Sorry to get graphic on you folks, but the news round-up for today is really something.
The couple had signed a $13,500-a-month lease, paying two months rent and a month’s security as well as a month’s rent as a broker’s commission, say papers filed Wednesday in Manhattan’s state Supreme Court.
Almost as bad as the bedbugs, court papers say, was that the couple were unable to flee the infestation conveniently because for at least six of their first 11 days in the building the elevator was out of order.
After Rudolph and Anderson complained, an exterminator showed up on Oct. 17 and advised them to leave, at least for a few weeks, for the sake of their year-old baby. They left and never returned, said their lawyer Kenneth J. Glassman.
The lawsuit names Halstead Property LLC, the broker, and Francis Feeney, the owner of the apartment, as defendants. It seeks a total of $450,500 in compensatory and punitive damages, repayment of rent and broker’s fees and legal fees.
According to the Mercury-News, Halstead had no comment, and Feeney has an unlisted number.
My response: I firmly believe there is no bad bed bug news. As much as I hate to hear that anyone has bed bugs, I am pleased to see the news being reported about bedbugs among high-profile celebs such as Rudolph and partner (Boogie Nights director Paul Anderson), because normally people do not talk about having bed bugs. Seeing celebrities have the problem makes it seem less shameful. Of course, this would never make the news if there were no lawsuit. For every court case, I am sure there are thousands of quiet sufferers–famous ones, as well as us normal folks. People need to know that this is a widespread problem, affecting rich and poor alike.
The only thing that gets me mad is when inaccurate information is disseminated by the press, which it wasn’t here. Small annoyance: this is in the Gossip section of the paper (as was, you recall, the piece on Ralph Lauren’s design offices being infested in September). Given the enormous bed bug epidemic, and the press on it, why are celebrity bed bug cases nothing but “gossip”?
Also: a brief piece from New Vision, a Ugandan news site reports that recent DDT spraying of mosquitoes on indoor walls has had a positive effect on bedbugs:
The district director of health services, Dr. Patrick Tusiime, said the recent indoor residual spraying against mosquitoes had also helped to eradicate fleas, bedbugs and cockroaches.
He said last Saturday that people were having sound sleep due to the extermination of the blood sucking vermins.
I have no knowledge of the reliability of the source, or the site, but it is notable, nonetheless.
Also: file this under “No! No! No!” but this family in Eastbourne, England is thinking of moving into their car to escape their infested home. People, people, how many times do we have to say this? Bed bugs are not in your bed, they’re near where you spend lots of time. You can sleep in the car, sit in a barn, or prop yourself in front of a computer in your office at work, and you can have bed bugs there. If you change where you sleep, you can bet some of them hitched a ride.
Unfortunately for this family, who are tenants of the Eastbourne Council (local government), the council is not required to treat its tenants’ homes for bed bugs; many are on limited incomes, and paying for pest control is a hardship. This is only going to mean some people do not treat it properly and spread the problem further.
”We’ve got a private firm in and although we can’t afford it, we had to do something because we’re at the end of our tether.
”They’ve come around twice and treated the whole of the upstairs but neither treatment has touched them and we are still over-run.
”It has now become so bad that we are seriously considering leaving the house and sleeping in our car.”
Bed bugs are not on a list of pests and infestations which the borough council are legally obliged to remove for free.
Mr Carter added, ”I don’t think that it is right to deny us help when we have five children between four and 11 years old.
”We have already had to get rid of all our bedroom furniture as it was riddled with the bugs.
”We can’t even get new furniture until the house is totally clear and even then we can’t afford it at present.”
An Eastbourne Borough Council spokesperson said, “Unfortunately, bed bugs are not one of the pests which we are legally obliged to deal with.
“We would deal with an infestations of rats, mice, wasps and fleas for a fee and offer a wide range of advice on other pests.
“Further details can be found on our website or by calling the environmental health department.”
Shame on Eastbourne Council! They will eventually find out that this pest spreads quickly, especially when tenants throw away furniture, as these folks did. Maybe when every unit becomes uninhabitable, they’ll reconsider.
Parakeets, the fourth official blogger in the team here at Bedbugger, blogging from heavilty-infested Massachusetts (joining me in NYC, Jessinchicago in, well, Chicago, and Deblynn in Long Island).