Amazing news: New York City Council to hold hearings on three bed bug bills, 2/24/09 at 1 pm

by nobugsonme on February 6, 2009 · 3 comments

in bed bug task force, bed bugs, mattresses, new york, new york city, new york vs. bed bugs

This is great.

As New York vs. Bed Bugs reports today, the New York City Council is going to hold hearings on three bed bug bills on February 24th at 1 pm at City Hall.

It’s a joint hearing by the Consumer Affairs, Health, and Sanitation committees on bills Intro. No. 57, Intro. no. 872, and Intro. no. 873.

Intro. 57 calls for a ban on reconditioned mattresses in New York City, and the creation of a bed bug task force.

Intro. 872 calls for disposal regulations which require people disposing of mattresses to obtain from the city a disposal bag and bed bug warning stickers.

Intro. 873 calls for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide training to landlords and pest control operators on bed bugs and their proper elimination; a list of PCOs so trained to be made available to the public via 311; bed bug information to be provided on the DOMHH website; and a toll-free hotline for citizens to call to report bed bug infestations and/or get information about bed bugs.

Intro. 57 was originally submitted in 2006, and there was a hearing on September 18th of that year which I know at least a few of you reading this attended. This is a NY1 article about the testimony, one from the New York Sun, and a cynical item from Gothamist.

But that was 2006, when bed bug stories were less common. Back in 2006, when you told someone you had bed bugs, you had to explain what they were.

It’s 2009 now, and The New York Sun is defunct, but bed bugs are positively thriving. While the lousy economy is cruel to newspaper producers, it’s a boon to bed bugs, who thrive when people have the least amount of money to spend in fighting or preventing them!

It’s high time we got that bed bug task force that we need even more now than we did in 2006.

You can read our posts referencing Intro. 873 here.

You can read New York vs. Bed Bugs’ posts on Intro. 873 here.

If you’re in New York City, please try and attend the hearing on February 24th at 1 pm. You can testify there as to what bed bugs have done to your life. You can help make this happen.

Renee of New York vs. Bed Bugs (of which I am also a founding member) promises to share details and tips on how to do so, so keep an eye on New York vs. Bed Bugs, and start with Renee’s post on Thursday’s exciting new development!

1 Ugo Voso February 12, 2009 at 6:05 am

Hi, will attend Tuesday Feb 24th, I am a license pest control applicator and would like to provide some advice to improve the bill’s chances of passing.
3 initial ideas:
A. Do not train landlords on pesticide use unless they are licensed by the D.E.C. (department of environmental conservation). It is against the law for anyone to do any pesticide application outside of his or her own apartment. Landlords and superintendents need to be trained in exclusionary methods such as caulking and patching holes, installing door sweeps and mouldings etc.. keeping pests contained from moving to adjacent apartments.
B. Involve the D.E.C. to train and list the qualified applicators. The D.E.C. already does the training, licensing and follow-up certifications. If you call 311 now to file a complaint, the D.E.C. is the agency that gets notified, thus keeping them in charge is ideal.
The Dept of Health is the incorrect agency!
C. Use the term “pest control applicator” instead of “exterminator”. It has been in disuse for over ten years!
Ugo Voso
AA Advanced Action Pest Control, Inc.

2 Jen February 25, 2009 at 1:18 am

Any advice in choosing a hotel in NYC based on these bed bugs? Are there any hotels that are known to take efforts to prevent bed bugs?


3 nobugsonme February 25, 2009 at 4:17 am

Hi Jen!

Hmmm. It is hard to say. I get the impression many hotels don’t advertise bed bug prevention or detection methods, because they want us to think there is no bed bug problem. Meanwhile, others may brag about detection (e.g. a bed bug dog visiting) but may in fact use them so rarely that they aren’t much help.

Trip Advisor has many hotels listed for NYC. I like the website a lot — I’d personally pick the highest ranked NYC hotel that you can afford, then read the reviews. If there are lots of reviews and no bed bug complaints, this is probably a good sign. If there are some complaints, remember that bed bugs infest rooms, not entire hotels (unless the room infestations are allowed to fester and spread). ANY hotel can get bed bugs any time, when someone brings them in. But obviously they vary in terms of how proactive they are about searching, and in terms of what they do if you bring a problem to their attention.

You need to learn to search a room for bed bugs, and keep in mind you should do this in ANY room you visit. It is not difficult and should take less than 10 minutes and give you some peace of mind.

When you check in, I suggest placing your luggage in the bathtub. Then search the room carefully using the recommendations in the travel FAQs. If you find any signs of bed bugs, grab your suitcase and hightail it to the front desk. Describe the problem and ask for another room. We’ve heard of this happening many times and the second room being found to not show signs of bed bugs.

The travel FAQ on avoiding bed bugs when you travel also has other recommendations for how to deal with luggage and your stuff both in the room, and once you leave the hotel.

Finally, Bedbugger Parakeets recommends you check in early. I believe she attended a bed bug conference where someone suggested hotels may hold rooms they are aware may have bed bug problems (because they were recently treated, for example) until the end of the evening and assign them last (so they may remain empty).

Arriving early also means you avoid being assigned the last room in the hotel and finding it infested; who wants to find a new hotel (not just a new room) at midnight?

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