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Writer doing story on Bed Bug Paranoia--Pros & Oldtimers Especially Needed

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  1. nycyn

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 26 2010 19:07:00
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    I'm changing my hat in this post. I am a member here as a regular person who may or may not have bed bugs.

    Even before my own possibility of having bb's I became very acquainted with them while doing a 'story.' Sigh. Now the story is turning into a series...

    I think I should start with Bed Bug Paranoia. I'm seeing lives ripped apart and people exploited and they never even had them. I have had this same paranoia for years but I'm an old soldier type and don't tend to get hysterical.

    But people are getting hysterical which is why I wanted to start the feature with this topic, if it is even a topic worth writing about.

    So I'm doing my homework. I hope you can help. My writing is in the spirit of helping others and I don't get paid but I do get published.

    So--to Pros and Oldtimers, if you prefer to please PM me. Actually anybody uncomfortable with the board can PM me.

    My question is this: In your experience, what percentage of people with Bed Bug Paranoia didn't have them?

    Also interested in people who were absolutely convinced they had bed bugs and found out otherwise?

    Cheers!

  2. Richard56

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 26 2010 20:33:40
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    Curious if this is a story commissioned by a major media outlet, or if you're going to first do the story and then shop it around? Also, without compromising your privacy -- can you tell us some general information about your background such as if you're a working journalist, etc.

    Richard

    PS I think the story you have in mind is a great idea!

  3. Richard56

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 26 2010 21:03:47
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    As to your questions, there was a thread started a week or so ago by one of our participating PCO's that suggested that over 50 per cent of all inspections turned out to be false alarms, i.e. no bed bugs.

    This suggests to me that over 50 per cent of people who think they have bed bugs actually do not have them, and this figure is no doubt driven by the media frenzy and resulting paranoia.

    Also, given the fact that most major PCO's (at least the ones I've talked to) are more than willing to treat based on inconclusive evidence (bite marks, fresh blood stains, etc.) I would not be surprised if more than half the people who treat for bed bugs actually do not have them. Not to mention all the false positives from dog inspections where there was no physical verification.

    This thought is further reinforced by the fact that of the thirty of more pictures I've seen in the past month or so posted here where people suspected bed bugs, only ONE I recall actually turned out to be a bed bug. Just think of how many people then have seen "bed bugs", called the PCO and treated!

    From a personal standpoint, when I started posting on this forum I was about 100% sure I had bed bugs. I am now a 100% sure I do not have bed bugs.

    The question remains did I ever have bed bugs?

    I will never know for sure since I did do a very thorough prep, and in addition did two DIY steam treatments (about two hours each) plus I applied DE in a judicious manner. My best guestimate on this is that I'm about 70% sure that I never had them.

    What made me think I had them were insect bites, fresh blood stains on pillows and sheets, and three captured bugs. I have since learned that the insect bites and fresh blood stains are inconclusive evidence and that the three captured bugs turned out to be beetles! This, combined with both active and passive monitoring lead me to believe that I probably never had them.

    I am grateful to this forum for giving me the information to come to this conclusion and to not have gone into a full bore treatment (chemicals and/or heat) in haste as I suspect so many have. Had I done that, I may have started down that never ending road of wondering if I still had bed bugs because no doubt the inconclusive evidence would still be there. As it is, and while it's possible that the steam and DE did solve a possible infestation -- given the fact that my inconclusive symptons were so long standing, I again doubt that I did anything more than a bunch of unnecessary work.

    On the other hand, this forum also in part fueled my paranoia by some of the stories I read which I initially took at face value and now (after quite a bit of education on the subject) I view with a much more skeptical eye.

    Had to do all over again, I would have called in someone early on like KillerQueen who does a very thorough inspection and taken it from there. Of course, that would mean that my place would still be cluttered as opposed to the nice, uncluttered look it has now. So at least my efforts have somewhat of a silver lining

    Richard

  4. nycyn

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 26 2010 21:12:02
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    Richard56 - 7 minutes ago  » 
    Curious if this is a story commissioned by a major media outlet, or if you're going to first do the story and then shop it around? Also, without compromising your privacy -- can you tell us some general information about your background such as if you're a working journalist, etc.
    Richard
    PS I think the story you have in mind is a great idea!

