Found this bug in my apartment in New York. Does anyone know what it is?

Found this bug in my apartment in New York. Does anyone know what it is?

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It was around 2-4 mm in length.

It's probably just the second instar (nymph) of a cockroach (Periplaneta americana).

Compare with this image of the instars:


The Poop on House Mice: They Carry 'Superbugs'

TUESDAY, April 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- House mice are ubiquitous in New York City, and those uninvited guests may harbor antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a new study finds.

Researchers found that mice had taken up residence in all of the city neighborhoods they studied -- from the wealthiest to the poorest. And some of the animals carried bacteria that cause gastrointestinal infections in humans -- including salmonella, E. coli, Shigella and C. difficile.

When they dug deeper, the investigators found evidence of genes that can make the bacteria resistant to common antibiotics.

Does that mean house mice could be making some people sick?

"That's the implication," said senior researcher Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, director of Columbia University's Center for Infection and Immunity, in New York City. "But we haven't actually shown a chain of custody."

It's not clear how often that might happen, Lipkin said. In fact, there is little known about what kind of role house mice might play in transmitting infections.

"This is a difficult kind of study to do, logistically," Lipkin said.

Getting permission to go into apartment buildings to collect any resident mice is tough, he explained. Plus, doing a genetic analysis of mouse droppings is expensive -- and not glamorous.

While the study was done in New York City, there is no reason to believe mice in other cities would be substantially different, according to Lipkin.

"I'd expect to see similar results in other cities," he said. "But we don't have the evidence."

The findings did not surprise Dr. Dimitri Drekonja, a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

"It's not terribly surprising that house mice would have these bacteria in and on them, when you consider where mice spend their time," said Drekonja, who heads the infectious disease section for the Minneapolis VA Health Care System.

"And if you did the same analysis of house flies," he added, "you'd probably see this, too."

According to Drekonja, it boils down to a basic fact: Our world is covered in "a thin film of poop."

So big-city apartment dwellers should not be alarmed by the findings, Drekonja said -- nor should anyone with a seemingly mouse-free home be "smug" about it.

For the study, Lipkin's team trapped over 400 house mice in apartment buildings in seven New York City neighborhoods, including wealthy and poor ones.

Overall, the researchers found that between 3 percent and 14 percent of the mice carried bacteria that cause human gastrointestinal infections, depending on the specific bug.

In addition, some of the samples harbored genes that confer resistance to common antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections.

In a separate analysis, Lipkin's team found 36 different viruses in the mouse droppings, including six "new" viruses -- none of which is known to infect humans.

Both reports were published online April 17 in the journal mBio.

Past research has shown that New York City rats also harbor bugs like E. coli and salmonella. But mice may be more of a concern, according to Lipkin, because they are in people's kitchens.

"If I had mice in my apartment," Lipkin said, "I'd take it seriously."

People can reduce the chances of any bacterial transmission by regularly washing their hands and keeping kitchen surfaces clean, he suggested.

Lipkin also advised giving up any notions of a "five-second rule." If your food lands on the floor -- where mice may have recently scampered -- don't eat it, he said. (Adequately cooking your food will kill any bacteria, though, he noted.)

Drekonja advised transferring any bagged food into sealable containers that hungry mice cannot penetrate.

And remember, Lipkin said, that your home can still have mice even if you've never seen one. If you see droppings, or hear the sounds of scurrying in your walls, those are red flags.

Drekonja stressed the bigger picture. "We live in a world of microbes, many of which are beneficial," he said. Some, of course, are not, and people can be exposed to them in numerous ways.

"House mice would be just one potential route of many. That's why we should all wash our hands regularly," Drekonja said.

When an Apartment Contains Lead Paint

My husband and I have lived in a rent-stabilized apartment for six years. Every year we sign a lead paint disclosure form stating that the apartment may or may not contain lead paint. Since we had no children, we never gave it any thought. Now that I am pregnant, I am not sure how to proceed. How do we find out if there is lead paint? And, if we find lead, would we have to move out? Or would our landlady have to repaint the apartment? If she repaints, would she raise our rent?

Exposure to lead can cause serious and irreversible health problems for young children. Although lead contamination in the Flint, Mich., water supply has dominated the news in recent months, peeling or chipping lead paint is by far the most common source of exposure for children in the United States. Toddlers face the greatest risk. “They’re exploring their environment and they’re putting everything in their mouths,” said Dr. Philip Landrigan, a pediatrician and dean for global health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Apartments built before 1960 are presumed by New York City to have lead paint (and apartments built as late as 1978 may have it). But the mere presence of lead paint does not necessarily pose an immediate health risk for your baby. If the paint is intact, with no signs of peeling, flaking or chipping, then leave it alone, as it is unlikely a child could ingest it. Look at your walls. Pay close attention to windows and door frames for signs of wear or chipping paint, as those are usually the culprits.

You could call 311 to request an inspection. City rules require landlords to inspect rental apartments annually if children under 6 live there. If any areas need to be repainted, demand that your landlady hire a professional painter certified in lead paint remediation. You should vacate the premises until the work is complete to avoid breathing in any lead dust. Your landlady cannot raise your rent for remediating lead paint, as this is her responsibility, according to David A. Kaminsky, a Manhattan real estate lawyer.

Be aware of another potential hazard: decorating the nursery. Many expectant parents paint the baby’s room before the birth. “It’s a very natural human impulse to make the nursery beautiful,” Dr. Landrigan said. Normally, lead paint does not pose a health hazard to a pregnant woman. However, a pregnant mother can expose a baby to lead if she breathes in dust while doing prep work like scraping and sanding before painting, according to Dr. Landrigan. So, if you do redecorate, hire a professional painter and clear out until the job is done.

Illegal Sublets

I live in a large Manhattan co-op. Some shareholders regularly rent out their apartments on a short-term basis, a violation of building rules and state law. The managing agent and co-op board are aware of this situation and know the culprits, but still the practice continues. Is this laid-back approach a violation of the board’s fiduciary duty? How can I get the board to take this problem seriously?

Upper East Side, Manhattan

As many New Yorkers embrace the idea of posting their apartments on short-term rental sites like Airbnb, buildings are scrambling to figure out how to stop them. Your building might be full of rogue residents, but that does not necessarily mean your board and managing agent are willing accomplices.

It is possible that your board has sent the culprits warning letters or has levied fines. But those punishments might not be sufficient deterrents, especially if profits are hefty. “Shareholders sometimes ignore the fines and notices, but it isn’t for lack of effort from boards or the management company,” said Jacob Sirotkin, the vice president of Century Management. If the board is suing any shareholders for their actions, you might not know about it.

Alternatively, the board could be asleep at the wheel. Your board is expected to make the best possible decisions on behalf of the building, but as long as it is acting in good faith, it “is also permitted to make really bad decisions,” said Colin E. Kaufman, a Manhattan-based real estate lawyer, because its actions are generally protected by the business judgment rule.

You could report your neighbors to 311 or to your local elected officials, but before you do that, figure out where the board stands. Request that it send you a copy of its policy on short-term rentals. That will tell you if it even has one. You could also raise the issue at the next board meeting.

The board could send all the shareholders a letter reminding them about its policies and state laws — such a letter might scare off at least a few people. It is a violation of the state’s multiple dwelling law to rent out an entire apartment in a multifamily building for fewer than 30 days. Residents are, however, allowed to rent out a room in their apartment for fewer than 30 days so long as the primary occupant is present.

The board could also enact rules making it harder to rent out apartments on a short-term basis. For example, it could require all owners to accompany overnight guests when they enter or exit the building. Unaccompanied visitors could be barred from amenity areas. Staff could be trained to catch such visitors. One telltale sign is when a guest requests towels from the concierge or doorman, confusing a full-service building for a hotel. When that happens, “management should be alerted,” Mr. Kaufman said, as this is probably a good indication that the guest is not actually a friend of anyone living in your co-op. “And of course, towels should not be provided.”

Air-Conditioner Charge

My friend lives in a rent-stabilized apartment and pays her own electricity bill. Her landlord wants to charge her $50 a month for the privilege of using her own window-unit air-conditioner. Is this legal? It seems to me as if the landlord has simply found a way to surreptitiously raise the rent.

Your friend’s landlord is allowed to charge a rent-stabilized tenant a surcharge for installing a window unit air-conditioner, even if she pays for her own electricity. But that fee is limited to $5 a month, not $50.

The landlord should have levied the fee at the time that your friend installed the unit or “within a reasonable period of time after the installation,” according to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the state agency that oversees rent-regulated apartments. Your friend should write the landlord a letter demanding that he reduce the charge to $5 (or eliminate it entirely, if the air-conditioner has been in the window for a considerable length of time). If he resists, she could file a complaint with the division, said Jennifer Addonizio Rozen, a lawyer who represents tenants.

