Craigslist Clinton Hill apartment ad, “must tolerate bed bugs”

by nobugsonme on August 16, 2007 · 19 comments

in bed bugs, bed bugs in apartments

An anonymous reader tipped us off to an apartment ad on Craigslist. The ad, which has now been taken down, is reproduced on, and offered a NYC loft share for $750. Wow! But read on:

We are 2 guys and 2 girls; all young professional types. I’m an artist going back to get my Masters, we have an Architect, an Engineer and a Business professional. We are all laid back and would love someone who can fit in to the group.

But as Curbed noted, there was a huge catch:

Very Important note: you must tolerate bugs! We have bugs now and then since we live in an old old converted warehouse with tons of places for them to come from. Although they are not common, they do come in and bite us 🙁 The other bad thing is that we only have One bathroom so we must plan around that detail. Other than those two cons, its an awesome place!

How many young professionals does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Seriously, folks. Yes, I am assuming the biting bugs are bed bugs. Bed bugs are not a small annoyance to be tolerated. Occasional bed bug bites lead to a full-blown infestation quicker than you can finish that Master’s in art.

(Note: reading the Curbed comments confirms the advertisers meant “bed” bugs.)

1 James Buggles August 16, 2007 at 5:53 pm

You have to give them credit for truth in advertising. I guarantee you they will find a roommate. It reminds me of those freegans. Many of them probably already have bed bugs and just choose to live with them rather than use one drop of pesticide.

2 nobugsonme August 16, 2007 at 11:19 pm

I definitely appreciate the honesty, James. But I say, be proud, name the species!

3 Bugalina August 17, 2007 at 5:56 am

This ad for a roommate who Must tolerate bed bugs makes me get a sick feeling . On one hand their honesty is good. Shows they are ethical. But, can’t they say what they are doing to make their place bed bug free, rather than use “tolerance”….Comeon guys, like Nobugs says :” how many young professionals does it take to screw in a light bulb”….You can’t ” tolerate” bed bugs….you have to fight them…Maybe your ad could have said that when bed bugs appear you do everything you can to get rid of them…not tolerate them..that’s just wrong…

4 No Name Please August 17, 2007 at 10:19 am

Where does it mention “bed bugs”? I read “must tolerate bugs”.

5 hopelessnomo August 17, 2007 at 10:29 am

Bed bugs are inferred.

And someone claiming to be the author of the listing explained it was bed bugs, that they’d had four treatments, and that he or she didn’t appreciate the ribbing.

6 No Name Please August 17, 2007 at 10:56 am

I must have missed that. Thanks for clearing that up, hopelessnomo

7 hopelessnomo August 17, 2007 at 11:03 am

Hey, No Name, there are plenty of women here. I hope we can be of some use to you.

8 No Name Please August 17, 2007 at 12:10 pm

Thanks hoplessnomo. I just read her reply to the curbed posting. I wouldnt “tolerate” bedbugs in a rent-free, palacial spread overlooking Central Park. As someone who is currently battling a light bedbug infestation, I think it’s irresponsible to state “must tolerate bugs” instead of “must tolerate bed bugs”. Living with ants, spiders or even the occasssional cockroach is much different than living with bedbugs. I’d take all of the above, anyday, over one pair of bedbugs.

Have a bug free day:)

9 nobugsonme August 17, 2007 at 12:34 pm

Yes, I am a bit confused.

The “Anonymous” commenter who claimed to be one of the advertising residents, said,

To clarify the story, yes we found a bed bug in the apartment and told the landlord about it. Two days later we had the first of four treatments that got rid of the little suckers. We all came to the conclusion that they could have come from anywhere! While doing research about what they can do, we found out that New York City, is the #1 city infested with bugs. Which is really f—ing disgusting.

But wed rather get bitten up by bugs in bed Stuy than live in a small joint, THATS OUR PEROGATIVE! SO DONT BE MINDING OUR BED BUGS! We kinda got used to and like the little critters! And we only have a few rats. no big deal!

I am totally confused now. Either they “have” bed bugs (as per the advertisement which says, in the present tense, that bugs come in and bite them). Or they “had” bed bugs and got rid of them, in which case, why does the ad not put things in those terms?

Oh, and ps: if rats are living in your building (or mice, bats, birds, etc.), you can get bed bugs (bird bugs, bat bugs, etc.) from them. So eliminating rats in the building is important to keeping bugs from biting you.

10 Bugalina August 17, 2007 at 1:06 pm

From the way I read this is that they treated for bed bugs but did not have 100 percent success, so they are “tolerating them”…and expect any roomie candidate to be prepared to do the same. I hope they do not expect their fellow office workers or students to tolerate their bringing the bugs to other places with them…You can see how their ethics can now be deemed questionable….

11 No Name Please August 17, 2007 at 1:33 pm

I agree Bugalina. And the fact that she states “we kinda got used to and like the little critters” shows their complete ignorance and irresponsibility as well as disregard for others who they could easily infest.

And as nobugsonme noted, it isn’t clear whether they still have them or not. I would lead towards “yes” because they are very, very difficult to get rid of and they hide in the tiniest of crevices. The fact that they can live 18 months without a bloodmeal makes it impossible to tell whether they are completely eliminated before that timeframe. It seems to me that any exterminator would have told them this basic fact, which makes me wonder if they had treatment from a reputable pest control company or even if they did at all.

12 persona-non-bugga August 17, 2007 at 1:51 pm

“Oh, and ps: if rats are living in your building (or mice, bats, birds, etc.), you can get bed bugs (bird bugs, bat bugs, etc.) from them. So eliminating rats in the building is important to keeping bugs from biting you.”

Crap. There are definitely mice in my building. Another thing to put on the worry-list.

13 Bugalina August 17, 2007 at 5:21 pm

Yes rumor has it that bed bugs, when hungry, will feed on any warm blooded mammal..and rumor has it that bat bugs ( a first cousin of bed bugs ) will cross over from bats to humans…..Ah life in the year 2007…

14 nobugsonme August 17, 2007 at 5:23 pm


You are actually more likely to get bugs via this route if the mice or rats are gone, but it’s a reason to get a PCO involved in getting rid of them and inspecting for bugs in their nest, rather than waiting for them to die out or leave, which is when bugs, if any, would be on the lookout for someone to bite.

I don’t want to sound alarmist. Having mice does not mean you’re getting bugs from them.

15 nobugsonme August 17, 2007 at 5:27 pm

ps Persona-non-bugga,

NICE nickname. I have to say, it is hard being original around here, and you’ve done it.

16 kurtck177 August 22, 2007 at 4:02 pm

I like how quickly bed bugs have become something to be tolerated in the NYC rental market. Hello, 19th century!

17 nobugsonme August 22, 2007 at 11:58 pm

What’s next, personals for people with bed bugs?

18 vacationer September 10, 2008 at 2:27 am

Yes, similar to dating people with herpes.

I bet the residents in adjoining units will not be as laid back about the bugs as these guys are.


19 cantstopscratching April 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm

If bed bugs didn’t spread from apartment to apartment, or hitchhike on clothing, etc, I would say it is their business if they want to “tolerate bed bugs.” But, not getting rid of them is causing them to spread to others. That’s the problem. Scary.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: