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So, who do you tell???

(22 posts)
  1. bugaphobic

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Apr 27 2008 9:50:34
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    I am curious about what people tell people about their bb's. Do you tell you family, friends, boss, doctor, do you tell some but not all.....or nobody??

  2. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Apr 27 2008 10:34:24
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    Hi Bugaphobic,

    Not a definitive list but a good starting point, I would say prepare to tell all but remember that the message will often be different for different people.

    If you have seen your doctor about the problem let them know what it is, give them the facts, stress it’s an exposure pest and that some people are not even aware of it for a long time. They may well thank you for helping to solve other problems they may be seeing. One the key message should be that these pests affect different people in different ways so don’t just look for one pattern or type of bite.

    With family communicate again factually and explain that you may need more supportive phone calls and emails. Make sure they are educated about the problem so that they might be able to avoid it in the future. Remember for every person who learns about bed bugs and starts checking for them the fewer undetected infestations there will be out there.

    Friends again can be both supportive when you need someone to talk to and are always appreciative of learning how to avoid the problem themselves. The more people who understand about bed bugs the fewer misconceptions that will occur. When enough people understand how they spread they will not associate them with dirt because in 99% of the cases I see home hygiene could not be much better, they can infect anywhere.

    Work is a difficult one, it may not be necessary to inform them but letting HR or your boss know may make things a little easier at work. There is a lot of effort in resolving the problem which may need time off during the week to make appointments. Sleepless nights at worst and often disrupted sleep which can result in low energy at work. If you travel for work then informing all the staff about bed bug issues and what to look for is in their best interests. I recently chatted with a customer who believes their infestation was as a result of a business trip where 25% of the staff stayed at the same hotel. She is finding it easier to talk about things now the problem is under control.

    Where possible use newsletters and information from websites. Try not to scare people about it, they are more likely to take notice of factual and clear information on the subject. Its why I wrote BedBugBeware.com to give the facts in a format that takes less than 10 minutes to read. People who are aware will do more research if they have a problem but at least they know what to look for.

    In reality communicating the issues can be hard when you are in the middle of an infestation but spreading the word is what is ultimatly needed to help slow and stop the spread of this problem. It has come a long way int he last 5 years alone but there is still a lot of education to be done.

    David

  3. bugaphobic

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Apr 27 2008 12:17:57
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    Thanks David, I appreciate the response. I certainly wasn't thinking of not telling "anyone" that would be totally irresponsible! But....I have a teenage daughter & I am a little concerned about the stigma that other kids may put on her. I have read on here, before people got them, if they heard of someone they knew getting them, they though that they must not be clean people.....and this is adults we are talking about!!! (Of course AFTER, they realize that is NOT the case at all!!) That's why I was asking, because I know the range is probably on both ends of the scale. I am all for the "word" getting out....with knowledge comes power. I just don't know if I could be the one saying "hello, my name is ----- & I have bed bugs"

  4. bugaphobic

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Apr 27 2008 21:59:03
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    So is the general consensus......tell everyone?????

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Apr 27 2008 22:19:03
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    Telling people is a good idea, though it is possible in some circumstances it can make life difficult.

    You should be taking steps to avoid bringing them to work, friends' homes, and family. You also should not probably be having people over. Explaining why is a good thing (as well as explaining the steps you're taking not to bring them to someone's home when you visit--both to spread awareness, as well as to reassure them.)

    Work can be tricky. A few people have been blamed for bringing them to work (at least one was fired--in a case covered in the media about bed bugs at a lawfirm), and I don't know much about the circumstances, but I doubt it was proven beyond a doubt that they were the ones who brought them to work--it could as easily have gone the other way. If the workplace is infested, scapegoating is a potential problem.

    If you have a supportive boss, the kind you'd tell if you had a problem with your plumbing, your health, etc., then this is the kind of thing you might explain to them. In some cases, peoples' bosses have been very supportive.

    Another reason to talk about it at work would be if there's any chance the workplace was infested and you brought them home--which would mean others were at risk too. Again, I would broach this with a supportive boss, rather than approaching every co-worker. People may not understand and might think you were "losing it," rather than appreciating your concern for them.

    Another thing to consider-- some people have cutthroat workplaces, and if you work with a boss or coworker who you would not tell about other personal problems, then you might want to keep this under wraps too. Precautions taken at work could be done discreetly in such a case. A lot of it depends on the culture and vibe of your workplace.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  6. bugaphobic

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Apr 28 2008 6:43:58
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    Thanks nobugsonme, I really have been curious about this....if my K-9 visit comes back possitive for bb's, there are definitely people I need to tell, but I am sure there are so many others (like you) who in hind site can say.....well, if I had to do it over again I would/wouldn't tell that person.

