found first instar nymphs. Did you send them to an entomologist of your choice?
    The reason being is that even after I thought that I would know a bb when I would see one. I found out that when it comes to small specimens such as nymphs I was unable to tell because of magnification limitations and not being an entomologist that the nymphs that I recently found were in fact brown-banded roach nymphs. Of course I kind of freaked for a couple of days until an entomologist was able to ID them for me. You know the freak out thing. It is when you feel your adrenaline rush and you go into survival mode and for most of your time your thoughts are about bed bugs.
    So I stress the importance of having a respected entomology department view your specimens.

    DougSummersMS,
    Well written Doug and thank you. Not only it can be perceived as an attempt to trivialize the experience as you wrote but a Bed Bug Warrior has such an education about bed bug infestations first hand that we can see trivializing the experience as insulting. Please let me try to explain.
    Five months before discovery of our infestation a co-worker came to me freakin that she thinks that her apartment has bed bugs, she even showed me her bite marks. My response due to lack of understanding of bed bugs at that time was, bed bugs, you don't have bed bugs!
    I since have apologized to that person a couple of times for my lack of understanding now that I can understand what she was going through. As a Warrior I understand that no one who has not experienced a bed bug infestation can understand what it is like. The insulting part comes because of the lack of understanding, which is normal by the non bed bug sufferer, telling the bed bug warrior who has this wealth of bed bug knowledge that you should not be concerned that bed bugs are just bugs etc...
    even when the warrior tries to educate the non-sufferer about what they have been going through the non-sufferer just does not get it. We Warriors are doing exactly as we are supposed to do based on our knowledge and understanding of the enemy.
    If it seems to the non-sufferer that we are crazy or have OCD or whatever then so be it. I have been fighting to protect my life and my family and I will continue to do so.
    We seem to always be on the defensive, defending our actions and our sanity to the non-bed bug sufferer.

  58. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Fri Dec 7 2007 0:06:51
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    LtDan,

    Another aspect of this discussion, though, is that sometimes people think they have bed bug bites when actually the cause is something else. This can be exacerbated because those who did have bed bugs are quick to encourage them to assume they have them too.

    I saw someone on the yahoo group last year who was whipped into a frenzy of self-treatment when she did not have a sample and her PCO did not find bed bugs. People mentioned that sometimes evidence is hard to find, and some encouraged her to treat since no PCO would.

    Several months later she was offering an enormous amount of concentrated contact killer free to others via the email list, without explanation as to why. I asked her offlist and she said she later found out she had folliculitis. It never was bed bugs.

    She wasted a lot of time and money spraying enzyme cleaners and washing and bagging clothes because people were quick to assume she had bed bugs because she had bites and some other things she thought were evidence.

    The bottom line is sometimes people do have bed bugs and it is hard to find evidence--definitive evidence. And so PCOs may be wrong at first in declaring someone bed bug free. PCOs and entomologists need to understand this happens. Other times, people do not have bed bugs and this is why evidence is not forthcoming, or is mistaken for something it is not. We bedbuggers need to understand that this happens, and how much of a real burden it can be on the person who goes down the wrong road assuming it must be bed bugs, or, for that matter, any kind of biting insect or mite.

  59. NotSoSnug

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Fri Dec 7 2007 0:36:43
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    lieutenantdan: Take a look at my Flickr pics and tell me if you have any doubts that all the circled nymphs are not BBs, although perhaps you can't zoom in that close in Flickr. The advantage of trapping them and using a scanner is you can be damn near blind and identify things. When I zoom in on them they are distinctly BB shaped, only very tiny. If an entomolygist can view them and counter that, I'd be happy to change my opinion. But we don't really have the resources in my small town for BB identification.

    NoBugs: In my brief and limited experience I tend to agree that bagging or sealing items that may be infested while being PCO treated seems counter-productive. I've only bag sealed non-clothing items after heat treatment or inspection has indicated no BBs. I am using the librarian protocol of 130degF for 3 hrs on paperwork I can't inspect visually. If I miss some eggs during inspection, I'll be sorry, but I am pretty confident my inspection is careful. (No visible activity/no bites for 2.5 weeks, even with night red LED hunting. Fingers Xed since no second treatment forthcoming- final decision from PCO, Building Manager and Area Manager.)

  60. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Fri Dec 7 2007 0:58:34
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    NotSoSnug,

    If people do have things bagged which may contain bed bugs or eggs, the only idea is to unpack them while you still have active residuals/dusts/whatever. I am not worried about the paper, just anything you might have missed in visual inspection. People who do bag -- but not for 18 months-- usually are told to unbag during treatment for this reason. If you have residuals or dusts working, and they have to cross them to dine, then they will die.

    Are you cooking paper in the oven, NotSoSnug? If so, that oven goes to a low temp. Very lucky.

  61. NotSoSnug

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Fri Dec 7 2007 1:08:11
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    Yah I am lucky. Tile floor and a low temp oven, just what the BB ordered to balance the karmic flux! My oven starts the dial at 150degF but goes lower than that with the dial and the light. I think I am getting my 130degF pretty close.

    My visual inspections are thorough and anything I can't check gets bagged for storage or washed/heat treated. That means any envelopes, fabric, leather, anything with folds, creases or compartments etc that can't be visually confirmed. Any doubts gets heat treated, washed or stored. Even then everything cleaned and ok gets bagged and will be isolated or bagged for months until my paranoia is appeased.

    My next place will be a snowbank, so I can get away from landlords and BBs!

