Edroso is right on the money in suggesting that bed bugs are not just one of those things the alarmist media wants us to think are “on the rise;” this is a real problem which shows every sign of getting worse, and no sign of going away.
And like most New Yorkers, Edroso has his own vicarious bed bug stories:
A friend of ours a few blocks up got bedbugs in 2006. She set all her bedding out in the street with large, clear signage explaining the situation; within an hour, someone had taken her mattress anyway.
Thinking back on that — a guy or a couple of guys ripping the BEDBUGS sign off a mattress and hauling it away — it strikes us that the role of illiteracy, or just plain ignorant disregard, in the spread of this plague is not to be underestimated.
However, there are a few inaccuracies or misleading ideas here:
The City urges affected citizens to “contact your Management Office immediately so that a work ticket for a visit by a NYCHA exterminator can be filled out.” Those of us with absent or unapproachable landlords might try 311. Or maybe DDT.
NYCHA exterminators are only available to those in New York City Housing Authority buildings (i.e. public housing). DDT is not really a good option (though many people think it’s just a matter of finding some).
Calling 311, however, is an option for most NYC tenants (not in NYCHA buildings) whose landlords are not dealing with the problem. It’s a messed-up system, though. Hard to get an inspector in and even harder to get them to cite a violation. (Those who’ve had NYCHPD inspections report being asked to show the inspector where the bed bugs were. This is not always easy. Previously caught samples are not necessarily counted.)
Concerned Voice readers would do well to get behind New York vs. Bed Bugs’ campaign to get the city to do something.