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Apr 28 2008 9:10:17
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    Well, I was not speaking from my own experience so much as what I have heard. I did not tell anyone that I regretted telling.

    In most cases disclosure is a good thing. The way you present the information has a lot to do with how it's received, too.

  8. prayforamiracle

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Apr 28 2008 9:22:10
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    I told my neighbors. They were nice, but now , just kinda ignore me.
    I was chasted by the management for telling the neighbors and putting them in a panic for no reason, so they say.
    They never pc the hall ways or at least the basement, after this happened on the 4 th floor and they pco once.
    My friends are creeped out and I probably won't be invided to family and friends for a very long, very long time...I don't go any where til this is over, unless, I am very fresh clothes and all. Its exhausting all the laundy.

  9. bugaphobic

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Apr 28 2008 12:16:14
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    nobugsonme-
    So you told EVERYONE? While you were going through it or after you had eradicated them? Honestly I think it would be much easier telling all....after your done with it. lol

    prayforamiracle-
    I would imagine my friends & family would be the same way!! (Oh well, like you said...ya really can't go anywhere when you are fighting this fight, certainly not as carefree & nonchalant as you used to.)

  10. prayforamiracle

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Apr 28 2008 12:29:00
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    I thought, I was educating people. I wanted to know if they were passed down from the 4 th floor.
    I feel any little thing crawl on me and I am allergic , so i knew right away.
    My roomates or others do not feel or don't get biten.
    Some old people in the building can't even see and say they don't have them, They don't want anyone in their apt. One said "Oh i wonder if that is what so-and so is seeing on her window. But still they don't want any one in...
    If I had it to do again, I would have kept my mouth shut. i did not tell a lot of people and so glad, I did not. I just disappear for awhile and i hope my life can be normal after this shock...I was hysterical...60 days now since that first bite.
    i think they are gone...I pray.

  11. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Apr 28 2008 13:50:08
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    bugaphobic, you are twisting my words. First, you said,

    "I am sure there are so many others (like you) who in hind site can say.....well, if I had to do it over again I would/wouldn't tell that person."

    Well, I never said that.

    Second, you said,

    "So you told EVERYONE?"

    I never said that either. Please read my comments above again.

  12. fightorflight

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Apr 29 2008 2:25:40
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    >I thought, I was educating people.

    prayforamiracle - This is how I look at it, too. I try to be pretty open about it, but there are some people I won't tell for various reasons, legal, financial, personal, etc. Workplace is one of the trickiest to navigate. I told at my workplace, even before I left.

  13. bugaphobic

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Apr 29 2008 5:03:38
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    nobugsonme-
    Sorry, I certainly wasn't trying to twist your words. I didn't state anything you said as fact but as a question because I wasn't clear on how I was interpreting what I was reading; I honestly just wanted opinions, something to give me to think about........I am very sorry I misunderstood.

  14. Itchybutdealing

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Apr 29 2008 19:11:17
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    Work knows that I have them, as do the neighbors I am friends with, but not the ones I don't know. My family knows and frankly has been sort of oh well about it, and just want me to take percautions going to their home. My children still see a lot of friends, and I have not told all of those parents' as I don't want my kid to be austed (and believe me she would be as the panic spread). We take precautions going to others' homes and don't have kids come to visit. It has been tough though, we are super social and all of a sudden people must be wondering why we no longer invite them. Also we have a babysitter who comes . I have told her about the issue and she puts her bag in the kitchen and plastic bags her shoes.

    This may not be perfect, but as I say to myself YOU HAVE TO LIVE YOUR LIFE! In the middle ages people dealt with plague, fleas, bed bugs, stink. We have been so lucky thus far. I am trying to be zen about the whole thing. Bugs eat you in the summer (mosquitos), Bugs eat you when you are dead and under the ground. In the end the bugs win the war, but I do agree that I really want to win the battle. Just trying to keep it all in perspective, as otherwise I drive everyone totally nuts and no one wants to be around me.

    Good Luck everyone:) Just remember when riding on the subway, walking by a hotel, or sitting in your office. You are NOT the only one in their with BBs!

  15. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Apr 29 2008 22:14:58
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    bugaphobic,
    Not a problem--just wanted to be clear.
    My own experience is not so relevant at this point. It's a very different world now than it was then, in terms of word getting out. The more people we tell about the problem, the better it gets.

    I just think people should be conscious-- everyone's circumstances are different (e.g. is your boss liable to retaliate? Few would, but only the individual can make such a judgment).

