Well, this is not what I was expecting, and it’s not controversial, but I knew there would be a third big story down the bed bug pipeline today: New York Magazine reports that Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s building has bed bugs.
Markowitz’s apartment is not currently infested (well, at least they don’t know it is, if it is). But the building is being treated. Let’s hope its by someone who really knows bed bugs, and not just the person who comes for the “scheduled exterminator visits on the first Saturday of each month,” mentioned in the report.
A neighbor first had bugs and hired her own pest control operator two years ago. Recently another neighbor “fled” her apartment. This is all a reminder that dealing with your own problem, in a multi-unit building, is not enough. Trying to fight bed bugs on the down low, by hiring your own PCO as this woman did, or self-treating (as many people do) can mean your neighbors are exposed. If they get bed bugs, you’ll get them back. So make sure your landlord or co-op or condo association knows about the problem and deals with it as a building issue. The odds are, after all, that others in the building had them before you.
I hate the idea of anybody getting bed bugs. I really hope that Markowitz will take notice of what his infested neighbors go through, and will help bring the NYC government on board with helping stop the epidemic. Maybe he’ll be able to mention to Mike Bloomberg that it’s not just a matter of getting someone in to spray, but a big ugly hassle, or worse. And maybe he’ll also imagine what it would be like in a building where everyone is poor, afraid of pissing off the landlord, and unable to pay for what needs to be done. And, God forbid, in a building where the landlord just does not care.