Feeds

NYC hit by bedbug epidemic

Rich or poor, they're after your blood

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

New York City is suffering a bedbug epidemic which has provoked a huge rise in reports of the nocturnal bloodsuckers, the New York Daily News reports.

The onslaught of the harmless but unpleasant creatures has seen complaints to 311 (the number for government information and non-emergency services) rise from 537 calls in 2004 to 6,889 in the fiscal year which ended in June. In the former year, 82 landlords were hit with bedbug violations by the Department of Housing, Preservation & Development (HPD), but by 2007 this had risen to 2,008.

Bedbugs hitch a ride on "clothing, luggage, furniture, bedding, bookbags, even shoelaces" and have apparently been seen moving around New York in cabs, limos, buses and subways.

Jeff Eisenberg, owner of Pest Away Exterminating on the upper West Side, confirmed that infestations were city-wide, and affecting rich and poor alike. He said: "In the last six months, I've treated maternity wards, five-star hotels, movie theaters, taxi garages, investment banks, private schools, white-shoe law firms... even the chambers of a federal judge."

The highest-profile bedbug incident was in around five apartments in the "swanky" rental tower at 220 E. 72nd St. owned by Bernard Spitzer, the 83-year-old dad of governor Eliot Spitzer.

Several tenants "described a persistent, if intermittent, infestation on the 15th, 16th and 17th floors", and one poor chap was forced to ditch "rugs, bedding, curtains, 20 cashmere sweaters, an Armani suit, a couch, a headboard, a night table, a bedframe and an exercise bike" before the exterminators moved in. Mercifully, he was able to find temporary lodging in the Carlyle Hotel while his unwelcome guests were evicted.

According to HPD, though, the worst affected area is Bushwick in Brooklyn, where it has issued 172 violations this year, up from four in 2004. Landlords have 30 days to clean up their premises, or face legal action.

Experts attribute the plague to various factors, including the increased risk of importing bedbugs due to the "surge in global travel and mobility in all socioeconomic classes", combined with "less toxic urban pesticides and the banning of DDT". ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
HUGE SHARK as big as a WWII SUBMARINE died out, allowing whales to exist
Who'd win a fight: Megalodon or a German battleship?
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.