  16. friendhasbb

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 28 2010 10:16:16
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    I was going to start my own thread but found this old one. We think we have a "light infestation" (about 2 dozen bites 3 weeks ago, probably none since we covered our mattress & boxspring and vacuumed thoroughly, PCO with dog said there were 3 specific pieces of furniture: LR sleepsofa, bed in master BR, bed in spare BR, 2nd PCO inspected and found nothing). We have not yet had chemical treatment because of lack of evidence.

    So who do we tell? We told our 3 grown kids. Saturday night we're going out for a birthday celebration dinner with the one who lives near by instead of inviting her and her teenage kids over. We told 2 good friends (one was the "friendhasbb" 2 years ago and is very understanding but won't sit on our sofa!)

    But we have other friends over for dinner or go to their houses from time to time. Do we tell? Do we just avoid home encounters for 18 months? We're reasonably sociable and don't want to be socially isolated.

    And what about housecleaning help? Do we tell them and let them make up their minds? Our son in another state has BBs, had treatment, and now won't call his occasional housecleaner to ask her to come and clean because he doesn't want to tell her about the BBs. BUT he really needs housecleaning help especially now to help deal with all the laundry, vacuuming, clutter.

  17. SearchandDestroy

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 28 2010 11:44:00
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    We told friends and family, but haven't told our grown children yet..who don't live here and won't visit until xmas which by then will be after the 60 day grace period. I'm convinced that my step-daughter would never step foot into our house again if we tell her..she has bug paranoia. Friends have said, "guess we'll wait to visit" which of course is the logical thing to do. I wouldn't want them here either and travel at this point, is not on our list either.

    We "visit" people at restaurants. That's what we do...and it works.

  18. so unsettling

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 28 2010 12:29:08
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    I don't think it is a good idea to share it with employers. If most of them knew what we know, they would never want to see us back at the workplace. Also, it makes no sense that we stay away from the homes of loved ones out of fear of spreading them, yet go to work every day. We do what we have to do. If someone doesn't work , they won't have the money needed to buy all these war contraptions and treatments. So we don't go to our parents' home, but do go to work, even though in each case the protective prep work is the same.

    Or perhaps there should be a state-subsidized beg bug leave from our jobs when this happens.

    Every work place in the country will see these bugs sooner or later.

    I feel like causing a ruckus in my town over this mess.

  19. friendhasbb

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 28 2010 13:35:03
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    SearchandDestroy wrote:

    by then will be after the 60 day grace period

    I assume you mean 60 days without bites or evidence? What do we know after 60 days - that eggs, if any, would have hatched and matured? But if we haven't experienced any bites during that time the bugs may be dormant as nymphs or adults, and in fact could live up to 18 months without a meal. So how do we know we're bug free after 60 days?

    I think I'll get the Bed Bug Beacon, because I'm having trouble finding visual evidence.

  20. iseriouslyneversleep

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 28 2010 14:28:11
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    I have been extremely open and honest to all of my friends that there is a *possibility* that i have them - got bit in a hotel reviewed to have bedbugs, still getting bitten, never seen one and a dog gave the all clear. before the dog even came maybe 2 people took me seriously, the rest just rolled their eyes and called me crazy (not like, aww, you so crazy! but like oh, you know her, she's MENTALLY ILL so its all in her head). I have to say, the ones who were particularly nasty/unsympathetic/"you're nuts and have an anxiety disorder so none of your feelings are ever valid" did make me think, more than once, that I shouldn't be concerned about going to their homes or in their cars cause apparently none of this is really happening.

    UGH.

    but yes, i've been vocal about the whole ordeal. because of the reactions, though, if it ends up that i DO have a confirmed infestation, I probably wont tell anyone except for my mother, because no one will believe me anyway.

  21. SearchandDestroy

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 28 2010 18:21:00
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    friendhasbb,

    Yes..60 days from bite and evidence. That's a minimum...some wait until they are 90 days out or even up to 5 months.

    We're only having the kids over for dinner xmas eve...no sleeping. I wouldn't have anyone over until probably a year has passed and even then..I'd be sure our protocol was in place and the person was well informed.

  22. PANewBugger

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 28 2010 19:34:24
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    We told immediate family and very close friends. My husband told his boss who was very supportive and understanding - same with family and friends we informed. Since our confirmed infestation early summer, we haven't had any guests visit us - we, like others, will meet friends at a restaurant instead. Unfortunately, we haven't seen my family since all of this started - they live cross country so we can't stay with them until we are free of these things.


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