Second Abercrombie and Fitch store closed due to bed bugs(12 posts)
This time, it's the South Street Seaport store.
After their Hollister store came down with bed bugs, it appears A&F searched their other stores (apparently using dogs).
Fifth Avenue A&F was pronounced free of bed bugs.
Note: the CEO asked Mayor Bloomberg for guidance on the bed bug issue. Wouldn't all New Yorkers love some of that?!?
For all the details and commentary, please read this post.
Cnn.com also has the story, so it's national.
This version has the headline "Bedbugs, on the rise..." but in the article it says the city "issued 4,811 violation notices to residential landlords for bedbug infestations in 2009, compared with 82 in the 2003-2004 fiscal year. For the first half of 2010, 1,976 bedbug violation notices have already been written." That'd actually mean we're on pace to have fewer violations in 2010 than 2009. Yes, I know that these statistics represent only a very very very small percentage of the actual cases (the cnn.com article notes this as well), and I'm grasping at straws. Still...interesting.
I don't care anything about fashion but I will give kudos to the company for checking its other stores, and I wish we could find out if they are using a K-9 company that gets visual confirmation when the dogs give an alert.
I have not seen the 2010 figure from other sources yet, so I am not sure if they are accurate or not.
If they are, keep in mind they represent violations (not complaints). In NYC, violations are issued if a housing inspector confirms the presence of bed bugs.
In previous years, we heard that they had to see actual live bed bugs -- that they come unannounced, in the daytime, and that the tenant had to show them the bugs. I am not sure if this is still true or if it was ever universally true, but it gives you some idea about how many complaints may not lead to violations, even if lots of them are based on actual infestations.
In addition, we heard last year that there were not enough NYC housing inspectors to inspect in response to every bed bug complaint. If that is the case, then it makes sense that you might get to a point where the number of violations remained stable simply because the number of possible inspections remained stable.
I hope that is not the case. I would love for the incidence of actual bed bug cases to have stabilized. But in the absence of any concerted effort to stop the spread of bed bugs (besides the odd fact sheet), NYC is unlikely to see such a halt, IMO.
Again, this is all speculation.
Yes, it could also conceivably mean that landlords are becoming more willing to deal with resident complaints, preventing the city from getting involved. I'm sure there are plenty of other sources of corruption in this data as well. I guess a PCO survey would give a more accurate picture, but I'm not sure if those are done regularly and of course it'd also be subject to inaccuracy as we know there are PCOs that get things wrong too. Frustrating.
Based on the Daily News article you linked to, complaints (not just violations) are also on pace to be lower in 2010 than 2009:
"Last year, the 311 hotline got 11,987 bedbug complaints. So far this year, the bedbug complaint tally is about 5,000."
Please--I'm not saying the crisis is over, and the numbers are still far higher than I'd like, and I'm well aware that these statistics are wildly incomplete (only renters of residential buildings, and the vast majority of them do not call 311). I don't know why they'd be any better or worse of a representative sample than in previous years, although I admit there could be a reason. But I think there's at least a POSSIBILITY that this is actual good news.
Based on the report that Renee and newyorkvsbedbugs.org put together, the rate of increase had been slowing for a couple of years.
If you call 311 or the Department of Health in New York City in regard to a private business
you are told that they don't take such complaints, that it is up to a private business to take care of the problem.
The article says:
the city "issued 4,811 violation notices to residential landlords .......
key word "residential"
If it's a private business no complaint is taken no violation given
Thanks, I understand that 311 only takes residential complaints, as noted above. I didn't say, nor was I trying to imply, that Hollister or other stores would be included in these statistics. As far as I know, however, the 311 complaints/violations are the only statistics the city makes available that quantify the rate of infestations, or rate of change in infestations, at all. The point I was trying to make was that the rate of change in these statistics, though again I understand all the flaws inherent in them, could conceivably possibly maybe in theory be representational of the change in infestation rates in the city in general.
We don't have your version of 311 here. But if we did, those numbers would be compromised (technical stats term is "confounded") because they would also be an indirect measure of the number of rentals in the city (as opposed to ownership). The ratios and numbers of rented vs owned varies a lot from year to year with state of the economy and mortgage interest.