    Thank you. I write for a local paper in NYC. I am published and respected. I am thorough and don't fool around. I am very good--an old fashioned gum shoe. In fact I am too good for the rag I write for and too good to do it for free, but it let's me me do old-style investigative newspaper reporting which doesn't sell anyway. I don't use the word "journalist." Ever look it up in dictionary.com?

    At this time I do it mostly to keep me out of the bars.

    And I screwed up a press pass by writing under a non de plume for 14 months.

    I may put my research on a public blog or something.

    I am a 9-11 initial responder on disability. I can't make any money anyway or I'll lose the few, crappy, insufficient, insulting benefits that I have. (I have a kid.) So I do it for free and love what I do. (And, after 9-11, it helps me to have something to love.) But don't feel sorry for me! And doing something for the love of it makes me no less competent.

    I have the benefit of time. I can spend a hundred hours on a story.

    This is a quickie post. Clearly, as a board member PRIMARILY I can't say for whom I write as I am trying to be anonymous as possible so I can be a regular board member!

    In a rush. Will probably edit this later to like nothing.

  5. nycyn

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 26 2010 21:15:33
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    Richard56 - 11 minutes ago  » 
    As to your questions, there was a thread started a week or so ago by one of our participating PCO's that suggested that over 50 per cent of all inspections turned out to be false alarms, i.e. no bed bugs.
    This suggests to me that over 50 per cent of people who think they have bed bugs actually do not have them, and this figure is no doubt driven by the media frenzy and resulting paranoia.
    Also, given the fact that most major PCO's (at least the ones I've talked to) are more than willing to treat based on inconclusive evidence (bite marks, fresh blood stains, etc.) I would not be surprised if more than half the people who treat for bed bugs actually do not have them. Not to mention all the false positives from dog inspections where there was no physical verification.
    This thought is further reinforced by the fact that of the thirty of more pictures I've seen in the past month or so posted here where people suspected bed bugs, only ONE I recall actually turned out to be a bed bug. Just think of how many people then have seen "bed bugs", called the PCO and treated!
    From a personal standpoint, when I started posting on this forum I was about 100% sure I had bed bugs. I am now a 100% sure I do not have bed bugs.
    The question remains did I ever have bed bugs?
    I will never know for sure since I did do a very thorough prep, and in addition did two DIY steam treatments (about two hours each) plus I applied DE in a judicious manner. My best guestimate on this is that I'm about 70% sure that I never had them.
    What made me think I had them were insect bites, fresh blood stains on pillows and sheets, and three captured bugs. I have since learned that the insect bites and fresh blood stains are inconclusive evidence and that the three captured bugs turned out to be beetles! This, combined with both active and passive monitoring lead me to believe that I probably never had them.
    I am grateful to this forum for giving me the information to come to this conclusion and to not have treated in haste as I suspect so many have. Had I treated, I may have started down that never ending road of wondering if I still had bed bugs because no doubt the inconclusive evidence would still be there.
    On the other hand, this forum also in part fueled my paranoia by some of the stories I read which I initially took at face value and now (after quite a bit of education on the subject) I view with a much more skeptical eye.
    Richard

    Hi again. Can you link me?

  6. Richard56

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 26 2010 21:23:45
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  7. nycyn

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 26 2010 21:57:59
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    Richard56 - 33 minutes ago  » 
    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/one-for-the-pros-how-many-times-have-you-found-nothing

    You are now on my list of people I am in love with. Thanks!

    ADDENDUM or UPDATE. WHy can I edit this and not the earlier?

  8. nycyn

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 26 2010 23:17:30
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    Screw it. "I'm yam who I yam."~~Popeye

  9. kannon_bosatsu

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Sep 26 2010 23:22:10
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    Editing seems to have a timeout period. I think it's somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes before it prevents you from further noodling.

  10. nycyn

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Sep 27 2010 0:53:51
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    Meanwhile, this really happened yesterday. Forgive bad copy--

    "editor' sends me a press-release "to help." like i need help. anyway, i smelled spam and scam. but to be fair and balanced i called. indeed, it's an outfit in manhattan--experts if you will--wanting to let people know that there is hope and they will help them prep

    for $150-165 per hour!

    what do they do? sort your stuff and put it in hefty bags. yes i could trail them if i like.

    others do it for 60 bucks an hour and throw in steaming.

    this isn't news? well maybe not but for ME it is something that needs reporting.

    and you can help, if you like. PM only at this point.

  11. nycyn

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Sep 27 2010 20:23:28
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    BUMP!

