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Old 10-31-2012, 12:56 AM   #21
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Long ago and far away...methinks it was perhaps 1983 or so...
I visited a college roommate and her BF in Queens NY. Their apartment (and building) was infested with cockroaches. The little buggers were invisible by day. Once the sun set, it was pure pandemonium.
When I returned home. my husband told me to leave my luggage in the front yard, i.e. not bring it into the house. He sprayed the dickens out of my suitcase with Raid. After 2 days of chemical warfare, he opened the suitcase. There were still a few survivors.
We burned the suitcase and contents in our outdoor fireplace. I replaced the clothing.

Moral of the story?

Just burn it!
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:00 AM   #22
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Living in a tropical paradise makes you a bit casual about bugs scampering around your livingroom. Centipedes generally stay clear of humans (not always) and I've only seen one scorpion in over two decades. Usually the geckos clean up after the mosquitoes, flying termites, and other invaders. No worries.

Several years ago we went to a taekwondo camp. We were there for three days of sparring clinics and other hijinks, with me in the men's cabin and my daughter in one of the girls' cabins. Luggage, clothing, sleeping bags, everything went to camp with us and then came home. Taekwondo gear was always laying around to dry in the sun.

About a week after we'd come home from the camp my spouse had a line of tiny bruises on one bicep. She's always getting bitten by mosquitoes and stung by bees, and this was another mystery bite. It was unusual (a line of bites rather than just one) but it didn't raise any alarm.

A day or two later our daughter came into the kitchen and said "I found this in my bed." I looked it up in our copy of "What's Biting Me?" and sure enough it was a bedbug. I explained it to our daughter (as we were stripping her bed linens and spraying insecticide on her bed frame) and she said "Oh, those were crawling all over our cabin at taekwondo camp. I thought they were cockroaches!"

Spouse had been sitting on our daughter's bed reading a book with her, and several of the critters must have hitched a ride. We found a couple more bedbugs in the master bedroom and quickly killed them off too. When bedbugs bite they usually inject a local anesthetic around their bite, so humans rarely even wake up during the experience. If I was getting bitten, I didn't bruise.

I brought a sample baggie of the critters with me to our next taekwondo practice and struck up a conversation with one of the chattier Moms of a girl who had also been in the girls' cabin. She got on her cell phone with the other parents. We found that about a dozen girls had brought bedbugs home to share with their entire families.

I left voicemails and e-mails for the camp. No response. Neither the dojang nor Ohana Nords have been back since.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:56 AM   #23
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Well, technically, I had managed to pick up a cast of crabs. Some people lump them in with 'bed bugs', since I (along with a few million others across the globe) managed to catch mine from dirty linens. I didn't realize bed bugs looked like the picture above - they're definitely different from the buggers I had (in the midst of my anguish, I was briefly amazed that they did, indeed, look like miniature crabs with large front 'claws')
Lice are easy to deal with by comparison. And it is a sure sign that your hostel was not keeping up linen cleanliness.

The problem with bedbugs is the linens don't matter. They can clean them all they want. The suckers stay in the nooks and crannies of the mattress, bed frame, wall sockets, headboard, pictures above headboard, etc.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:43 PM   #24
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Well, technically, I had managed to pick up a cast of crabs. Some people lump them in with 'bed bugs', since I (along with a few million others across the globe) managed to catch mine from dirty linens. I didn't realize bed bugs looked like the picture above - they're definitely different from the buggers I had (in the midst of my anguish, I was briefly amazed that they did, indeed, look like miniature crabs with large front 'claws')
Ladies and gentlemen, meet the crab louse! Photo from the Wikipedia.

You can read all about your potential guest here, Crab louse - Wikipedia, but briefly, this louse likes to stay in moist skin folds like the groin, armpits, and even mustaches and beards (Ha, I just remember a vulgar joke about this!).