Once the landlord begins collecting the surcharge, your friend will not be allowed to take out the air-conditioner to get the surcharge removed. This might be little comfort, but the new fee would not be considered a rent increase. Instead, it would remain a separate monthly surcharge.

Water Damage Due to Natural Disasters

There is an entirely different, more serious situation that you may find yourself in &ndash flooding and water damage due to a natural disaster. Perhaps there was a hurricane in your area (typically affecting coastal regions during hurricane season &ndash June-November) and your lower level apartment has flooded. This is a frightening situation, and one that you should prepare for. First and foremost, be sure to get a flood insurance policy separate of your basic renters insurance policy before you move into the apartment. That way, you&rsquoll be covered in the case of a natural disaster and will in no way be liable for the damages to your belongings. In this case, you will not be liable for the damage to the structure of the apartment. This will typically always be the responsibility of the property manager or landlord.

You Found ONE Bed Bug — Now What?

Although the mere sight of a bed bug traversing across a mattress or climbing on a bed frame can send people into a tizzy, PMPs need to communicate to customers that a small number of bed bugs in an account does not always mean a large infestation is present.

The mere sight of a bed bug traversing across a mattress or climbing on a bed frame can send people into a tizzy.

And can you blame them? The stigmas attached to bed bugs are enough to make people throw out perfectly good furniture, discard clothes by the bagful and spend thousands of dollars on a variety of treatment regimens. The bottom line is no one wants bed bugs.

But what if your inspector or technician spots just one or two of these nasty, blood-sucking little critters? Is it a sign of a much larger infestation or is it simply just a few isolated bed bugs?

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. Mark Sheperdigian, BCE, vice president of technical services for Rose Pest Solutions in Troy, Mich., says a pest management professional’s reaction will depend on where they find that stray bed bug.

“In public places including schools, public transportation or the waiting room of doctor’s office seeing a single bed bug is no cause for panic,” says Sheperdigian. “Bed bugs in these locations are likely brought in inside a backpack or article of clothing in the morning and depart the same way in the afternoon.”

Sheperdigian says bed bugs found in non-hotel commercial accounts do not have access to regular food sources — humans or animals resting for a long period of time — and as a result will have a harder time establishing themselves.

Rick Cooper, Ph.D., vice president/technical director, of Cooper Pest Solutions in Lawrenceville, N.J., agrees discovering one or two bed bugs should not set off a five-alarm alert because lower level populations have barriers to successfully establishing a full blown infestation.

“Despite their prolific reproductive capabilities bed bugs do not always increase in population, especially in small numbers where a fertilized female may not be present,” says Cooper. “There is always the possibility there are more but the same aggressive treatment actions required for an established infestation do not need to be taken.”

THE SOURCE? No matter the type of account or number of bed bugs found, the curious bed bug inspector needs to determine the likelihood if the bed bug was simply “dropped off” or if there is a more significant infestation of breeding adult bed bugs lurking nearby.

“The technician or inspector must identify where bed bugs are most likely to hide in the account and conduct a thorough inspection using a combination of human and canine inspectors,” says Sheperdigian.

Another method to determine the severity of a bed bug infestation is by establishing a monitoring program using interceptors. When placed strategically in the corner of a room or under legs of furniture, interceptors will help PMPs gauge the severity and activity level of a possible infestation.

If a small number of bed bugs are found in a single-family home inspectors and technicians stand a better chance of locating the source of the infestation because potential “hot spot” areas (i.e., where people rest for extended periods of time) are clearer and the method of introduction was likely a piece of luggage or furniture, a sleeping bag or article of clothing.

In apartments and condominiums identifying the source of the infestation is a little trickier because the source of the bed bugs could be the apartment next door, above, below or across the hall. As a result the scope of the inspection and any treatment protocols must be more comprehensive and include the entire building — not just one unit.

When small numbers of bed bugs are found in an account but no mega infestation is discovered, pest management professionals can recommend a preventive treatment program to clients. Preventive treatment programs include monitors/interceptors, mattress encasements, active mattress liners and self-help steps including reducing clutter, and frequent laundering of clothes and bedding.

Key Takeaways

• Take a deep breath — a small number of bed bugs in an account is not always a sign that a large infestation is present.
• Some commercial accounts — schools, public transportation, office buildings - are more prone to “transient” bed bug sightings.
• A comprehensive inspection of the account must be done to determine if a larger infestation is present and what treatment options are required.
• A pest management professional’s response to finding a small number of bed bugs should be measured and focus on solutions that are appropriate and reflect the level of the problem.

