Infestation Report - In your Neighborhood(29 posts)
I was wondering if in the next few days everyone could give an update on infestation news in your city.
Your opinions based on what you hear from neighbors and locals. I know the media stories and I am not satisified with them.
The media is moving too slow for me.
It is easy for me because you can tell by the Bed Bug City Map on just how bad New York City is.
Everytime I look at the map I wonder how the rest of the U.S. and world are doing. I do not see much activity on the map
except for NYC. Boston I hear is full of bugs, Florida and California too.
lt dan i forget where but on some bb registry you can link to a map of the earth and it shows the spots like our nyc map does. australia and northern europe have it bad.
It made me think of the song get your kicks on route 66 ... that's all probalby infested too!
well those maps are really misleading, especially in Manhattan where many people own their apartments (and no apartment owner is going to register their address as infested). Also probably only a very small percentage of renters register their infestations... all of which makes those maps FAR more scary than they already are!
I agree that there's not been media attention proportionate to the problem, but I'm not sure that more media attention would change anyone's behavior.
I do think that all municipalities should be issuing guidelines to all property owners though. Maybe more media attention would help make that happen.
great thought Coop--also I add to it that all tenants should also be mailed detailed fact sheets (multi-lingual of course)on bed bugs, identification and self treatments to avoid them as well as to enhance a PCO's treatments too, should they be unfortunatle enough to get the bed bugs in their homes!
Mail is more tangible and less hyseria provoking--(I hope).
When Toronto wanted to find out how bad their bed bug problem was, they did a study. Every PCO reported every infestation treated in the city for the year--in homes, apartments, shelters, hospitals, wherever. Toronto did not disclose these addresses--it was a legit research study, confidentiality respected. But it allowed the city to see how bad things were. You can read the report on the CDC site. (Among the interesting findings: single family homes were frequent sufferers (something folks don't necessarily expect).
Going by the official reports to 311 only (the number of which as I have written many times on the blog, is miniscule in comparison to what PCOs claim to be doing), our situation in NYC in 2007 is much worse than Toronto in 2003. We need a study like this to determine how bad things really are.
So, a 3 month study in NYC--should be helpful ... unlikely such a short study would take place. Sometimes scientific protocol gets in the way...
Shucks to that! And sometimes it is best to do a longer study! Shucks to that too!
A year long study should be done in NYC and I don't see why it could not be done.
BedBugDogs are an excellent surveillance tool for assessing the prevalence of bed bug infestations in a geographical region. K9 searches are faster & more accurate than the use of experienced human inspectors for research purposes. A couple of K9 teams could provide a rapid assessment utilizing an appropriate sampling protocol to provide a community wide screening. I would be glad to participate in the research, but a publicly funded K9 team is IMHO the best approach to quantify the problem & provide surveillance for a community based public health program.
Doug Summers MS
Hey Doug ... could "sniffers" just walk down a city street and by their reactions could it be figured out if a building is infested? In other words ... would they try to run up inside a building? Or, is that too far away for them to usually pick up the scent. I've heard a Dog's smell acuity is like 50xs as strong as ours ... if it is that strong--it would be more than helpful, it would be miraculous.
Also the bed bug maps although sparse in reports are likely to be somewhat indicative of where major infestations have been occurring--I'd say take the dogs for a walk in those areas and see. Just a thought, if--they can sense the bed bugs from afar.
Doug's idea is a good one, which of course I would support. If dogs had to enter every home, of course, it would be hard to get people to agree. I doubt they could pick things up from outside as Willow says, but perhaps from the hallways of buildings???
But it would much much more costly and time-consuming than having the city get PCOs to report locations of infestations to the city, based on their treatments. I think this, as Toronto did in 2003, would be a good first step to assessing the NYC epidemic.
Maybe something like they do with the census of population every ten years. No, I'm not saying do the report every 10 years, just the idea of it. Ex: they could send out forms that could be sent back unanimously. Sometimes people are living with bbs and can't afford pcos. Sometimes people are living with bbs and don't even know it. A packet describing what bbs are and the signs of bbs are to be sent out with the form to be filled out to each and every address. That way, immigrants afraid of INS would be able to report without being afraid of being deported. We have to try to think of everyone that has bbs.