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Old 10-31-2012, 01:34 PM   #25
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(Ha, I just remember a vulgar joke about this!)
Is that the one whose punchline is "I just ended up in Burt Reynolds' moustache again" ?
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:47 PM   #26
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The version I heard involved a biker riding in the cold with a louse on his mustache, but I think the gist is the same.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:53 PM   #27
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My! It will not be long now until passengers boarding cruise ships must go through delousing to prevent infestation.

Good grief! Airplanes next?
On our first trip to Australia there must have been a bug or fruit fly issue of some kind because as our flight from Honolulu was on final approach to Sydney, the cabin crew walked through and sprayed everywhere, warning us to cover our eyes as they did so.

It made us feel very welcome
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:04 AM   #28
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On our first trip to Australia there must have been a bug or fruit fly issue of some kind because as our flight from Honolulu was on final approach to Sydney, the cabin crew walked through and sprayed everywhere, warning us to cover our eyes as they did so.

It made us feel very welcome
During my last few yrs of employment, I flew into Beijing fairly frequently, sometimes from Tokyo and sometimes from Singapore. Same routine. Just before it was time to buckle up for landing, the flight attendents came down the aisle spraying aerosol cans over our heads so that we were "misted" with something. It was alarming the first time. I assumed we passengers were the pests they were looking to eradicate.......
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:02 AM   #29
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We travel a lot. Generally try to stay in what I hope are lower-risk family run B&Bs or small hotels. Still, I diligently rip bed linens off, lift mattresses, and use a flashlight to check behind headboards and in bedside tables.

Keep all clothes in the large zip lock bags (bought online) they are packed in. Also keep pajamas and other bed-stuff in a separate plastic bag as we move from place to place.

Use lightweight collapsible luggage with minimal inserts that I can hang high in a hotel closet then vacuum and wash in the tub once home. Backpacks, if used, can go to a commercial laundry for drying. After returning, bag odd items (electronics, shoes) for a bit and dry clothes in high heat.

We had one scare where I found a series of mysterious bites after returning from Guatemala. Although there was reason to think they were from outside plant mites that could have found their way into to some bedding placed by the door I didn't want to play the odds. Spent $150 on a bedbug dog to check our place. We're in a condo and were about to leave for a month-long trip. Had visions of blood-hungry bugs deprived of us as a meal departing to latch onto our next-door neighbor. Obviously, this is a bit obsessive but being in a condo my main concern is actually not bringing them home but becoming the source of a condo-to-condo migration - particularly to neighbors who wouldn't commit to the work involved to eradicate.

Too, we sometimes end trips with visits to friends. Although initially puzzled I don't drag our luggage into their guest room, here I earn *lots* of guest brownie points ... Doing this is more appreciated than bringing wine.

Unfortunately I now have a teen daughter who fears to travel to New York City on an upcoming class trip. I tell her not to worry. She and her stuff will be met at the front door and get all nicely sanitized. Not a problem ... go and enjoy.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:27 AM   #30
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Not bedbugs, but bugs in general, seem to be everywhere, even in high end hotels.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/...ty-hotels.html
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:07 PM   #31
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Interesting! An excerpt follows.
Warriner was also surprised that high-end hotels were no cleaner than budget ones. Budget hotel Super 8 had among the cleanest bathrooms in the study, Warriner said.
The truth is that our home, bathrooms, TV remote controls, etc... may harbor the same bacterial counts as these hotels. Heck, might be even higher, except that they are the same bacteria that we already carry.

Now, I'd like to see them do the same tests in hospitals.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:21 PM   #32
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Now, I'd like to see them do the same tests in hospitals.
I don't think you want to know!
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:09 PM   #33
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A colleague many years my senior once told me to avoid surgeries unless absolutely necessary. He said the chance of getting infected and dying from it was fairly high. Then, he added that in several occasions when doctors went on strike and the hospitals suspended elective surgeries, death rates dropped!

Just now, I remembered to surf the Web for the three keywords, "doctor strike fatality", and found several references to past incidences confirming the above statistics. Hah!
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