‘I didn’t think it was real’: Heartbroken man says unhinged gunman shot his older brother, a father of 2 young kids, outside Brooklyn yoga studio for no reason

A hard-working father of two was fatally shot outside a Brooklyn yoga studio following a random run-in with an armed stranger, police and relatives said Friday.

Davon Williams, 23, was hanging out with his younger brother Diazhan Williams on Nostrand Ave. near Hancock St. in Bedford Stuyvesant – just around the corner from his home – about 9:40 p.m. Thursday when they noticed the stranger staring at them from across the street, his sibling told the Daily News.

“He was just staring at us and I asked why he was staring at us," a grief-stricken Diazhan Williams, 23, recalled. "When I went across the street to approach him . (he) just whipped out (his gun).”

The man began blasting away wildly in the street, striking Davon in the chest, his brother said.

“I ducked behind cars but Davon was in the middle of the street and when the third shot went off he got hit," his brother said. “I didn’t think it was real at first, I thought it was playing.”

First responders found Williams sprawled out on the sidewalk near the And Yoga studio and the Bunny Turkish Restaurant.

“I got shot,” Davon said to his brother. He reassured his younger brother with a smile as help arrived, Diazhan said. Medics rushed Williams to Kings County Hospital, but he could not be saved.

“I didn’t even know he got shot until he told me," Diazhan said, tears welling up in his eyes. “I was thinking he was going to be alright. I didn’t start to doubt until the ride (to the hospital).”

“For the guy who did this he going to get what’s coming for him," he said bitterly.

Ten tenant rights your landlord doesn’t want you to know

Unless you&rsquore the sole proprietor of any living space in New York, then you have a landlord (a.k.a. that dude or dudette who receives the bulk earnings of your paycheck every month). Yeah, in some cases, renting an apartment in New York is no picnic. In fact, it can be downright stressful&mdashespecially if your studio is in poor condition and if your landlord is, well, a dick. But you know what? You have rights! You&rsquore entitled to live safely and comfortably whether it's an expensive or affordable apartment in NYC, and your landlord has a legal duty to make sure of it.

So here are ten rights your landlord probably doesn&rsquot want you to know (with contributions from the Time Out New York staff). Keep this list handy, it's basically your New York guide to life.

1. You legally have the right to ask the landlord, repairman or anyone else to leave your apartment at any time (Castle Doctrine).

2. The landlord must give adequate notice (at least 48 hours) before entering a tenant&rsquos property, and may only do so without notice if there's an emergency.

3. You can check the 311 website to see how many complaints were issued (and what they were about) for your address.

4. You can get a background check on your landlord and the property company by asking the building or management office.

5. Rent can be negotiable&mdashthough your landlord&rsquos corporation and receptiveness will differ!

6. If a bedroom doesn&rsquot have a closet or a window, then it is not a &ldquolegal&rdquo bedroom and could be considered a firetrap.

7. If there are serious repairs that affect your health and safety, you may legally withhold rent. We&rsquove all heard of the case where the woman won millions over stupid repairs, right?

8. Want to know if your building is rent stabilized? Well, there's a website for that:

9. What&rsquos the worst thing that could happen to any renter? Two words: Bed bugs. Your landlord is legally required to get rid of those gruesome pests within 30 days, and must cover the cost of extermination.

10. You can bad-mouth your apartment and landlord to your mom, the police, the media&mdashanyone! As long as you're honest, of course. But your landlord cannot threaten you by decreasing service, increasing rent or preventing you from renewing your lease.

Disclaimer: We're here to help, but please make sure to consult your own attorney for legal advice before taking any action!

Angelica Hicks's NYC Apartment Is as Cheeky and Chic as Her Art

"It's impossible to actually hide," Angelica says of the A.C. built into the wall above her bed. "But by adding the two snakes flanking it, it became less obvious. And then I put the fan over the A.C., an extension of my humor." The sheets, a gift from Hill House Home, are the fanciest thing in the apartment, she says: "That forced me to have blue when before I had such a fucking mustard tone." Photo: Kyle Knodell

Faced with decorating a blank white box of a room in New York City, Angelica Hicks did what most people would do and painted it—except that the 25-year-old illustrator is not "most people." A pair of enormous spotted snakes dance around her headboard while, across the way, a big banana leaf plant stakes claim to a wall beside the sofa (reflected in the adjacent mirror, it's as statement-making as a real one). "I find it hilarious, the indoor plant thing," says Angelica, whose wry illustrations have made a splash on Instagram, in the fashion world (her limited-edition line of T-shirts for Gucci dropped last summer), and even in brand collaborations (Range Rover and Bumble, to name a few)—in addition to her walls.

