Less than 24 hours after Mike Bloomberg issued his “geese or humans” ultimatum, we hear he’s also got it out for the bed bugs. Except in this case, we pretty much approve. After all, they’ve infested valuable shopping haunts like Victoria’s Secret and Hollister, not to mention Hachette Book Group and even the triage room of a Brooklyn Hospital (one bed bug was seen on a patient, OH GOD.). It’s gotten so bad that Bloomberg will release a 39-page plan for battling the pests tomorrow. BrickUnderground has some highlights of the report already, thanks to leakster Gil Bloom, one of three entomologists on Bloomberg’s (top secret) Bed Bug Advisory Board.
First off, be not misinformed: “Bed bugs are a pest like no other.” They’re speedy and stealthy, and nothing more or less than our most hated enemy. There’s been an increase in bed bug complaints of 63% from 2008 to 2009 — 14,573 vs. 23,790. They are fornicating and making more bed bugs as we speak!
Key elements of the plan DESTROY THE DIABOLICAL BED BUGS include:
* Creating a Bed Bug Team headed by an entomologist to coordinate the city’s bed bug control efforts
* A massive public education effort and a city-funded “Bed Bug Academy” for building & property managers and possibly pest management professionals.
* An online Bed Bug Portal devoted to vetted bed bug facts and resources for residents, landlords, property managers, city agencies, health care and social services providers, etc.
* A clear protocol for residents dealing with a bed bug problem, including a “triage” plan detailing what to do (and not do) in the first 24 hours
* Guidelines for throwing away infested items, as well as for donating used clothes and furniture and shopping at secondhand stores
* Assigning bed bug cases higher priority in Housing Court, and giving stronger rights of access to apartments that have become bed bug reservoirs. Property owners would also be required to distribute bed bug information with lease signings and renewals
Not mentioned is how we actually kill the fuckers, but that’s, you know, a high-security issue not meant for the ears and eyes of civilians.
At any rate, we have no doubt that a Bed Bug Academy will pay off in the thousandfold to all New Yorkers. And, anyway, we really have no choice. As Gil Bloom explains, “If these obstacles are not overcome, the situation will get worse, and the bed bugs will just laugh.”
Bed bug reservoirs, GAH.