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New York City Launches New Bedbug Website, Rules

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene have rolled out a new website to educate locals about bed bugs as the warm months approach and everyone starts to get itchy again. The slick site offers an illustrated Q&A with a streaming voiceover to address issues like "How can I tell if I have bedbugs?" and "Are bedbugs harmful to my health?" (No, but: "Bites can be very itchy and irritating.") The guide comes along with new rules today from the City Council and Mayor Bloomberg, which state that landlords are required to address bedbugs not only in infested units, but in the apartments next to, above, and below. All tenants must be notified about the presence of the little monitors and a plan of action for ridding the filth must be distributed to tenants. Together, with some Xs and Os -- and teamwork -- we can beat this.

"We're sending the message that we're taking this seriously," Council Speaker Christine Quinn said. "People are very nervous about bedbugs."

The new rules take effect immediately and make it so the Department of Health can send landlords to the Environmental Control Board, which can issue fines.

"Don't panic, but act quickly," the website cautions. And that new-looking dresser on the sitting discarded on the street? Just get a fresh one.

A crawl to arms in bedbug war [NYP]


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