The egg, salvaged from a deviled egg Halloween costume, can sometimes be found on the sofa: "If I have parties I don't want it to be trampled over!"

"Everyone has these bird of paradise plants, so I thought, You know what? I'm going to paint some in my room. I don't have to water them! The snakes and the plants have a kind of conversation, like the concrete jungle—ha, ha, ha." This kind of humor—pure playfulness plus zippy puns, a dash of the naked truth—is what Angelica and her art have become known for, so it is very fitting that her apartment is done up to match. "It's fun that I can do something I enjoy doing and it's free decoration." (Not to mention a potential income stream, should she ever want to move into the mural business.)

Angelica, stepping up out of her closet onto a beaded box she purchased at Chelsea Market, holds cut-out eyeglasses of her own design. The Frida Kahlo mask in the center of the palm tree was a spare cut-out she decided to tack on the wall the jacket a vestige of yet another Halloween costume the piece inspired.

Angelica's setup—one room to call her own in an apartment she shares with two roommates—will ring familiar to anyone who has moved to a big city just after graduating. Which is exactly what she did a few years ago after studying art history at UCL in London ("death by library," her words). Her mom, the textile and interior designer Allegra Hicks, brought over a rug of her own design from England as a housewarming gift. "The rug is what started everything," Angelica says, pointing out that its mauve-and-gold pattern inspired the markings on the snakes, and then the curtains, even placement of a camel-toned handbag. "I realized I just really liked the color!"

A weirdly low doorknob is recalibrated with the addition of a small snake above it. And the live plant in front of an illustrated plant is Angelica humor 101: "It's actually quite funny because it looks like the real one!"

Trips to Housing Works turned up most of the other furnishings, including a leopard print sofa she scored for $350 and nearly wasn't able to fit through the door. "I love leopard. It works so well with plants, the concrete jungle. " she says. "Sometimes I work from it and feel very 'lady of leisure.'" Nearby, two of her original drawings were adhered to the wall using sticky-tack so she can swap them out, should she ever want to, their "gilt" frames painted directly on the plaster. And there are more plants, one coming out of an upturned umbrella handle and another "on top of" a dresser.

"I need to do something creative that's not necessarily my career, that makes me feel more free," says Angelica, so she turned to portraiture. "They're kind of my friends, kind of me." Also on display: gloves, a birthday present from her aunt a drawing she did for Cabana magazine the Gucci box that started it all a necklace displayed on a vase a stack of her book, Tongue in Chic.

A recurring motif that you might have noticed with your own two: eyes. "I love eyes. My mom, she loves eyes, I like having eyes, so," she says. "I like how the eye looks on a chest of drawers and then there's one on the back of the chair." Rather than paint directly onto these furnishings, she illustrates eyes, cuts them out, and pastes them on like stickers. With an eye, that desk chair she didn't care for (it had been left by a previous tenant) became more interesting. "It looks like a bug or something," she says, pleased. Strewn with her murals and cut-outs and vestiges of Halloween costumes past, Angelica's once daunting white bedroom is now very much her own. "I like it, I am proud of it, and it's just fun."

Bug out: With bedbugs infesting the city, here's how to avoid them when home hunting

On her most recent apartment hunt, about a year ago, law-firm administrator Jane Lew was thrilled to find what seemed like the perfect rental, a one-bedroom walk-up at Avenue H and Coney Island Ave. in Midwood, Brooklyn. While the broker went to fetch the paperwork from his car, Lew gleefully explored the kitchen.

"I was just so excited, I was like kicking the tires," she said. Then she opened a drawer and found a dead bedbug.

"It really wasn't on my agenda to be looking. If I had been attuned to it, I would have realized, four empty apartments [in the same building], at this low price, what is going on?" said Lew, who successfully battled bedbugs three years earlier.

When the broker returned, she showed him the bug and asked how recent the infestation had been. He said the owners would get back to her. They never did. Lew did not rent the $900 apartment.

Many others aren't lucky enough to stumble upon such definitive evidence. With all the recent talk of bedbugs in movie theaters, department stores and offices, and the revelation in a Daily News poll that an estimated 800,000 New Yorkers have been plagued with them, one fact is overlooked: The bloodsucking marauders are forcing people out of their homes, and much of the time those vacated apartments — and their bedbugs — go right back up for rent.

It's happening all over the city, according to John Furman, head of Boot-a-Pest, which specializes in bedbug exterminations in New York City. "Someone moved out because maybe the problem wasn't resolved now the landlord is putting it right up for rent and the problem's still there."

