Village Voice’s Runnin’ Scared blog on bed bugs

by nobugsonme on August 12, 2008 · 3 comments

in bed bugs, new york, new york city

Blogger Roy Edroso did a nice rundown of recent bed bug situation in NYC in the Voice’s Runnin’ Scared news blog Monday.

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.

Indeed.

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.

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1 parakeets August 12, 2008 at 5:30 pm

I love where the author refers to this blog as the “invaluable bedbugger” and has a link to us. That’s nice praise.

2 nobugsonme August 12, 2008 at 8:47 pm

Yes– and much appreciated!

3 nobugsonme August 14, 2008 at 10:19 pm

Follow-up from Roy Edroso in Runnin’ Scared on Thursday: Edroso interviewed Maciej Ceglowski, the man behind the Bed Bug Registry.

He recommends carefully searching your hotel room when you travel:

Today, every time Ceglowski checks into a hotel, he performs a detailed spot check. “I pull up sheets and look at the mattress seams for any sign of black or red spots (bedbug scat or blood),” he told us. “I also peer behind the bedboard, in any visible thin cracks in the night table and other potential hiding spots.”

You can learn how to do this via the CBC’s report on bed bugs.

Edroso also reports that he also recommends Bedbugger for stories of how people got rid of bed bugs:

If you have bedbugs in your home, Ceglowski recommends you consult Bedbugger, “particularly the posts by people who have successfully rid themselves of a bedbug problem. It can be done, it just requires a lot of attention to detail and great patience.”

Thanks to Maciej Ceglowski for his work, and to Roy Edroso for writing about bed bugs in New York, and to both of them for sending folks here.

You can read those success stories (with useful tips) here and in the forums.

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