Bed bugs found in three N subway trains in New York City

by nobugsonme on August 6, 2014 · 13 comments

in new york city

The New York Daily News reported Tuesday that bed bugs have been found in three separate N subway trains, which have since been “fumigated” (I am assuming this means — as in the common parlance — “treated with pesticides,” rather than fumigation per se).

According to the New York Daily News,

Two trains were taken out of service Sunday after the unwanted riders were found onboard some cars, officials said. And on Tuesday, a third N train was also sent to the Coney Island yard in Brooklyn for fumigation. Some of the bugs were found in seat cushions in train cabs, which are used by conductors and motormen, sources said.

The presence of bed bugs in employee-only areas of the subway trains suggests they were brought in by an employee or employees. Hopefully no one has taken bed bugs home from work.

It’s not clear whether bed bugs were also found in these instances in public areas of the subway cars.

It’s also not clear whether additional trains on additional lines are being searched at this point, or whether the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will wait for someone to notice bed bugs and complain before inspecting a particular train.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard reports of bed bugs in the NYC subway.

Let’s hope the MTA has become more pro-active about looking for them. If they haven’t, now’s a good time.

Update (8/6):

Here’s an update, with video of Fox News NY talking to Lou!

Image credit: “10:23 Enter here for the N, R and W trains” by Gary Denham on used under a Creative Commons Attribution/No-Derivatives License.

1 Ci Lecto August 6, 2014 at 7:27 am

The train crew’s seats are the most consistently occupied, so that’s where I’d expect the BB to gather.

2 Lou Sorkin August 6, 2014 at 10:09 am

Amen. I could always teach a course for them. I’m not sure who services the subway trains.

3 nobugsonme August 6, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Good point!

It would be great if the MTA would have you in to teach its employees about bed bugs. Protecting employees, straphangers, and saving the MTA money by helping bed bugs get detected and eliminated quickly– it seems like a no-brainer.

4 Emm August 6, 2014 at 12:54 pm

…and this is why I began biking to work.

5 Lou Sorkin August 6, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Had an interview on Fox5. They are going to different places for interviews, I think. Don’t know how much air time will follow from the interview.

6 Winston O. Buggy August 6, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Another case of take your bed bug to work. Seems like the sightings were in motorman cabin so no risk to public there. Trains and other public conveyances and locations always have the potential to be transfer sites. We need to be bed bug safe. Do not place personal belongings on the floor, carry them. If your still concerned, stand (as if there was an alternative during rush hours). In general know what bed bugs look like as well as their signs, so you can react accordingly and early at any introduction. Consider Blackout or Climbup traps and passive monitors tactically placed. Sleep tight.

7 nobugsonme August 6, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Thanks for your comments, all!

Winston said, “Another case of take your bed bug to work. Seems like the sightings were in motorman cabin so no risk to public there.”

Winston, and other experts — can you comment on Ci’s suggestion that bed bugs might have come in and then congregated in the most-used area of the train– the crews’ seats? Or does the presence in crew areas alone suggest they came in with the crew? Thanks!

8 nobugsonme August 6, 2014 at 8:58 pm
9 Lou Sorkin August 9, 2014 at 5:40 am

An Update:’
“The New York Daily News reported Thursday that bedbugs were found in a fourth car and in the lockers of two N train crew workers, as well as at a conductor’s home.
The critters were found in the seat cushions of the train cabs, where motormen and conductors sit.”
The more investigating, the more knowledge.

10 myrna August 12, 2014 at 4:16 pm

My name is Myrna just want to let everybody know that me and grandson were bitten by bedbugs at the AMC Lowes Orpheum 7 Theater @ 86st and Third Ave in the upper eastside 0n 8/9/14
i inform them immediately the response by the manager was that the couldn’t do nothing about it until Monday 8/11/14.I call again on 8/11/14 and nothing was done yet so becareful what theater you go too.

11 Winston O. Buggy August 21, 2014 at 9:00 am

Dear Myrna, curious as to what you are basing this claim on? Frequently people do not notice bites immediately and with early bites sometimes for days. Did you see a number of bed bugs running around? Are you sure they were bed bugs? Did others see them? I do not mean to jump on you but when people make claims like the above, you can do damage intentionally or unintentionally. I can not comment on this particular concern but many theaters make good efforts to prevent bed bugs from becoming an issue and reduce the impact from those who introduce them. That being said I trust you took steps to avoid subsequent introduction and were not further effected.

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