Cimex lectularius, as the insect is scientifically known, feeds mainly on humans. It sets up shop anywhere humans spend time — mainly in and around beds (so as to feed relatively undisturbed by night) but also in clothing, behind picture frames, in furniture and pretty much anywhere with a crack or crevice as thin a MetroCard. Unlike humans, they do not discriminate, feasting on anyone, anywhere, be it a crowded inner-city apartment or the upper East Side.

The danger to apartment hunters grows daily, though statistics on how many apartments up for rent that are infested remains slim.
What's a renter to do? Assessing an apartment's bedbug status is a peculiar mixture of tactful interviewing, sleuthing and trusting your gut. A new law requires landlords to volunteer the previous year's bedbug history. Apartment hunters can also consult websites such as the Bedbug Registry, check for complaints filed with the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and get an apartment inspected before signing anything.

Also in the pipeline is a New York City web portal similar to one that already alerts New Yorkers about rat infestations, said City Councilwoman Gale Brewer, who has championed the fight against bedbugs. The portal is one of several measures the city is implementing as part of a $500,000 program to address the problem, which has quickly become one of the greatest threats to quality of life.

The latest addition to the renter's ­arsenal is a law requiring landlords to divulge bedbug infestations in the previous year via a form included with the lease. Introduced by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D/WF-67th District) and state Sen. José Peralta (D-13th District), it was signed by Gov. Paterson on Aug. 30.

"Bedbugs are more and more of a problem for apartment dwellers," says Rosenthal. "Frequently, people move into apartments not knowing that there have been bedbugs . a week later they are covered in bites."

The law states that a landlord must include a form from the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal "that sets forth the property's bedbug infestation history for the previous year regarding the premises rented by the tenant and the building in which the premises are located."

While freedom from bedbugs is included in a tenant's right to a habitable residence, any bedbug rulings are based on case law. The new law acknowledges that bedbugs are different, said Rosenthal.

"It's a huge step forward but it's not a guarantee," said Teri Rogers, founder and editorial director of BrickUnderground, a blog and Web site devoted to New York City apartments. "It only goes so far as to tell you what the landlord actually knows. It is so hard to detect early infestations."

Although the landlord must reveal which floor the infestation was on, Rogers added, "the law doesn't require the landlord to tell you about the extent of the problem or how close it is to the apartment that you want to rent."

Besides the new law, other safeguards against renting an infested space include several methods to detect bedbugs, though they are not all foolproof or feasible in an empty, possibly renovated, apartment.

One line of defense is checking out the Bedbug Registry (, a website where people post bedbug encounters in hotels, apartments and other buildings. The registry is not an official compilation, though some attempt is made to curb egregious reports.

In addition, prospective tenants can check the HPD website for bedbug complaints related to the address. Call the city information line at 311 for assistance.

Timothy Wong, director of M&M Environmental, a pest-control firm with a large bedbug practice, said bedbug inspections should be as routine as termite inspections in prospective properties.

"It doesn't necessarily mean you can't live in that place anymore,"Wong said. "People get the flu all the time. You just want to know how it was dealt with, and who treated it."

Having the place inspected, especially by a bedbug-sniffing dog, could help you determine if a space is clean. But a canine inspection isn't foolproof, Furman said, because any alerts the dog gives must be verified with a visual inspection to avoid false positives.

'If the dog alerts to a wall, you can't confirm the dog's hit unless you take the wall down. So you really don't know where you stand," Furman said.

Setting up a carbon-dioxide-emitting monitor (CO2 is how bedbugs find us) in the apartment might catch bugs, but the traps can take days to work, and the landlord would have to give the go-ahead.

In the end, a report of bedbugs is not the only thing to look for. The handling of an infestation is just as key. If a landlord got rid of the pests and the building can be certified as clean, that actually could be an incentive to live there. Even better is a landlord with bedbug protocols and plans in place, regardless of infestation history.

Unless the offending apartment and all surrounding units are inspected and treated, if necessary, bedbugs may well run from one unit to another. This is what happened in the building of Megan Quenzer, who after a year of battling bedbugs in Washington Heights, decontaminated her things and then had to move. (As far as she knows, the place went right back up for rent.)

