Well, here’s some good, reassuring, non-itchy news: just days after three N train cars were discovered to have bedbug stowaways living in them, two N line workers have found bedbugs in their lockers . Metropolitan Transit Authority spokesperson Kevin Ortiz confirmed to the Voice this morning that itchy little jerks were found in lockers at a crew room in Astoria.
The union that represents the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s workers, TWU Local 100, tells the Daily News that not only did the two N workers discover bedbugs, but so did a conductor who hasn’t even worked on the N recently. She found a bedbug at her house. (MTA spokesperson Ortiz said he was unable to confirm that incident.)
Bedbugs are a special, pernicious kind of menace for people who work on the city’s subways, especially in the summer. Warm weather typically brings an uptick in bedbugs, and the subway, with its magical ability to attract all things grimy or unsettling, seems to get the worst of it. The subway system famously uses Roscoe the bedbug-sniffing dog to help uncover the bugs and mete out swift justice. But TWU 100 president Kevin Harrington told the News he’d like to see every single train car on the N line fumigated.
Ortiz said the crew room in Astoria has already been fumigated. “We’ll continue spot checks in employee areas throughout the line,” he added.
In the meantime, the rest of us can perhaps take a moment to stop hyperventilating about the whole thing: the bedbugs on the N train were found in the cushions of the cabs used by the conductors, not in a passenger area. Not a single bedbug has been found any place where it could bite a non-MTA employee. (Unlike that time back in 2010 when we reported on a video of a bedbug sitting pretty on a passenger’s seat in the R train, a story that incited a small but entirely understandable panic.)
This most recent case isn’t about you, in other words. Unless you’re an MTA worker, in which case, we’re very sorry, and we wish you a very peaceful and itch-free rest of the summer.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 7, 2014