All though it seems in NY area there are many LL's not willing to cooperate: chemical drenching is not the only proponent to this rising epidemic. Where to does the law draw the line between the LL cooperating with the PCO and the neighboring residents in an apt. community (i am in a 4 family) not doing the necessary cleaning, laundry, bagging, vacuuming, etc.? Further more for people such as myself, where is the compensation? Where is the LL compensation? What if I wanted to move and was known in my area to have had BB;s? You think someone would rent to me? This is an epidemic with consequences far beyond comprehension. The only comfort is that BB's are "not known" to carry harming viruses and bacteria or infections to humans and the pets. As far as known. As to it's dramatic increase to an epidemic status I am wondreing how much study has been really done on these insects as far as disease control.
I am a tenant, not a LL: mine was at first uninformed on the entire BB's (cinti, oh - not to brag by any means but we have NY out BB'ed per capita); now he is totally aware of what is needed per my information given to him - that is not only a PCO but the tenant to clean, use of heat, and examine everything possible. Is there even a case out there that a PCO in of itself have eliminated these nasty's without the occupant doing anything? Would seriously like to know as I have put at least 2 months of very hard work, expense and distress in to these invaders. UP
Eve, according to the data I found here the percentage of owner-occupied housing in NYC went from 33.9% for the 2005-2007 period to 34.0% in the 2006-2008 period (the most recent statistics I could find). At the same time 311 complaints were consistently exploding--for example the number of 311 bedbug complaints went from 6,889 in 2007 to 9,213 in 2008. I'm not sure the percentage of rented vs. owned varies enough from year to year in NYC to be a significant confounder, although I can't say I've run it through SPSS or anything. Again, these data are in all certainty affected by a multitude of potential confounders and I haven't adjusted them.
I don't doubt for a minute that the numbers of complaints is a perfectly valid confirmation that BB's are indeed having a resurgence in NYC. The fact that you confirm that rentals have remained pretty static comfirms it. Perhaps I spend too much time peering at bad statistics.
In Edmonton, however, the percentage of rentals (which would contact a 311 if available) to condo owners (which would not be eligible) varies dramatically from year to year. Our economy is built largely on the oil patch which goes from boom to bust every few years. Weird stuff happens in such an environment.
BTW, Edmonton does have a 311 line but it seems to be slightly different from yours. It's a general government information/referral line. Also we don't have the same respect for renters' rights here as NYC seems to. I recently read our renters act. Landlords must have written the thing.
For me, the thing that leads me to believe that the epidemic in NYC is becoming out of control are the stories about non-residential places that are being hit. In the same way that I read "serious infestation" from a posting here from the mere fact that the person actually sees the things every day (where many of us have a tough time finding evidence) -- the fact that non-residential business are starting to experience infestations leads me to believe that bb's are experiencing overcrowding. When organisms are living at a density that comfortably supports them they do not go all atypical like that. (This applies to humans also who behave strangely in overcrowded conditions).
By now I think it's pretty well established beyond a doubt that BBs exploded in NYC over the 2000s. The thing that I thought was worthy of note in the original story in this thread was that the 311 line's results for residential (rental) complaints and violations in the city are actually on pace to be slightly down for 2010 versus 2009. Whether that actually indicates any improvement is questionable for many reasons including, but not limited to, the vast array of qualifiers, confounders, possible drawbacks, etc. mentioned in this thread. I definitely do think that the problem is still a full-on crisis/epidemic and out of control in the city, but I was intrigued to see numbers that MIGHT (see previous list of qualifiers, conditions, caveats, and any others as needed) indicate any small steps in the right direction.
This summer in particular we're getting a lot of reports of NYC businesses being infested--it seems like it's more reports than in the previous few years, when there have been occasional reports of offices, theaters, etc. being infested. However, I don't know if this means that there are actually more workplace infestations this year versus the last few years or if the media has just decided that they're going to report on them more. One of the reasons I have been continuing to talk about these 311 statistics in such tedious, tiresome detail is that, as flawed as they are, I think it's good to have some kind of measure that's perhaps more objective than news coverage. The same news sources giving us the scoop that 2010 is the summer of the bedbug in NYC are often the same ones that can't figure out what a bedbug looks like or how it can be accurately detected.
I don't know if infesting nonresidential locations is necessarily atypical bedbug behavior. I've read (don't have any citations handy) that back in, say, the 1930s that they were very common in theaters, trains, etc. I don't know about offices specifically.
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