Bed Bug Alert

Winter can bring all sorts of unwanted critters inside, but in recent years the Cimex lectularius, or bed bug, has begun invading more and more homes and hotels across the country. Nobody is entirely sure why some suggest that the outlawing, for perfectly legitimate environmental reasons, of DDT and its successor pesticides has promoted the bugs’ comeback. What is clear is that these little blood-suckers are very democratic, attacking the well-off and the poor alike, especially in crowded urban areas. The bites leave welts but apparently do not deposit disease–though that’s small consolation to sufferers.

As the number of complaints has gone up in recent years, some cities have established help lines and other command posts where the afflicted can find help and, presumably, a measure of relief.

New Yorkers, unfortunately, do not enjoy that luxury, and many New Yorkers end up calling around to different agencies and madly searching the web for help. Until the city and state find an organized way to combat these pests, Renee Corea of New York Versus Bedbugs suggests a few websites (besides her own) that offer help:

The University of Minnesota’s website is very thorough A site for pest management professionals makes the point that inspection is a crucial part of the battle.

The Australians have a Code of Practice that makes us wonder why the Americans don’t do such work. And the Canadians are moving ahead with the Toronto Bed Bug Project, which in turn has established a “� bug task force.”

In upstate New York, Cornell University offers guidance from entomologists to help homeless shelters and group homes. The website is a useful resource for anyone fighting an infestation.

What’s missing, however, is some system for identifying top-flight exterminators who really know their bed bug business and won’t bite you themselves. In most areas you can usually find out if your bug man is a fake or a con artist by calling the Better Business Bureau.

Comments are no longer being accepted.

I find it incredible that so many people can be involved in the largest conspiricy the country has ever seen and how
no one even tried to find out what this was really all about!
The real story is at the SEC What happened to the
entity named “Royal Holdings” as of July 3, 2000 there were
at there site listed 1592 separate corporate entities. This is
the real story on what happened over the past 50 years!

after reading travelers’ horror stories, i am terrified of encountering this little beast.

to check in advance before i book a hotel reservation.

i also inspect underneath the mattress every time i check in to a room.

I had a case of the bedbugs last summer!! Found them the day before going away to start the summer vacation.

What I knew about bedbugs turned out to be myths. What I know now? It’s hard to get rid of them. Although people think they are invisible to the eye, it’s not true. They are generally the size of a fingernail, reddish-brown, and has a flat body which enables them to hide in the wood floor boards, beds, walls, electrical sockets. Boiling everything is part of solution (your cleanliness has nothing to do with bedbug infestation) and vacuum every day!! Call an exterminator. Don’t do it yourself! I tried to do it myself and the infestation got worse. Extermination cost between 300-800+tax. Call around to see what they can do for you.

How I think I got bedbugs? Not long before I realized we had bedbugs, I noticed neighbors throwing seemingly new mattresses out on the curb with no coverings. I believe a couple of critters hitchhiked on my son’s shoes/socks and brought it home.

It took us 5 months to get rid of these pests.

We need to make city officials and people in the hotel, airline, and real estate industries understand that this is a potentially significant economic issue. That would get action.

There needs to be a single hotline, coordinated response, and clear legal protections so neighbors, landlords, and tenants don’t conceal a bedbug infestation from one another, making it impossible to eradicate.

My boyfriend and i had moved into an apartment in Greenpoint brooklyn and we had bed bugs from January – July (on and off)… It was awful.

Bedbugs lay dormant for up to 1 year, they love (i mean love) to procreate and they can lay up to 500 eggs at a time.

Bed bugs can make you insane, paranoid and they are a great foundation/topic to start fights (terrible, I know)..

Regardless you can get rid of them. Like Nancy had said, boil everything, pillows, clean your sheets, put vaseline on the bottom of your bed so they can’t crawl elsewhere, vacuum, bleach your floors (if wooden). You can see them, they are most definitely visible to the eye…

Good luck and know that they will, (eventually).. go away.

I suffered through the nightmare of bedbug treatment last year. A great resource is Chock full of info, and the discussion forum is invaluable. I found advice, sympathy, information, and stories of bedbug victory.

Bed bugs are nefarious creatures and almost impossible to get rid of. Once a mattress is infested, the only thing to do is to throw it out, even if it is a brand new mattress and an expensive one. But that is not enough. Nancy (post #3) above is right. You must call an exterminator. This will cost you money, but it is either that or live with perpetual annoyance and suffering. I have been told that this current wave of bed bug infestations across the country is being perpetrated by Islamic terrorists. Rather than an outright bombing attack, or worse, these terrorists feel they that they can cause more misery to more people simply by spreading bed bugs everywhere than they can by flying airplanes into tall buildings or setting off a nuclear device in a crowded square. And there is very little chance that they themselves will be caught because they can appear to be completely innocent their clandestine operations are almost impossible to detect. America may be the first world power in history to have been brought to its knees by terrorists spreading bed bugs.