So, the pco reporting route is great, Nobugs. In addition to the "census", it should be mandated by law that every pco that treats a place for bbs to report it. It should also be mandated that every time a landlord gets a complaint about bbs to report it as well.
I have had my dog alert while approaching the door of a heavily infested condominium. An ID from the street might be possible, but it would not be practical. It would be really interesting to see how many units we could accurately identify from a hallway.
Bed bugs are an easy target for the dogs due to their unique olfactory signature. Abbey can detect a single bed bug from about 3-4 feet away. Larger colonies can be detected at greater distances such that the dog could potentially alert to a heavily infested building from the street under the right conditions. Wind direction and air movement through the building are major variables in this scenario.
We can accurately search hotel rooms at a rate of about three minutes per room for the preliminary screening. Performing a visual confirmation of the alerts is much more time consuming.
Doug Summers MS
what is imho?
IMHO is shorthand for "in my humble opinion"
Doug Summers MS
I fully agree with NBOM that PCO's should be mandated to report BB infestations to a public agency much like doctors are required to report certain diseaseâ€™s to the health department.
Mandated reporting would be the fastest & cheapest way to get a handle on the numbers to generate a preliminary census to track infestation rates by zip code or census tract. We would still undercount households that self treat, but we could survey DIY pesticide vendors to get representative numbers by zip code.
Right now the best statistics are developed by the NPMA based on information from their PCO members. I think sending a survey to the public would have some value, but the social stigma and/or fear of government action could produce heavily skewed results.
In either case the public would need an assurance that the information would be confidential & secure.
Doug Summers MS
The trouble here Doug, is setting it up worth the city as in HOW:
Youâ€™re so smart I know you know this â€¦so I'm only offering a few ideas as to where yu may need to start:
Making and writing a plan for a Grantâ€”and this grant could even turn into training more dogs and all sorts of things!
Could you, maybe, get a bunch of trainers/owners all in on the proposal, all lined up and meet to set some goals and all of that?
Out here, Public Health grants are sort of flying around!
Say, maybe do a Fed. funded study, in general--and use NYC as the target city?
All grants could also be subsidized by State and City too!
I don't know the opposite may be faster and better--donno.
Maybe start with the City PHD and work upwards?
I'm high on the idea! Do it here in SF and train me! I'm great with pets, sea horses, bed bugs--and dogs! And--I need a job! (half-joking only about the job!)
Some public health departments are proactive with bed bugs. If they do physical inspections, then a trained K9 would be a good investment.
The K9 team is the best surveillance tool available to investigate bed bug complaints (assuming a well trained handler/ investigator). Many health departments do not inspect for bed bugs & only take reports.
I am very interested in participating in research. I helped present a talk on BedBugDogs at the ESA conference last year. I have talked with a couple of researchers, but haven't had anyone accept my offer yet.
I would be happy to work with any grant writers. The cost of acquiring a K9 and training two handlers is about 10K at Florida K9 Academy.
San Francisco's Health Department is very progressive on this issue. They produced the guidelines that were adopted statewide in California.
Pestec has a K9 in the bay area currently.
I am available to provide demonstrations, presentations or collaborate on pilot projects.
Doug Summers MS
It's a really exciting area and I think I speak for others when I say I am so glad you're able to participate in our site and bring the BB dog handler's perspective!
We've seen some complaints on Bedbugger from people in NYC that called 311 (citywide complaints #), had the housing dept. inspectors in to look for bed bugs, but that the inspectors did not inspect or did a poor job. (These are allegations, but the potential is certainly there.)
Since we reoutinely hear of people who have PCOs inspect without finding bed bugs (but once spraying starts, samples are found), I have no doubt official housing inspectors, too, sometimes find no evidence. If NYC had some bed bug dogs working, they'd probably do a much more efficient and effective job.
My Queens New York report.
Other than the Gianaris school thing there has not been any public awarness campaign in Queens NY on bed bugs.
