Who are they gonna call!?! Bed bugs hit New York City’s 311 call center

by nobugsonme on September 3, 2010 · 8 comments

in 311, bed bugs, new york city

You can’t make this stuff up.

Presumably tired of being talked about behind their backs, bed bugs (or rather a bed bug) turned up in the 311 call center in lower Manhattan last Friday, NY1 reports.

The facility was treated for bed bugs on Tuesday night.

Ironically, 311 is the number New Yorkers can call to report bed bugs in rental housing, or to ask questions about the pest.

NY1 adds helpfully:

New Yorkers with questions or complaints about bed bugs in their own homes are encouraged to call 311.

Um, perhaps we should be calling 311 with suggestions instead?

1 Rob September 3, 2010 at 5:14 am

First hand kknowledge always helps the person answering the phone to be empathetic

2 dc_darryl September 3, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Are there other cities that have 311 numbers or similar simple action numbers for Bed Bugs? This is rather remarkable.

3 Doug Summers MS September 3, 2010 at 1:24 pm

How ironic is that…?

This event may help the department focus on getting ahead of the curve for tracking the infestation across the city in a more comprehensive manner.

The media frenzy is having a major effect on public awareness… This may be an interesting turning point for New York and the Nation.

I think 2010 may be the year that bed bugs become a well established icon on the public radar.

Especially for people that haven’t been affected on a personal level.

4 nobugsonme September 3, 2010 at 11:43 pm


311 is the number for non-emergency city services in a number of US and Canadian cities (according to this Wikipedia story). Wikipedia says the first was launched in Baltimore in 1996.

It’s not a dedicated number for bed bugs, however. In NYC, it is the number you may call to complain about housing conditions to the NYCHPD, or report rats on your street. You can also call for city information on bed bugs (pamphlets and such).

5 Carole Wade September 13, 2010 at 12:54 am

Presently bed bugs are everywhere; they are in the best hotels; they are living in the best residential buildings; bed bugs are in the best homes in the best neighborhoods where wealthy people dwell; they are lurking in the best clothing shops; bed bugs are waiting in the best theatre seats; bed bugs are in nursing homes; and bed bugs have infested the best cities in the country. Chicago is city number five for bed bug infestations. Washington, D.C. is city number eight as bed bugs have taken up residency in every nook and corner there. Who is to blame? Rachel Carson single handedly banned DDT in the early ‘60’s. As a government worker, her book “Silent Spring” went overboard on the dangers of DDT.

Children living in poverty in poor countries can thank the late Ms. Carson for their miserable lives as Malaria can no longer be eradicated. Eco-friendly sustainability environmentalist lifestyles are the issue as environmentalist followers refuse to accept the fact that Rachel Carson’s theories are out-of-date. Bed bugs (their multiple bites send the healthiest person to the hospital) along with Malaria and hundreds of other diseases have taken hold as the late Rachel Carson’s misguided thinking hurts America.

DDT or a form of DDT is needed since bed bugs will enter one’s home after buying garments in a shopping mall or be carried home in clothing after sitting at the symphony or enjoying a movie. The travel industry includes Wall Street corporate executives who must check into hotels nightly. Another large industry affected is the cruise industry … for ships are reporting bed bugs in their cabins.

6 NoOneYouKnow September 15, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Perhaps Ms Wade doesn’t recall, but DDT kills far more than bed bugs; birds of prey were almost extinct in the Lower 48 states when DDT was banned.
Bed bugs are annoying, but perhaps tearing a new hole in our already damaged ecosystems isn’t the solution.

7 nobugsonme September 15, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Carole and NoOne,

Bed bugs first showed resistance to DDT in 1948 and more recent studies suggest they are resistant now. DDT was once a cure for bed bugs but is no longer, even if it were deemed safe for the environment.

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