  62. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Fri Dec 7 2007 9:39:33
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    NotSoSnug,

    How do you wrap or prep paperwork for this 130 degree oven treatment? Can you tell us more about it? (If it is in another thread, simply send me on my way.)

    Note: I am not suggesting people bake paper, which could potentially cause a fire or other problems. I am just asking how NotSoSnug does it, since he seems mighty inventive and others may wish to know.

  63. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Fri Dec 7 2007 9:42:25
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    NotSoSnug,
    You do understand that I am not saying that your samples are not bed bugs.
    You said that
    "But we don't really have the resources in my small town for BB identification."

    You do have a mail system of some kind I guess. You can send them to Harvard and Nobugsonme supplies the link.
    I think it cost $20 and you can over night it. Although I do not agree with the fact that Dr. Pollack from Harvard down plays the damage that bed bugs cause their sufferers I do think that he is professional in IDing specimens. Having an ID from someone like Dr. Pollack is a good thing to have on file in case proper documentation is needed for some reason.

  64. pleasehelp

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Fri Dec 7 2007 15:14:34
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    RE baking: My oven only goes down to 175, but I'm baking my papers. I put them into a big metal covered roasting pan for 1 hour. No fire danger, and the roaster will keep any bugs from escaping out of the oven's ventilation.

  65. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Fri Dec 7 2007 16:04:23
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    Please note that the story I related in my post above which described a bedbugger reporting finding a bedbug after 5 months of bites and no evidence is factually incorrect. The person has since reported that it was not in fact a bedbug after all.

  66. NotSoSnug

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Fri Dec 7 2007 22:13:41
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    LtDan: I understand what you're recommending and thank you for the suggestion. A combination of hubris, economy and impatience means I won't likely send any samples on unless the process conveniently bridges the aforementioned conditions. Legally it won't assist me- in my jurisdiction the landlord has the leverage and identification is moot as the PCO agreed I have BBs. If I assume the 1st instars are still about then I will follow protocols stringently. Oh sure I might end up on the flight deck from worry, but what's the price for freedom eh.

  67. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 10 2007 10:40:26
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    NotSoSnug,
    Some entomologists will view your samples for free.

  68. NotSoSnug

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Dec 12 2007 22:08:28
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    NoBugs: Sorry I missed your question. I just use an open topped, big aluminum roaster and throw in anything I think will bake without melting: paperbacks, hardcovers, file folders, cards with liners etc. I've even baked CD folder cases with the clear flexible plastic sheaths (CDs removed of course) and everything comes out ok. Books glues are ok afterward and pages or covers aren't warped. I've baked about a half dozen roasters full to date and so far so good.

    I haven't found any bugs or eggs to test so I have to assume the protocol works. Judging by published laundry tests, 130F for 3 hours min should do it. I don't have a thermometer so I can't confirm I reach 130F but the items are mighty warm afterward.

    I'll add that the protocol recommends a pan of water in the oven too and I find that I have to replace the water after every session, so I advise using the water so the papers don't dessicate.

  69. Lelaine

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Dec 13 2007 15:35:11
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    Lt. Dan,

    I am sorry I missed your question about hand washing. Others upthread have answered quite well, though. My compulsions are repeated because I have to do so in order to feel OK. The trap, though, is that the feeling of okay-ness doesn't last for long.

    I hope I haven't offended anybody by mentioning OCD. I just thought it was a facet of the discussion that maybe PCOs hadn't thought of, as they are gathering more experience with bed bugs. I do NOT mean to say that everybody with bed bugs is OCD because they have to follow strict protocols, or because they constantly worry about them during and after treatment. I was OCD before I came into contact with bed bugs in my travels -- the possibility of bringing them home with me just triggered a horrible flare up. I am working now on developing coping skills that will nip the next flare up in the bud, whatever the trigger might be.

    I do wonder, though, if psychology will concern itself with people's reaction to bed bugs as the bugs get to be a more common problem.

  70. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Dec 13 2007 15:53:45
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    Hi Lelaine,

    I was not offended by the comparison, I just wanted to clarify that there was a distinction. Everyone following bed bug protocols is not exhibiting OCD, though it is possible to go overboard and become obsessed.

    Interestingly, I would guess that a tiny minority of people with bed bugs go to these lengths in trying to get rid of them--others don't because they're not aware, or because they do what their PCOs tell them. Most people's PCOs seem to tell customers to wash and dry all clothing on hot (and bag), and most probably recommend encasements. But beyond this, there really is no standard.

    Many of those people must be getting rid of bed bugs anyway. So what are we? Cautious? Fastidious? Better informed?

  71. (deleted)

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    Wed Dec 19 2007 17:47:58
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    I am joing this forum and posting a bit later than all the others but there is one thing that I disagree with that keeps being mentioned by some. That the bites from bed bugs and mosquitoes aren't the same.

    I think it actually depends on the persons reaction to above mentioned bugs. My partner pretty much has the same welts show up whether it's a bed bug or mosquitoe. Another odd thing is that either bug seems to prefer biting him over me.

    I only get bitten when he is not at my place if he stays here he ends up with all the bites. That's why I no longer let him come here. The same with mosquitoes he can get eaten alive in the summer (we live in south florida) while I rarely get bitten. This is while we are in the same place and at the same time.

    Theories anyone?

  72. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Dec 20 2007 11:27:17
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    Maybe they are harboring on his side of the bed. I have read that BBs are lazy and if they crawl on him first, they don't need to crawl over to you.


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