I suggested to the Gianaris people to employ some actors, which Queens seems to have many, to dress up as bed bugs and
hand out information. I still see many people picking up furniture at curbside, obviously not aware of how bed bugs can so
A few weeks ago I spoke to a woman who told me that her whole block of about fifteen buildings are infested. The buildings are all attached and have approx four apartments to each floor with five floors to each building. She had been battling the bugs since September 2006 which is the time that I made my discovery. The landlord has been treating but she did not know what the chemicals that the had been using were. Her buildings are approx 150 feet behind my house.
Could the bugs have traveled from the apartment buildings to me? They do throw garbage in the long alley behind my house, I have a high brick wall seperating my property from the alley. The professionals I have spoken to seem that the chances they would travel that far are slim but possible.
I heard a woman talking, she moved from Hell's Kitchen area in Manhattan because even though the landlord treated and were getting monthly treatments to the building she was still getting bit. She disposed of all furniture and moved to Queens. She said that she checked the bed bug registry before she moved to her new apartment.
I wish to add that I will never set foot in a used furniture store or flea market ever again and when I see furniture out on the street I cross to the other side.
There's a HUGE store on Van Dam in Long Island City near the BQE which has a sign saying it sells new and used mattresses. It's part of the same building as a Sleepy's. THIS NEEDS TO BE INVESTIGATED, but I would venture a guess that they are part of Sleepy's and are selling mattresses that were returned during a warranty period.
If anyone in NYC knows a journalist, this store and the bed bug angle (no matter in what sense that store is using the word "used") would be a great story. We need to find out the deal with that. Can't say I have a desire to walk in the door, though!
lt dan - it would be like "over the river and through the woods". anything is possible but to climb a wall and scale down the other side, then walk over grass and up into your home. doubtful.
I dont even let me dog sniff garbage piles on the collection night of furniture. we steer clear.
the only scary thing about a dog is - in a coop - if they answer is yes - the money the building would HAVE TO cough up to fix the problem. alot of buildings do not have such a reserve and tenants may not have such savings.
now you say - which is better - a bb free building or bb building. and i know the anser to that but the cost can be prohibitive. assessments can destroy someones savings and increase in maintenantce is disturbing to potential buyers.
i don't get it--should coop owners let their buildings become infested because screening for and getting rid of infestations early is too expensive???
not at all. but i can see the perspective and dillema of all coop owners. and who knows if it is "early" how would you know in buildings walls? i dont have the answer but there are all types of people out there who would chose either option.
lets say my apt is infested. maybe from the inside of the walls but who really knows. someone else on my floor is not infested. i pay they dont? people get like that with their money.
The only legislature that NYC is trying is to ban the sale of reconditioned mattresses. But that does not matter because Sleepy's removes your old mattress for free. Imagine having your nice new mattress in their van with mattresses that were taken away that were infested! Hello new infested mattress. Besides, this legislation will not be good enough because of furniture being infested as well. There are places that sell used furniture, so it should be no used anything for resale.
"Over the river and through the woods".
Some data from the early 1900's suggests just that. Bed bugs had been witnessed traveling five hundred feet.
We know that they can climb walls because I have and I am sure others on this site have witnessed it.
These bugs are amazing little creatures. It has been stated that at one time they did fly,
they have evolved and stealth is their main attribute as well as being able to adapt to many situations performing such
tasks such as hitchhiking. I certainly would not find it hard to believe that when desperate and in need of blood they could
walk a great distance.
Ltnd Dan ... you said "Bed bugs had been witnessed traveling five hundred feet."
Do you recall where this info came from? I'd heard up to 100 feet, so ... but I also don't recall where I got that from. (I think it was in one of Winston O. Buggy's blog article reffs, a few weeks ago.) Not sure. 500 feet sounds more plausible than 100 ft--that's why I'm asking.
I think I found it in the data in the link in the thread Bed Bugs Year 1905 on this site.
One hundred feet is still a great distance. What happens then? If I were a bed bug and already had traveled 100 feet and haven't found blood then I guess I would walk another 100 feet and then another 100 feet, I guess I would continue to walk until I were not able continue on. If I felt too tired I guess I would stick out a thumb and hitch hike, some kind person may give me a ride.
There are lots of bed bugs in the Washington Heights, Hudson Heights and Marble hill Area of Manhattan NYC. I have bed bugs and live in that area.
You must log in to post.