Monday, February 20, 2012

That Bedbug Fear

I've noted that I have a huge fear of getting bedbugs, and that it's a big OCD issue that I'd like to tackle this year. I've done enough OCD-enduced research that I feel like I could beat them if I got them. I'm more scared of passing them on to others, or of my cluttered parents getting them.

At this point I don't just do the obvious avoidance of not traveling and not inviting people into my home. Over the weekend, I went to order something online, until I noticed that it shipped from Ohio. I've read that Ohio has a bad bedbug problem; I canceled my order. That's pretty bad.

But I do have a big incentive to do better by this summer, as I REALLY want to take a trip to Seattle. It's been more than 3 years, and people keep telling me to visit. My resistance now stems from the fact that my best Seattle friend's boyfriend travels for business. And she once mentioned having some mystery bugs in the house. Ugh. But I love Seattle, and I miss my Seattle friends, so I'll need to make it work.


  1. I was going to suggest staying in a hotel when you travel to Seattle, but . . . then I thought of the fact that the only time I worried about bedbugs was when I traveled to Richmond last fall and stayed overnight. I was particularly concerned about the comforter, because I figured it wouldn't get changed often.

    Would you want to do an exposure for the bedbug obsession? Would a hotel stay do that? Or would staying at your friend's house be exposure enough? You could take your own sheets and blanket, perhaps?

    I can't think of a noninvasive way to do exposure on this one! But you have battled other obsessions and come out on the other side. You will deal with this one too, I'm sure! :-)

  2. I've also done a lot of "OCD research" on bedbugs. Bedbugs scare me to death. I even have certain companies bookmarked on my browser so in case I have any problems I know exactly where to go.

    I think you should go for the Seattle trip (great city!). I know there is always a risk when we do things. I've hesitated about going on trips for this same reason. I think I'd rather risk bedbugs though than not be able to travel and enjoy visiting with friends and seeing new (and old) places. Good luck with this. I know it's hard, but considering all your past success, you've totally got this one.

  3. You can do it! I so hope you go to
    Seattle when you have the opportunity. It will be a great exposure for you and you will get to see your friends as well.....a win win situation!!

  4. Bedbugs freak me out! Even Riley's Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, one of the best children's hospitals in the world) recently had a bedbug issue! : (

  5. But thanks to "Billy the Exterminator" I now know how to get rid of them, so they seem a little less intimidating. LOL

  6. I'm in the same boat. Huge fear of bed bugs thanks to my OCD. I am convinced that a good friend has been exposed from staying in a hotel in one of the NYC Burroughs. I have no proof that she was near any bed bugs (don't even know the hotel name) other than my OCD telling me that NYC is the bed bug epicenter therefore any hotel she stayed in was likely infested. She's coming over this weekend to hang out and I have been preparing my apartment by sealing up the baseboards with silicone caulk, clearing out the clutter, and laying down some poison. I even bought a steam cleaner. This OCD is down right torture and I know that all of the things I am doing make the OCD stronger.

    My anxiety is pegged at a 10 right now, and part of me wants to make up an excuse for her not to come over but I really don't want to ruin my friendship. She's sort of hinted that the reason I haven't had her over is because of my bed bug OCD.

    My therapist is not going to be happy when I tell her what I spent the weekend doing.

  7. I have the same issue. I've never had bed bugs, but the world may as well end if I ever encountered them. I've had treatment before,but I was never exposed to the ultimate fear: having people stay in my house after a stay in a hotel. My in-laws were on a road trip and wanted to spend the night in our home after a stay at a hotel. My anxiety got so bad that I actually called my father-in-law (who I have never called on the phone before in seven years of marriage) and explained my issue to him and why they couldn't stay with us, as I'd probably had a nervous breakdown. My husband was upset, but I don't think that his family would appreciate being followed around with a vacuum and having their luggage outside in garbage bags. My therapist would be disappointed, but on a scale of 1-10, this would have put me off the charts!