Remember Joyce Cohen’s New York Times column “The Hunt” — which features New York tenants searching for just the right apartment? In 2007, two separate columns in three months described young couples ending their searches in an apartment with bed bugs.
Now, in the fifth anniversary “The Hunt” column, we get an update on Mattera and Werberg, who were stuck in their apartment on 117th St. for one year:
… it seemed location was the only thing their apartment had going for it. They gladly left last summer, the day their one-year lease expired.
The $1,550-a-month apartment, on East 117th Street, was badly maintained, they said. They had several bouts with bedbugs, spending a small fortune on laundry and dry cleaning.
They hoped to buy a home — doing so remains “somewhere between a goal and a dream,” Mr. Werberg said — but their priority was to get out. When they left, they took nothing upholstered.
They were relieved to return to the Bronx. They liked the Parkchester condominiums, but they wanted a dog and dogs aren’t allowed, so they found a big one-bedroom rental nearby for $1,350.
Their new superintendent “is the kind of man who dusts outdoor breezeways,” Ms. Mattera said. “He is meticulous to a T. It makes a world of difference.”
Although a meticulous, well-kept apartment has so much going for it, readers need to know that it does not mean the home will not get bed bugs, nor does it mean that the landlord will handle them properly if it does.
Cleanliness does not prevent bed bugs.
And any landlord who has not dealt with bed bugs before faces a learning curve. Many good, meticulous landlords are not informed about how easily bed bugs spread, and how hard it is to detect them.
The truth about bed bugs is that you can clean like the Dickens and not get rid of or prevent them.
The good news is that it sounds like Mattera and Werberg are done with bed bugs. Let’s hope they never have this problem again!
Read the update in full here: The Hunt – So Where Are They Now? – NYTimes.com.