And so, it gets worse: bed bugs on the move

by nobugsonme on June 7, 2007 · 6 comments

in bed bug treatment, bed bugs, bed bugs in the workplace, boston, brooklyn, bug bombs and foggers, government, illinois, massachusetts, new york, queens, tipping point, usa

A news round-up for today:

This article in the Quad-Cities Online reported yesterday on bed bug infestations in a public housing complex in East Moline, Illinois. The reporter quotes one resident who has been battling bed bugs since fall.

“I work too. My tax dollars are going to support places like this (government run low-income housing). If people knew how disgusting this is, I’m sure they’d be upset,” said a resident of the Joseph Fulton Homes. The woman asked to remain anonymous.

Interestingly, a number of comments to the article also note that low-income folks should not have to live like that. At least one commenter (going by the name “some anonymous person”) mentions that “only the poor have to live like this.”

Well, not exactly. While it’s true that in this case, it’s a low-income residence, sadly, people of every social class and walk of life are having to deal with bed bugs. Many, many people we hear from at — low-income, moderate-income and middle-class– have a problem getting their landlords to treat the problem promptly and effectively. The rich are perhaps in the best situation, since they have more possibility of moving, but this problem is not easy for anyone, and everyone who suffers from bed bugs suffers and takes a hit. And it can afflict anyone at any time.

We need better government support for fighting bed bugs, because nobody should have to suffer this problem for long (and a week is too long).

A second local public housing complex, a senior apartment building called Warren Towers, also has units with bed bug infestations, a story which was covered by the Quad-Cities Online on May 30th.

In other news, even though I have a google alert which tells me when people mention bed bugs in the news or in their blogs, I don’t usually mention non-bed-bug-blogs in our news round-ups. There are just too many people blogging their infestations on a daily basis to keep up.

But today, one caught my eye: this professional blog at, suggests that folks are starting to talk about their bed bug infestations not just amongst their nearest and dearest, or in the workplace, but amongst colleagues they may not know well. That’s good news: talking about bed bugs means more people learn about the problem, how to spot it, and its likelihood of appearing in their lives, too.

Bravo to Heather McCormack at Library Journal, and Heather–we hope your Brooklyn bed bugs are on their way out!

Meanwhile, Lisa Hoffman’s Scripps News article on bed bugs (the one also published in the Knoxville News) continues to make the rounds of syndication, now in the Albuquerque Tribune.

Next, for anyone in Boston who does not have to work next Wednesday, the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation is having a Bed Bug Conference.

2nd Greater Boston Bed Bug Conference: Extermination and Legislation
Wednesday, June 13, 2007, 8:30AM – 3:00PM

There is still time to register! Registraton is $25.00 and includes lunch and refreshments. (Click the link above to get to the ABCDC site and download the registration form.)

Sponsored by the Greater Boston Bedbug Task Force, this event will provide updated information about the bed bug outbreak to more than 200 exterminators, inspectors, health providers, property managers/landlords, tenants and housing advocates, as well as members of the general public.

There’s also information at the same link for local residents to apply for a grant from the ABCDC to fight bed bugs in your home. Allston Brighton residents take note! We’re big fans of the ABCDC’s bed bug-fighting attempts (some of which are mentioned here), and we’d be glad to hear about other community organizations that are trying to help people with bed bugs, or help people avoid getting bed bugs in the first place.

And finally, today some tenants in a Jamaica, Queens apartment set off a roach bomb which exploded, harming them and damaging their apartment and belongings.

Authorities say the explosion shattered the windows of Apartment 4E at 164-30 Hillside Avenue just after 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

Some residents inside the apartment were overcome, and at least two were taken to the hospital.

The force of the explosion reportedly blew pieces of the fourth-floor window onto a construction shed and the street.

Fire officials said the roach bomb explosion may have been sparked by a pilot light or a refrigerator compressor.

In case the fact that bug bombs do not work to rid your apartment of bed bugs did not dissuade you from using one, they’re also apparently potentially dangerous.
ABC 7’s photo shows what looks to be much of the apartment’s contents pushed up against the (blown-out) window.

I realize the news reports this as a roach bomb, but since there are (for good reason) no over-the-counter bed bug bombs, since we know people attempt to use bombs made for other pests to eradicate bed bugs, and since Queens is experiencing a lot of bed bug infestations, I do have to wonder if that might have been the case here.

Don’t try that at home, kids!

1 parakeets June 8, 2007 at 10:22 am

A common factor for bedbugs is multi-unit housing. In this country the wealthy are more likely to live in single family homes so that is one of the reasons bedbugs seem to be more associated with the poor. In cities, the wealthy often live in condos and co-ops, but they are not admitting to having bedbugs. We need disclosure.

Another problem with multi-unit housing is that people move in and out, and, as we can tell from posting on the boards, there is no fool-proof way to move without taking bedbugs with you. The people who are reading this blog have gone to the “College of Bedbug Knowledge,” but a lot of folks are not bedbug savvy. They don’t know the difference of a bedbug and a small roach and they simply think if they move, the problem will go away. Bedbugs are spreading. If they are ignored, the problem will only get worse–as it has.

It is not a public housing issue, it is a multi-unit building issue.

2 willow-the-wisp June 8, 2007 at 7:28 pm

Thanks to NBOM, for brining the “Bed Bug News” to us, and with such keen alacrity, regarding importance, relevance and safety.

3 nobugsonme June 8, 2007 at 9:27 pm

Keets, you’re right… and it’s a public education issue.

As in, we need those public service announcements and bus shelter ads, and magazine ads up, telling people what bed bugs are, and then what to do and what not to do.

And of course, some bed bug lobbyists…

Thanks, Willow!

4 wantmyskinback June 10, 2007 at 10:03 am

I’d like to persue this more…. getting ads together. I know the costs are high and we are going to have to try and get donations or raise the $ ourselves somehow. Maybe organize a little fundraiser???

5 nobugsonme January 12, 2009 at 3:18 am

Paul Taylor, of Warren Towers, was in the Quad Cities online today, claiming his bed bug problem has been going on, despite treatments, for three years. The article above was written in the summer of 2007.

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