The Wall Street Journal’s Metropolis blog has a new story on the bed bug disclosure bill currently in front of Governor David Paterson.
The good news is that the New York State Senate and Assembly approved the bill yesterday.
According to Brick Underground, once the Governor signs the bill into law (which usually takes a few months), it will become effective immediately.
We wait, rather impatiently!
The bed bug disclosure bill is good news to renters in New York City, for reasons detailed here.
Meanwhile, the bad news is that journalists do not all know what bed bugs look like. Take the photo included in the Metropolis piece today:
Note to the media: flickr is a great source of Creative Commons images, but lots of people tag images as “bed bug” or “bedbug” which are not bed bugs.
Although his photos are not Creative Commons licensed, we recommend journalists consult American Museum of Natural History entomologist Lou Sorkin (louento.pix on flickr) and request permission to use his photos of bed bugs.
I note that Metropolis did a better job at illustrating an earlier story on the topic last month, which was also by R. M. Schneiderman.
This may seem like a harmless mistake to some, but you have to remember that the biggest battle in the war against bed bugs is that of awareness: everyone needs to know what bed bugs look like (unfed nymphs, fed nymphs, and adults), and how to identify them. (More help with that on our bed bug photos page.)
If people are shown images of “bed bugs” in the press which are incorrect, how will they know one when it is staring at them in their own home?