New New York Times Editorial on bed bugs: underinformed

by nobugsonme on January 14, 2009 · 3 comments

in bed bugs, gale brewer, new york, new york city, new york city council

There’s a new New York Times Editorial on bed bugs today, and of course, we are always glad to see bed bugs mentioned in the media, especially in articles calling for New York City officials to do more about the problem.

The editorial carries no byline, and calls for a bed bug task force.

It also calls for more education and better training for pest control workers (two concerns, incidentally, which are addressed by Intro. 873 currently under consideration by the New York City Council, a bill which adds a bed bug report-and-information hotline to boot; more on that in a moment).

Unfortunately Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has done much on other quality-of-life issues, has not made bed bugs a big deal. We hope Ms. Brewer, other Council members and state lawmakers — and the mayor — will press for better training and more rigorous certification of exterminators, more public education about these pests, tougher standards for used furniture and a task force to figure out how to stay ahead of an army [of bed bugs ] that seems to be growing every year.

Can’t really argue with any of that, since we’ve been making many of the same recommendations around here since 2006.

But I have to say the article seems a bit understated, frankly.

It seems really odd to publish a bed bug editorial calling for the city to take action, right now, and not mention the bed bug bill, Intro. 873, currently being considered in the city council. Brewer was one of the 17 primary sponsors of the bill — but she’s the only city council representative mentioned in the article, where she’s portrayed as being on a one-woman anti-bed bug campaign.

If you want the city to make a change, why not mention Intro. 873, which readers might tell their city council representatives to support? The article does not say a word about its existence.

Or if you don’t like that bill, why not say so, and say why?

We know the media isn’t saying much about Intro. 873, but surely the New York Times editors have heard of it?

Most New Yorkers are likely to have no idea it’s under consideration right now.

Curious, isn’t it?

See our previous posts on Intro. 873, and those of New York vs. Bed Bugs — and, it goes without saying, any New Yorkers who agree that New York needs to take action on bed bugs should sign up and make their views known to their political representatives. New York vs. Bed Bugs makes it easy, with links to your City Council reps, and to a sample letter.

1 nobugsonme January 14, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Meanwhile, the NYT Editorial Board’s Blog entry today on bed bugs went into more detail on helpful websites and mentioned New York vs. Bed Bugs. (Yet still did not mention Intro. 873!)

2 nice September 17, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Ya, bed bugs is a big problem. There are bigger issues facing the homeless .
1) lead paint in family and adult shelters. 2) peel paint everywhere. 3)exposed plaster and filthy walls . 4)mice holes and dropping. 5)dangerous mold on ceilings and walls.

Also, The department of Homeless Services has announed that it is laying off its entire painting unit as of sept 25, 2009. This will be even a bigger problem when The NYC Coalition for the Homeless and The Legal Aid Society finds out that the court order Callahan vs Carey is not being upheld. You would think painters are essential staff, but The Department of Homeless Service doesn’t think so!!! Please share this comment!!

3 nobugsonme September 18, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Hi nice,

We are aware that there are many issues facing the homeless. We support you in your fight to right those situations too.

This is, however, a bed bug blog, hence the focus on bed bugs — a problem for everyone in our society.

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