In August (last month) Portland Public Health Vector Control hosted a forum on Bed Bugs. As I have been in contact (sending links/articles/rants) with Public Health throughout my ordeal, I was contacted and asked to speak at the forum as a former “victim” of you know who.
There were about 50 people from various organizations and businesses present, mostly folks who work in public housing, social services, shelters, hotels. Sprague Pest Control was there with April the bed bug sniffing dog.
I was able to tell my own personal story of torment and redemption (no bites or bugs seen since May 2009) and created a slide show that showed what my little house looked like before (lots of fabric decoration, clutter, think the Adams Family parlor crammed into 416 sq feet) and after (more austere, metal bed, legs in bowls of Murphy Oil) my bed bug accessories; dry vapor steamer, packtite, and a list of my favorite poisons from my various treatments. I also brought my little bed bug I keep in a plastic bag in my freezer for show and tell and passed it around thinking it would help with identification.
It was great to be part of what I hope is the beginning of public education about bed bugs in Oregon. This was about a week prior to the Bed Bug Symposium in Seattle. My next project will be to work with Public Health to develop a task force with printed and web guidelines on what to do and not do if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of dealing with bed bugs.