Housing and Preservation Department Educator Edward Brownbear told those in attendance at the Greenpoint HPD Bed Bug Seminar on Tuesday night that bed bugs had been found on benches at a number of different subway stations.
Now Pete Donoghue of the Daily News has picked up the story via Miss Heather:
Brownbear cited three stations where he believed bedbugs had, at least temporarily, bedded down: Hoyt-Schermerhorn, Union Square in Manhattan and Fordham Road in the Bronx.
A housing preservation and development spokesman cautioned that Brownbear, while more knowledgeable about bedbugs than the average person, is not a trained scientist or inspector.
NYC Transit spokesman Charles Seaton said the agency would check out the three hubs.
Brownbear may not be a trained inspector, but he had bed bugs in his home for five months. He is probably more qualified than many in the HPD to identify a scurrying bed bug.
I am concerned that they are only going to look at those three hubs. NYC Transit employees should be taught to search for bed bugs, and doing so should be a routine occurrence in all trains and at all stations.
Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign quipped: “Bedbugs on subway benches! Yet another reason not to fall asleep waiting for a train.”
The New York Post declares understatedly that “Bed Bugs Lurk Under Subway.” If they were under the subway, however, we would not have to worry. The problem is, they are in the subway:
Sharis Lugo, 20, of Brooklyn leaped off a bench at the Union Square station when she heard the news, saying, “Ewww! That’s nasty . . . They’ve got to take these benches out of here!”
Now that’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater! Why not get rid of the bed bugs instead?
It is possible, you know. But the first step is admitting we have a problem.
And Fox News shares videos of grossed out subway passengers (though Fox claims this footage represents passengers’ response to this news, this footage could have been stock “the subway is dirty” soundbites– bed bugs were not mentioned).
Perhaps in all the hysteria, New Yorkers will be reminded that we have politicians, we can demand they take action, and right now, the best way to channel that desire is to throw in your lot with New York vs. Bed Bugs. It only takes two minutes to make a difference.
The New York Post asks people on NYC subway benches about bed bugs in NYC subway benches:
Update: More from Gawker.
The U.S. News Health column also picked this up: Bed Bug Infestations Continue.
So did United Press International, the AMNY Subway Tracker, Subway Blogger (imagne a whole blog about the NYC subways! How bizarre! Just kidding, folks), Wall Street Journal blog Buzzwatch, and Gadling.