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Public Housing - Risk of Exposure - Bedbug Precautions

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  1. BugsInTO

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Dec 3 2010 13:12:41
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    I'm looking for practical advice.

    My child has made a new friend who lives in Public Housing. I haven't met the parents yet, and they don't have a phone. My child invited his new friend over tonight to hang out.

    All the Public Housing high rise bldgs in this city have bedbug reports, but I know this doesn't mean every unit.

    I don't want to discriminate against this kid. I don't want to do anything to make him uncomfortable.

    Any suggestions for protocols I might follow?

  2. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Dec 3 2010 19:35:27
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    You have 296 posts and you're asking this question!!???

  3. cilecto

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Dec 3 2010 19:51:36
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    toledo - 8 minutes ago  » 
    You have 296 posts and you're asking this question!!???

    I have over 1500 posts and this one has me stumped and distressed. What do you tell a kid and his/her friends? How much can you expect from kids? Do you allow your kids to be friends with some people, not others? By what criteria? Is this how segregation starts?

    I would love to see this discussion.

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

    (Not an pro)
  4. MsTabbyKats

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Dec 3 2010 19:56:50
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    Can they go to "neutral territory"....like a movie?

    How old are these kids? It makes a difference in how to handle it.

  5. BugsInTO

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Dec 3 2010 20:34:03
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    The kids are 12 years old. I still haven't managed to meet the child's parents.

  6. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Dec 3 2010 20:39:46
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    Hi,

    This one does not start with a protocol it starts with a risk assessment.

    Ask the parents if they are aware of the bedbug issue, explain that with all the news you are concerned. If they say yes we have heard and know what to look for and what the signs are the chances are a lot better that you don't need to take a whole bunch of precautions.

    If they shrug it off or don't know anything then you can take steps to make sure nothing is accidentally brought home with your child. There is lots of advice in the FAQ's and a lot of advice that is similar has been posted in the travel precaution threads.

    However those are a mute point if you know they are aware of the facts of bedbugs and take steps to ensure their home is bedbug free.

    Sorry to bang on the old drum again but its all about education and communication.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Dec 3 2010 21:08:15
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    It is a good question, I think.

    David gives good advice.

    It's not an easy conversation to have, but is worthwhile.

    You may also want to enact protocols per the travel FAQs. That's not easy with kids either. Or with adults, for that matter...

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  8. BugsInTO

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Dec 3 2010 21:25:22
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    I'm still struggling with a double-standard. What's the reality of saying to my son "You can have all the friends you want, but none of them can come in the house until I have met their parents and discussed bedbugs" ?

    I was trying to come up with a gracious way to secretly apply a protocol to a 12 year old kid who was visiting my house. This was because we told my child - "sure, go ahead and invite some kids for a movie night" - and didn't say "oh, but don't invite the kid whose parents we haven't met who lives in Public Housing."

    But it was impossible to resolve - so they are upstairs now and I think they are having a good time.

    The consequences will be ours if we have made the wrong decision and we know all too well what those will be. What's hard to know is what is the right thing to do sometimes.

  9. BugsInTO

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Dec 3 2010 21:34:47
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    And thank you for your replies.

  10. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Dec 3 2010 21:35:35
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    When I was thinking of protocols, I was thinking it would be bad enough having a protocol for your kid coming home from someone's house. (Packtiting bags or clothes or whatever.)

    As for visitors to your home, I think anything you tried to implement "on" a guest or their belongings would likely be viewed as insulting and misunderstood.

    It may be more important to have a good ongoing monitoring system in place.

  11. MsTabbyKats

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Dec 3 2010 21:39:49
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    BugsInTo....

    What is your bb situation?

    If you have them, or had them.....you could tell the kids not to invite anyone over until the situation is cleared up. Let them think you are doing the friends a favor....but not exposing them.

    Sometimes you just can't be politically correct.

  12. cilecto

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Dec 3 2010 22:11:59
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    At some point, kids might need to be taught "universal" practices, like "duck & cover" or "drop & roll".

  13. BugsInTO

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Dec 5 2010 15:45:01
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    Hi - I didn't give enough background with my first post. We're two years past our infestation. We practiced protocols to protect everyone around us. We don't have bedbugs now and fortunately we didn't spread them.

    We worked on our ethical approach to bedbugs from a place of empathy (no-one would wish bedbugs on their worst enemy) and from a place of civic responsibility. What came out of it was a standard we could use to guide us going forward. For me, it included staying active and political about bedbugs.

    And that's where my recent post began as a small "l" liberal being hoisted on the petard of my hypocrisy.

    I've read over the replies and they have been helpful. Here's where I am at right now.

    1) The first issue is Public Housing in general. As long as society thinks those problems aren't coming to their house, change isn't possible. It's my tax dollars, so I should have some say in the standards. I've been writing and emailing for the last 2 years and I will keep it up. We allow these conditions with our indifference.

    2) There isn't a way to secretly decon your visitors.

    Or is there? Some Airlines spray insecticide in their cabins while the passenges are on-board as a precaution against transporting insects from one country to another. This got a lot of publicity a while back, because it was being done without passengers' knowledge. If there was an insecticide that could actually decon for bedbugs, how long before it would be sprayed automatically on people in lobbies and elevators?

    3) Should we be confirming with all visitors that they are low risk?

    It shouldn't be about my prejudical perception of risk - what's needed is information. But, I don't have the right to it. If I ask someone- "Do you have bedbugs?" they are under no obligation to tell me. So, all I can do is be honest. Having a social talk about bedbugs in general will probably give me an idea of someone's general knowledge level.

    4) It's my duty and right to make sure my chlld's friends are suitable. This has nothing to do with bedbugs.

    5) Nobugs is absolutely right. Monitoring is the way to go.

    6) My son has been taught to avoid all furniture and mattresses on the sidewalk. It should be the next lesson after drop & roll. That's how my work colleague's grand kids got bedbugs - from jumping on a mattress in the backyard of a neighbour.


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