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Bedbugs in the workplace! Help!

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I work for an agency that provides homes and caregivers for people with disabilities. Last night I discovered a bedbug at work. This morning, upon notifying supervisors, I was told that it was "common knowledge" that many of our homes have a bedbug problem. :ack2: The particular home in which I work was treated for bedbugs a couple months ago and now there's a re-infestation. I was told that they already have an exterminator coming to re-treat the house next week.


I'm livid that I wasn't told about this earlier, despite it being "common knowledge." If so I could've been taking preventative measures from the beginning (I just started working here three weeks ago, prior to this I worked for the same agency but in a different one of the homes they run.)


Quitting or transferring to a different position/home is not an option at the moment. I'm just going to have to be very, very careful. I already know what preventative measures I need to take and have already placed a call to an exterminator to examine my home. I know that I will need to strip down in the garage after every single shift before coming into my own home. I can do that for now.


My concern? How cautious do I need to be? I mean, I'm at high risk of bringing them home. Can I in good conscious still have friends over to my house? Sleepovers? Guests? We're supposed to travel across the country for a wedding and will be a guest in someone else's home in two weeks. Do I warn them in advance that we've been in contact with bedbugs? How do I go about this routine, frequent exposure and not live in utter fear of bringing them home and unknowingly passing them to someone else?


I'm so furious with my employer! I do NOT get paid enough to even cover the potential cost to deal with an infestation in my home!


*Please do not quote me in case I need to delete any of this later. I'm hesitant to vent about my employer in a public forum such as this, yet I do need advice and I'm too embarrassed to bring this up with anyone I know in real life.*

Edited by Wabi Sabi
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So sorry you have to deal withthis:(

Get paper booties for entry into homes.

Carry a spray bottle with 90% alcohol, it kills them on contact. Spray yourself and things after leaving a home.

Invest in a few ziploc 5 gallon bags at Lowes to store your briefcase/work stuff in upon leaving any homes you are visiting.

If you can invest in a Packtite it will be a lifesaver each time you return home.


Hope you get a clearance on your home.:grouphug:


Btw, i know someone who has a job doing this sort thing as an OT. He takes these types of precautions and so far has been safe.

Edited by JenC3
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A big part of my problem is that I work 17 hour shifts on the weekends (ie: 4pm until 9am the next morning.) Physically I simply cannot go that long just standing in the middle of someone's living room or even sitting on a hard dining room table chair. At some point I *need* to sit down on the floor or on the sofa...


This is my nightmare, truly. I've been paranoid about bedbugs for the last couple of years (numerous well publicized outbreaks in our town) and now I'm dealing with the very real possibility of bringing them home.

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I would be really stressed out about this and I am so sorry you have to deal with it! You definitely should take all the precautions you can, but I do have a story of hope for you. Recently a close friend of mine found a two bedbugs in her home and had them positively identified by a pest control company. We were really stressing out because we carpool with this family and do a lot with them. We had to cancel a road trip some friends and I were going to take with this friend. Then friend had the bug sniffing dogs come in to root them out, because I guess that's what they do. And the dogs could not find a single bug! What are the odds she found the only two bedbugs in her house and that they didn't procreate? I don't know, but I hope you luck out, too!

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I'd be furious too. You should be informed, and not only that, all the employees are carrying them around to different, unaffected homes! They can get in your purse, your bag of supplies, that jacket you lay down.....


It doesn't matter how careful you are, if everyone else is not, and if the affected homes are not treated.

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I'd invest in ziplocks to put my clothes and work stuff in when I returned home. Then I would shower. You probably know but it's wash and hot dry--I think 15 minutes hot dry past actually dry. That would be hard on clothes but I would do it.


I'd highly consider a packtite but the costs of those are high. Still, you could even treat your things before travel so you didn't worry about bringing something to someone's home and you could treat things that go into the house too.


It's bringing them into the vehicle potentially that would bother me the most.

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I am totally freaked out about the bed bug situation going around as well! I was told that Bed, Bath and Beyond sells some type of cinnamon spray that you can spray on your shoes, clothing, etc. They don't like cinnamon I guess? Anyhow, wanted to mention it in case you were looking for something like that.


Amazon may also be a good place to look for some type of bed bug repellent.

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well having had BB 3x i can tell you hard or fabric surfaces make NO difference. They dont care. They like beds, the elastic on your sheet (even though you put the mattress in a zippered sleeve like youre suppose to!), picture frames, lamps, books, chairs, couches, tables, toys, dressers (especially drawers)....etc. They are not a bed or soft surface only creature.


It will cost you an arm and a leg at even the cheapest exterminator to treat your house. You HAVE to keep re-treating. You cant treat 1x a month, it has to be very frequent. They are about as bad as LICE and FLEAS. No joke.


We have had to get rid of every.single.thing we own 2x now. The last time we didnt get rid of everything but just the couch they were on and thats because they were only on the couch and no where else. BUT dont think for a moment if i thought they were i wouldnt chuck whatever it is out the door/window! I dont care if my great great great great grandma gave it to the family and its antique. Its going.


ETA: the first time we got them from the apartment. Everyone had them but no one said anything to anyone else.

2nd time was from a baby bed i got off CL.

3rd time was from a couch i got from St Vincent De Paul.

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