While having a conversation with one of our Founding Members Dominique, she said to me “What is it about bed bugs that people just don’t want to talk about? It’s a blatant physical, emotional and financial assault anyway you look at it”
Those who say to us “I don’t want to tell anyone or I don’t want my landlord to find out” regularly confront us both. No matter what the excuse or fear, this has to change in order for us to help people.
Yes, bed bugs are nasty little suckers that steal more than just your blood. They take your sanity, and like thieves in the night invade your personal sacred space while you sleep. They disrupt your family and work life for weeks on end, cause paranoid, obsessive, compulsive behaviors and great emotional stress. And before you know it, cause you huge financial outlays that you are not even remotely prepared to handle. Like, life is not hard enough.
Maybe because she and I have been in the business for so long that we fully understand that with a few precautions they are avoidable and preventable; but you need to talk about them in order to learn the what – where and whys about them. In addition, if you monitored and regularly checked for signs of them, the chances of any real “infestation” building is slim and none.
However, people still choose to keep their fingers in their ears and ignore. I would think that if I knew a Tsunami was heading in my direction – I would take shelter with my family in order to protect them – wouldn’t you?
For the past six years, information about outbreaks of bed bugs has combed the Internet and the news. Yet there still are people who have no clue what bed bugs are.
So why and what is it about bed bugs that keep people from talking about them?
We spent some time going over all the possible situations that people have shared with us, along with some of the reasons why they choose not to talk about bed bugs that we would like to share with you.
Bed bugs can have an “identity impact” for some people, which include the feelings of being “dirty”. People often relate bugs to that of homeless people, dirty, or low-income environments. Movies depict street people living in squander with cockroaches and rats crawling in dirty spaces under highways, abandoned buildings, corrugated boxes and dark alleys. Our minds often go to what we have seen or learned over the years of our lives.
In addition, it creates a “social stigma” if they talk about them or admit they have them, they feel like they become “categorized or branded”. Then there are those who develop feelings of “humiliation or degradation” that are “embarrassed or ashamed” and lose whatever dignity they have left. Face it; bed bugs cause a decreased quality of life for complete households as well as communities.
There was a woman who literally threw her son out of her house because he brought home a bed bug. She told him he hangs with slobs that have bugs and he was no longer allowed in her home.
There are people who have literally isolated themselves from any social graces and are fearful of being shunned and blacklisted.
Bed bugs have broken up households because of the lack of understanding and the pointing of fingers of who is responsible for bringing them home.
Moreover, there are grandparents who will not visit their children for fear of spreading them and go months without seeing their children.
In addition, the best of all, those who cannot afford treatment and now the bed bugs have gotten so out of hand that they are fearful of telling anyone, especially their landlords.
No matter what the feelings are, you need to know that this is unwarranted behavior. If you or anyone you know is going through any of these situations or feelings, reach out to us. We are here to help you understand the bed bug, how you get them, what to do if you do have them, what not to do, and especially to be a support and resource for you.
We provide individual bed bug and community or organization educational training on bed bugs in Boston, Worcester, Framingham, Newton, Wayland, Providence, Norwich, Springfield and beyond. Feel free to call on us to help you, your family or your business!