New York City has a new bed bug bill!

by nobugsonme on December 8, 2008 · 8 comments

in 311, bed bug education, bed bugs, new york, new york city, new york city council, new york vs. bed bugs, public health

Renee of New York vs. Bed Bugs uncovered a surprise on the New York City Council website: a new bed bug bill, Int. no. 873, calls for the Department of Health to get involved in the bed bug fight in New York City, by

  • training PCOs in proper bed bug treatment,
  • providing a list of those PCOs to the public,
  • training property owners in how to eliminate bed bugs, prevent their spread,
  • providing information on the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website, and
  • providing information about bed bugs to 311 callers, and taking reports of bed bug infestations via 311.

The bill does not go into a lot of detail on these steps, for example, I’d love to know more how these training programs will be carried out.  It’s essential that the best advice and bed bug expertise will be sought in creating and implementing them.

And what will be done with the reports of bed bug infestations?  I hope they’ll be used to track where bed bug infestations occur.  Right now, someone in New York City knows which tenants have called 311 to complain about bed bugs.  If violations are found, we have a limited degree of access to this information.  We have no idea how many tenants in NYC have bed bugs, nor how many homeowners do.

However, despite these questions in my mind, there’s a lot to be hopeful about here.  Education of property owners and the general public is crucial to eliminating specific infestations and to reducing the spread of bed bugs in the city.  The Department of Health is a very appropriate agency to get involved in this issue.  And we’d love to see the city tracking bed bug infestations via 311.

For that reason, I think we all need to get behind this bill.  If you’re in New York City, please click over to New York vs. Bed Bugs for more information on what to do, and to join our campaign.


The full text of Intro. 873 follows:

Section 1. Chapter 1 of title 17 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 17-194 to read as follows:

§17-194 Bed bug techniques training program. a. The department shall establish a program to train exterminators in the proper techniques to eliminate bed bugs. Upon successful completion of this program, the exterminator shall be considered trained pursuant to this provision, in the proper techniques of bed bug extermination.

b. The department shall establish a program to train property owners in the proper techniques to eliminate bed bugs and to prevent the transfer and spread of any bed bug infestation. Upon successful completion of this program, such owner shall be considered trained pursuant to this provision in the proper techniques of bed bug extermination.

c. Any training programs developed pursuant to this section shall include, but not be limited to, identification of bed bugs and understanding their life cycle, inspection procedures to identify infested areas and furnishings, techniques to prepare infested sites for containment and extermination, encasement techniques, and proper techniques for the moving and disposal of infested furnishings and materials. Any training program should also provide instruction on which techniques and pesticides are inappropriate for bed bug elimination.

d. The department shall make available on its website general information on bed bug awareness, infestation and control.

e. The department shall ensure that a toll-free hotline number, such as the 311 citizen service center, shall be made available to the public for any person seeking to report an incidence of bed bug infestation or to request information on bed bugs.

f. A list of exterminators trained pursuant to this section shall be made available to the public on the department’s website, upon request by calling the 311 citizen service center, and upon request in person at department offices to be located in each of the five boroughs, as determined by the department.

§2. This local law shall take effect ninety days after its enactment, provided, however, that the department of health and mental hygiene shall take any necessary actions to implement this law, including the promulgation of rules, prior to such effective date.

1 paulaw0919 December 8, 2008 at 4:21 pm

People….go to NewYork vs Bed Bugs . org now if you want to make something of this bill!!! you don’t want this one washed away. Backing this up is sooo important. Do it now. Have your family and friends do it now. Improvements are on the horizon. I can smell it. 🙂

2 NYCBBSlayer December 9, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Does anyone know of any reliable PCO in NYC?
Stern is all about the freeze with no IPM and 1400$.

Are there any good stories out there with other companies?

much appreciated

3 nobugsonme December 9, 2008 at 4:45 pm

Hi NYCBBSlayer!