I’m leaving my name anonymously here as even though these critters are democratic, well, having bedbugs is not something I want to broadcast. My housekeeper brought them in this Fall and I’ve been fighting them hard ever since. I’m currently using my third extermination company this one uses canine detection to search out the places where they are hiding before treatment, and besides insecticides, also hits everything in sight with a freezing gas called kyronite. They do 𠇌rack and crevice” work, a buzz word for bed bug exterminators. I don’t even want to tell you what all this has cost. And yet with this state of the art protocol, because it’s only legal to use wet barrier insecticide on the perimeters of a house or apartment, one is left trying to figure out how best to decontaminate the rest of the seemingly endless places they may be hiding or enter into. Just a few bedbugs can make life miserable – I can’t imagine a terrible infestation. My advice: do what you have to do clean and wrap up everything in plastic, and get a steam floor cleaner for hardwood floors. I’m going to invest in some Sterifab which supposedly can be sprayed on almost everything and kills them. I’m also ordering some insecticide to enhance what the pros are laying down. I’m having to have it delivered to a friend in NJ as it is illegal to have this particular substance delivered to NY. And find a good friend who will let you cry on her shoulder – you will definitely need it.

Back during the Depression bedbugs were a common pest. My mother worked hard to keep them out of our house. Her first line of defense was to look carefully on our beds after members of a family known to have them had visited us and thrown their coats on our beds. Her solution for getting rid of them was hard work. She washed all the bedding, of course, and boiled it, and she took the bed frames apart and dipped them in 𠇋lack Leaf 40″. Although it took lots of work in those days without modern conveniences, we never had bedbugs. They were considered a disgrace!

About 8 years ago, I got them from staying a hostel. Followed me from apartment to apartment. Finally had to throw out my bed, my futon. Now I’m paranoid every time I stay at a hotel, motel, hostel, someone’s house.

Always check the mattresses.

Our family suffered through THREE bedbug episodes, and we were clueless for a long time as to where they originated. No one else in the building had them, and we had not traveled or had visitors. To make matters so much worse, my children are allergic to the bites and one is allergic to the insecticide. Each time, it was a nightmare beyond imagination.

We eventually discovered that other families in our public school had bedbugs (but no one talked about it, of course), and the bedbugs were coming home from school on backpacks or clothing! The public schools are not allowed to spray for insects, so once the bugs get in the schools, they stay there and make their way home with other children.

This is clearly a set-up for a much, much larger infestation in New York City.

Rural communities without plumbing or electricity in the �s and �s were generally dirty but bedbugs were not common. My mother would strip the beds after a suspect guest had gone. A worried inspection and a kerosene swabbing of mattress seams apparently worked for we never had a problem. I imagine that her concern was unfounded.

You can’t just boil-you have to wash in very hot water with either lavender oil or eucalyptus, as this will sufficate them.
Deep freeze will do it as well.

Covering the matteress with a plastic casing will help as well.

We do all the boiling and covering for dustmites anyway …which by the way…like bedbugs…I attribute completely to the universal application of sordid, squalid, filthy wall to wall carpet everywhere. In schools, in hotels, in casinos, in hallways, in trainstations, in airports…

its the wall to wall carpet that has change the bug life of the world.

Just thought I𠆝 let everyone know.

We do have a work like the writer mentions (the one from Australia). It’s called IPM – Integrated Pest Management. Lots of people know about it. Unfortunately, fewer practice it. And most hotels/rental agencies/campgrounds/food stores ignore their pest control professionals because they want to make a buck, not spend 2 using effective, non-chemical treament methods. Plus it takes time.

That is the trade off. You can kill things very quickly with chemicals, OR you can use time and good housekeeping.

What the writer fails to mention, is that 50 years ago, our parents parents had an ethic for good housekeeping and cleaning. Chemical application, with good housekeeping, reduced all sort of problems. Today though is a different story. We have become so lazy in our acceptable standards because the problems were cured. Now when your pest control professional lets you know there is a sanitation/housekeeping issue, the response is one of denial and “How dare you!”

And if your parents parents are still alive, take a moment and ask them what they cleaned with. It wasn’t some fancy high priced 𠇊nti-microbial-bio-degradable” soap. It was a little pine oil and some bleach.

Watch the video: Snowfall in Times Square, NYC. Walking in New York City in the Winter Snow, 4k (January 2023).