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Sep 28 2010 0:13:38
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    There's at least 4-5 active bed bug prep services in NYC. Several linked from here:

    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/professional-laundryprep-in-ny

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  13. nycyn

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Sep 28 2010 0:25:29
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    Nobugsonme - 10 minutes ago  » 
    There's at least 4-5 active bed bug prep services in NYC. Several linked from here:
    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/professional-laundryprep-in-ny

    All good. But as a devil's advocate: Why not get three people to put stuff in bags for 10 bucks an hour each or just do it yourself if you can?

  14. nycyn

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Sep 28 2010 18:53:35
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    I may bang this story out tonight. I am motivated by all the pain and suffering I am seeing. It won't be my usual Pullitzer-worthy stuff, but I feel like I want to do something!

    So, if i say that anecdotally, a conservative 50% of people convinced they have them do not, after a proper inspection yada yada?

  15. Richard56

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Sep 28 2010 19:00:24
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    for $150-165 per hour!
    ----------
    That doesn't jive with the folks I talked to who charged around $40-50 an hour, which can still add up. Are you sure the price quoted isn't for a three-person team? In fairness, they do a lot more than just show up and bag, but obviously cater to folks who can afford this type of service.

  16. nycyn

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Sep 28 2010 19:11:44
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    Richard56 - 7 minutes ago  » 
    for $150-165 per hour!
    ----------
    That doesn't jive with the folks I talked to who charged around $40-50 an hour, which can still add up. Are you sure the price quoted isn't for a three-person team? In fairness, they do a lot more than just show up and bag, but obviously cater to folks who can afford this type of service.

    Vat? You think I didn't interview them?

    Yes, 3 people. No steam no DE no gas pellets no outlets yada yada. I'll name the outfit one day...

  17. nycyn

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Sep 28 2010 20:37:21
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    Okay. Be that way. Now I'm PO'd. I'm going to write that 90% of people who think they have them DO NOT! Then I'm investing my entire $83.22 in a psycho-pharmaceutical company!

  18. Uhlizza Polen

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Sep 28 2010 20:38:04
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    I also want to write a story about my experience with BB's. And I will. Yet I am going to make money off of it some way or another - as I had to give up working my Freelance Graphic Arts business for 2 months to do the stuff that in NYC is available (I couldn't afford either of the aforementioned rates) and I have a herniated disk in my neck, but I got it done, by myself - at the age of 50. I lost a lot of potential revenue, which is quite important to me as I live below the national poverty line - quite a populated group these days - so I do intend to make money, if possible, but not off of these kind and knowledgeable people.

    I am a walking, talking, typing Wikopersonia of information about this subject (infested before it hit the major airwaves) and have the creative skills being a Graphic Designer to do it all my self, of course referencing my research, as I read the entire sites on the subject just for shorts at OSU and other very knowledgeable websites.

    My goal as a Graphic Designer specializing in Print Media is to get some printed material out there to two major demographic areas that are not of benefit of using the web; those of the very poor; whom if have a computer at all could not afford the cost of internet service, and that of the elderly; whom are relatively not the best at computer navigation. These two groups, unfortunately, are a more targeted group of these invasive blood sucking, hard to get rid of - invading pests. The elderly, if have knowledge of how to battle the BB's do not have the physical abilities of that which is necessary to eradicate an infestation, and many are reliant on the facilities they reside in. Many of the both aforementioned groups are largely targeted by the Bed Bugs as they tend to live in a tightly human condition, such as Section 8 housing , Retirement and Nursing Homes.

    Mr. Newspaper man: you do seem to like your work quite a bit. Like others, before I were to give any information, I would want specifics as you answer a question by dancing around it.

    Many people on here are here for a very good reason. They have or actively been infested by the Bed Bugs.

    And no, you would know it if you had an infestation. You would not be here in the forums if your primary goal is to "for free" and being "disabled" so you can not make any money as that is untrue: a person that is disabled is allowed to make around the some of $740 per month. You would not be on the forums unless you had been infested. Good attempt to get our attention though.

    In my opinion, you should not consider this a source unless you can provide clearly where you are to post your "free" publication of such great quality, per your review of your self. There are many people that are paralyzed with fear, anxiety and limited resources that come here for advice and moral support. It all seems a bit fishy to me, yada yada yada. What ever that means; in the course of the postings on this site, we do not get a lot of "yada yada yada" but detailed questions and answers.