You have a lot of options including traditional treatments as well as thermal. Come to the forums, you will get a lot of responses there:

You can also read already existing forum threads tagged “NYC PCOS”:

4 Nicole Levine January 14, 2009 at 11:53 am

Home Clean Home teams of bedbug management ,are trained to eliminate bedbugs.we have been in business since 1993. Home Clean Home was voted the best cleaning company in Brooklyn; we pride ourselves with quality of work, and price efficient service. While some companies overprice the customers, we would like to share our extensive experience, and find the service to suite all needs.
Getting rid of bedbug Success will depend on your cooperation. Allow the technicians access to inspect the apartment thoroughly, focusing on the bedrooms, and finding hiding places. Clean and get rid of clutter to eliminate their shelter. Pesticide bedbugs in the entire area, At times the mattress can’t be salvaged we can get rid of the old mattress and get a new mattress, and pillows at wholesale price, all must be covered with a bedbug proof covers which we can provide at wholesale price as well. Repairs all cracks, seal the crevices in order to eliminate their shelter, caulking will work well in many areas, bedbug infested laundry need to be washed in extreme temperatures; cold or hot. Last, because that when they feed for about five to ten minutes at night, they’ll remain in hiding for several days while digesting the meal and can survive for about six months without feeding, eggs hatch in about ten days, all those facts emendate for service plans, depending on ones needs.

Bed bugs cleaning method; primarily we use all natural, steam cleaning, and high suction vacuum. We find the hiding places in the daytime and try to determine the severity of problem. Early in infestation bed bugs are likely to be found only about the seams, tufts or folds of mattresses or daybed covers, but later they spread to crevices in the bedsteads. In severe infestation, they may be found behind baseboards, window and door casings, pictures and picture frames, in furniture, loosened wallpaper, and cracks.
Service area; all the five borough of New York, including Long Island, and parts of NY State.

Home Clean Home Inc.

[Editor’s note: HCH’s website is linked from the commenter’s name above.

Note to Nicole: you are very welcome to comment here and participate in our forums, but you MUST read the terms and conditions of use for the site, which prohibit using the comments for advertising purposes. I am leaving this comment up so people can hear about your company. However, I have deleted the rest of the information you listed which was unnecessary (given that your web address is linked from your username). I also deleted the second, identical comment you left on another post, which not only violates the policy against using the comments for advertising, but also constitutes spam. Please do not do this again. Thanks!]

5 nobugsonme January 14, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Hi Nicole,

Please read my note in your comment above.

I have a question, when you say,

Getting rid of bedbug Success will depend on your cooperation. Allow the technicians access to inspect the apartment thoroughly, focusing on the bedrooms, and finding hiding places. Clean and get rid of clutter to eliminate their shelter. Pesticide bedbugs in the entire area…

Do you mean that your company provides pesticide treatment, as well as vacuuming and steam cleaning? Do you have licensed pest control technicians on staff?

Also, you should know that the insect pictured on your bed bugs page is NOT a bed bug, and some of the other information there is also faulty. For example, bed bugs can live for 18 months without a blood meal, not two months. And an early infestation may be confined to one area, but not necessarily the mattress or bed, as you state.

You may be providing a very helpful service to people with bed bugs (we hope so) but I also think it’s important to spread correct information to your potential clients.

Since this conversation is off-topic, if you want to discuss this further, please come to our forums.

6 Kat May 11, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Very effective bill they passed in 2008 (said with sarcasm). NYC circa 2010 is now in the midst of a MAJOR bed bug crisis. What did the department of health do for the past 2 years? The evidence shows nothing.

7 nobugsonme May 12, 2010 at 12:54 am

Hi Kat,

Actually, this bill did not pass in 2008. Nor did it pass, revised as Int. 873-A in 2009.

(You can see the status reports on Ints. 873, 873-a, and 57 here.)

In 2009, the NY City Council did create the Bed Bug Task Force (an idea originally part of Int. 57). The task force was appointed soon after and have been working ever since on their recommendations. An inside source tells us the report should be made soon.

The Health Dept. did not get empowered by Int. 873(-a), but it did accomplish something significant this year — it released a new Guide to Preventing and Getting Rid of Bed Bugs Safely (PDF).

Much, much more needs to be done in NYC. We hope the Bed Bug Advisory Board report is released soon, and that the city funds efforts in line with its recommendations.

I completely understand your impatience. Everyone concerned about bed bugs in NYC would agree that things need to be done, and now. The first step IMO is to get good recommendations from experts who can see the big picture, and to get good legislation passed.

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