Is Mayor Bloomberg finally going to appoint a Bed Bug Czar?

by nobugsonme on July 27, 2010 · 4 comments

in bed bug task force, new york, new york city

New York City has a rat czar. Will we be getting a Bed Bug Czar any time soon?

Mayor Bloomberg will be holding a press conference tomorrow (Wednesday 7/ 28) at 2 pm, to present the report of the Bed Bug Advisory Board (BBAB), which was given to the Mayor back in April.  The Mayor created the BBAB back in March 2009.

According to NYC apartment blog BrickUnderground, who cleverly managed to score a copy of the report in advance, key aspects of the report include the following:

  • Creating a Bed Bug Team headed by an entomologist to coordinate the city’s bed bug control efforts;
  • A massive public education effort and a city-funded “Bed Bug Academy” for building & property managers and possibly pest management professionals.
  • An online Bed Bug Portal devoted to vetted bed bug facts and resources for residents, landlords, property managers, city agencies, health care and social services providers etc. The portal could also be used to track infestation statistics by district to identify “reservoirs” of infestations requiring special attention and funding.
  • A clear protocol for residents dealing with a bed bug problem, including a “triage” plan detailing what to do (and not do) in the first 24 hours;
  • Guidelines for throwing away infested items, as well as for donating used clothes and furniture and shopping at secondhand stores;
  • Assigning bed bug cases higher priority in Housing Court, and giving stronger rights of access to apartments that have become bed bug reservoirs. Property owners would also be required to distribute bed bug information with lease signings and renewals.

If you have any doubt in your mind about the need for these kinds of steps, have a look at the latest NYC data on bed bugs, from Renee Corea of New York vs. Bed Bugs, showing directory assistance calls pertaining to bed bugs, bed bug complaints and violations, etc. from Fiscal Year 2008 – 2010.

The data, as limited as it is,* shows bed bugs in New York City have steadily gotten worse from 2004-2010.

We have been calling on the city to help for years.

I look forward to the press conference tomorrow, and I truly hope the city will do everything it can to implement these recommendations and fund them.

Things can get better, or New York’s bed bugs can get a whole lot worse.

*The data is limited because it is based on official bed bug complaints made to the city, some of which are investigated by the city inspectors, with some of those inspected being classed as bed bug violations. Most people in NYC who have bed bugs do not file an official bed bug complaint.  I know this only anecdotally, but I know it’s true.  Actual numbers of people with bed bugs in NYC are far, far higher than the official statistics note.  Hopefully we will soon have ways of compiling data which more accurately reflect the bed bug realities in this city.

For more on the BBAB’s report to the Mayor, and the upcoming press conference, see also:

1 Ken July 28, 2010 at 10:32 am

Oh, so the mayor is going to appoint a buddy and pay him lost of money? Sorry for my irony here, but with just bit of common sense he could have done something years ago.
I wish I had more info on this or I’d go and point out something –
but I might not get there with such short notice. Apropos of NYC and bugs, check out the latest post at

Or, just read below because I just cut/pasted it. This is URGENT.

[Admin’s note: blog post reposted here deleted]

2 nobugsonme July 28, 2010 at 11:05 am


Please do not repost posts from your blog in the comments here. Including a link in the space for the URL provided in the comments is fine.


3 Winston O. Buggy August 2, 2010 at 4:47 pm

I took a ride over to the bugoutter site and I feel compelled to comment as follows,
Pesticides alone will not solve a bed bug problem, it requires a multifaceted approach.While it is true that two of the three entomologists on the board have affiliation with pest control firms, the insinuation of conflict of interest is both foolish and baseless. Both of these entomologists have a track record of donating time and effort and have long been a part of the push for education in regard to eradication of these pests. This assertion is akin to saying no physician should serve on a medical panel as they have a vested interest in disease.

4 BFD723 August 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm

I didn’t know the Mayor knew any bed bug experts, never mind having a bed bug expert as a buddy! the things I learn here…..

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