    If I were you, I would look else where for your research data; we are all victims here, we do not, or at least I do not, want to be a part of your "story" unless you were to give us some accreditation - otherwise, we have laundry to do; and sleep to get, and lives to try to focus on and others on this site that need our current insight. Uhlizza

  19. Uhlizza Polen

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Sep 28 2010 20:45:14
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    I also want to write a story about my experience with BB's. And I will. Yet I am going to make money off of it some way or another - as I had to give up working my Freelance Graphic Arts business for 2 months to do the stuff that in NYC is available (I couldn't afford either of the rates that were sited) and I have a herniated disk in my neck, but I got it done, by myself - at the age of 50. I lost a lot of potential revenue, which is quite important to me as I live below the national poverty line - quite a populated group these days - so I do intend to make money, if possible, but not off of these kind and knowledgeable people.

    I am a walking, talking, typing Wikopersonia of information about this subject (infested before it hit the major airwaves) and have the creative skills being a Graphic Designer to do a publication for public use my self, of course referencing my research, as I read the entire sites on the subject just for shorts at OSU and other very knowledgeable websites.

    My goal as a Graphic Designer specializing in Print Media is to get some printed material out there to two major demographic areas that are not of benefit of using the web; those of the very poor; whom if have a computer at all could not afford the cost of internet service, and that of the elderly; whom are relatively not the best at computer navigation. These two groups, unfortunately, are a more targeted group of these invasive blood sucking, hard to get rid of - invading pests. The elderly, if have knowledge of how to battle the BB's do not have the physical and or financial abilities of that which is necessary to eradicate an infestation, and many are reliant on the facilities they reside in. A large population of the both aforementioned groups are largely targeted by the Bed Bugs as they tend to live in a tightly human condition, such as Section 8 housing , Retirement and Nursing Homes.

    Mr. Newspaper man: you do seem to like your pieces of work quite a bit. Like others, before I were to give any information, I would want specifics as you answer a question by dancing around it.

    Many people on here are here for a very good reason. They have or actively been infested by the Bed Bugs.

    And to the question if you were ever infested is a definite no, you would know it if you had an infestation. You would not be here in the forums if your primary goal is to "for free" and being "disabled" so you can not make any money as that is untrue: a person that is disabled is allowed to make around the some of $740 per month. You would not be on the forums unless you had been infested. Good attempt to get our attention though.

    In my opinion, you should not consider this a source unless you can provide clearly where you are to post your "free" publication of such great quality, per your review of your self. There are many people that are paralyzed with fear, anxiety and limited resources that come here for advice and moral support. It all seems a bit fishy to me, yada yada yada. What ever that means; in the course of the postings on this site, we do not get a lot of "yada yada yada" but detailed questions and answers.

    If I were you, I would look else where for your research data; we are all victims here, we do not, or at least I do not, want to be a part of your "story" unless you were to give us some accreditation - otherwise, we have laundry to do; and sleep to get, and lives to try to focus on and others on this site that need our current insight. Uhlizza

  20. nycyn

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Sep 28 2010 20:46:32
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    "so you can not make any money as that is untrue: a person that is disabled is allowed to make around the some of $740 per month."

    I can? Dang! Will check it out!

    Good luck in your new profession. Sincerely.

  21. Uhlizza Polen

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Sep 28 2010 21:00:20
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    I have no "new" profession, have been in business for over 25 years. I am not only a Graphic Artist, but a Fine Artist, and a I write short stores; currently working on an entire book on Art; teaching 101. Thank you. UP

  22. thebedbugresource

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Sep 28 2010 21:50:14
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    You can contact me via email if you like:

    bedbug at telus dot net

    Sean
    Entomologist/Pest Professional
    http://www.bedbugresource.com

  23. nycyn

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Sep 28 2010 22:12:31
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    thebedbugresource - 19 minutes ago  » 
    You can contact me via email if you like:
    bedbug at telus dot net
    Sean
    Entomologist/Pest Professional
    http://www.bedbugresource.com

    I don't know if your post was intended for me, but I did a quick look-see at your site. I appreciate that you have something on do-it-yourself heat (fire hazard.) I never thought about that. There are probably reams of the subject here, but I can't be everywhere.

  24. nycyn

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue Sep 28 2010 22:48:19
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    Done with this thread. Hope to bang out story tonight. Shame no vendors stepped forward. Anyway, this is a series so you might hear from me again wearing this particular little hat.

    CHEERS!


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