Madison Avenue Appellate Division courthouse infested with bed bugs

by nobugsonme on August 10, 2009

in bed bugs, bed bugs in courtrooms and courthouses, bed bugs in the workplace, new york city

The New York Post reports that the Appellate Division courthouse on Madison and 25th Street in New York City has recently been infested with bed bugs.

The infestation was believed to be confined to the second-floor clerks office, where, every summer Monday, lawyers come and go en masse to file appellate motions.

It got so bad that last week court officials called in the city’s largest extermination company to investigate.

A special bedbug-sniffing dog confirmed the critters’ presence. The office drapes were triple-bagged and carted off.

On Thursday night, the room was thoroughly fumigated.


I am not sure what methods were used but I doubt it was Vikane (sulfuryl fluoride) gas “fumigation.”  (The press often inaccurately refers to spray treatments as “fumigation.”)

If a traditional spray treatment was used, then I hope the room will be carefully searched (and if necessary, treated again), since multiple treatments are usually needed.

In the past, both the Livingston Street Housing Court in Brooklyn and the 111 Centre Street Housing Court in Manhattan have allegedly been infested by bed bugs. I would not be surprised if undetected (or secretly battled) infestations have occurred at other courts in the city.

Interestingly, one might have assumed these housing courts (if the rumors are true) were infested by people taking their landlords/tenants to court over bed bugs.

However, in the case of the Appellate Division Courthouse, the location of the infestation in the clerk’s office suggests the problem was brought in by lawyers, court clerks, or other courthouse staff.  (And, of course, let’s not forget that bed bugs can come in boxes of paperwork or other items, too.)

County and municipal courthouses in Cincinnati, Ohio and West New York, New Jersey have also had alleged or possible bed bug infestations.

No bloodsucking lawyer jokes, please.  It’s just the latest story of bed bugs in the workplace, and it could happen to anyone with blood.

I personally like it when “bed bugs in the workplace” stories are covered in the press, but I did not appreciate UPI’s classification of this story under “Odd News.”

Since New York City has as yet done almost nothing about the city’s bed bug epidemic, they’re spreading like wildfire.  There’s nothing unusual or odd about getting bed bugs, anywhere.

As an aside, I recently discovered that 3 out of the 5 New Yorkers I sat with around a table the other day (in a non-bed bug-related context) had knowingly had bed bugs in the prior 2-3 years.   We were not in contact at the time and so all three were unrelated incidents.

Coincidence?  Or a sign of the times?


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