ApartmentTherapy’s fourth post on the Amanda bed bug case, since Wednesday

by nobugsonme on June 18, 2007 · 3 comments

in bed bug bites, bed bug treatment, bed bugs

Amanda’s bed bug saga has now become an Apartment Therapy regular feature. Today was the fourth report since Wednesday.

Last week, Amada was not sure she should to take action after seeing and catching just one bug. She was waiting for a jetsetting neighbor to return home so their place could be inspected too (the inspection, of all adjacent units, is essential).

She also dithered about spending $650 for a PCO, even though her landlord knows about the problem, and even though I repeatedly pointed out in the comments each day that the landlord was liable to pay. I am not sure she’s paying attention to my comments. But I think it’s worth commenting on AT because they have so many readers, and this is an opportunity to spread good information about bed bugs.

Today, she washed and bagged and called a PCO. Maxwell writes,

Amanda didn’t show up for work today. Over the weekend, the bedbug situation got suddenly worse, and she barely slept. She called us to give us the lowdown:

“Basically, on Friday night, I woke up and found 2 of them and a massive number of bites. On Saturday I freaked out and called the pest control people and their coming later today.”

“Even though I slept with all the lights on on Saturday night, I still got bit again.”

I am glad she’s called a PCO and hope she will read our FAQs and learn more about what she can do to make sure this is gone quickly, and for good.

I hate that one more person is suffering from bed bugs, but I am glad Maxwell is covering the story so thoroughly. I think a lot of people who may have thought it “wouldn’t happen to them” are now thinking again. That can’t be bad. Awareness of the problem is a prerequisite for catching an infestation early.

1 nightshirt June 19, 2007 at 3:04 pm

i wanted to ask if the landlord must pay for the process of eradication – ie ziplocks, wash and dries, etc. or just the pco?

it was stated that the landlord must pay for their total elimination in a building and wondered what that included.

2 hopelessnomo June 19, 2007 at 4:12 pm

Hey anonymous, have you seen the tenants/landlords faq? It cites the law! Go read up and arm yourself with info and good luck.

The landlord has to pay for the PCO. The other stuff… if you want the landlord to pay for the rest of your eradication costs, and your negotiation for said costs fails, you might have to sue, and for that you need to consult a lawyer. Someone was exploring a small claims court filing (which you can do on your own without a lawyer) but we have not heard of the result. That said, please note that we have not heard of any landlords paying for your laundry and ziploc bills. I just don’t think it’s going to happen. Just make sure the landlord pays for a very good PCO who has expert bedbug knowledge as that is the absolute KEY to getting rid of them.

3 nobugsonme June 20, 2007 at 12:08 am


No. I think I know the discussion you’re thinking of– I am the person who said landlords in NYC (and many other places) are responsible for eliminating bed bugs in a building. This was in the context of a discussion about a landlord who sent a PCO a few times, to no avail. My point was the law does not say a landlord has to get a PCO to come in and treat, but rather, that s/he has to get rid of the bed bugs.


Yes, I suppose you could say that “keeping an apartment free of vermin”, in the case of bed bugs, entails much more than getting an effective PCO in for a course of treatment. However, mattress encasements, garbage bags or ziploc bags, and the like, while (IMHO) really important to what we do, are not mentioned in the laws, which were probably written before such goods existed.

However, I would say in some cases, tenants might be taking landlords to small claims court or civic courts, in which case laundry bills and other receipts might be submitted as part of a claim for reimbursement. I am not a lawyer, I can’t speak to their success. But you might read more here:


Finally, I do want to mention (in case any landlords are paying attention)+ that I have heard of landlords of low-income buildings, SROs, and the like giving tenants mattress encasements at the time of treatment. This could be a great investment a landlord, treating a property. Making sturdy lawn and garden bags or XL ziplocs (more expensive) available with an education program (without which, the efforts may fail) is another idea. Yes, I know. It costs money. So does not getting rid of bed bugs!

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