New York City Hosts Bed Bug Conference

In response to Manhattan’s increasing problem with bed bugs, New York City is hosting a bed bug conference next Thursday at the Real Estate Board of New York, said CBS New York.

The summit follows news that PS 87 on New York City’s Upper West Side was the newest site reporting a bed bug sighting, said CBS New York. Parents were advised by letter that one bed bug was found in the school’s gymnasium. PS 87 is not the only school. The critters have been seen at over 16 schools this year, wrote CBS New York.

Unfortunately, reporting a bed bug sighting is a bit complex for teachers and staff. It seems that the individual reporting the pests must first collect the dead bed bug and send it to the Department of Education, said CBS NY. Then, it can take time—days, up to even a week—before an exterminator is dispatched. An issue, since the bugs multiply rather rapidly.

Meanwhile, in the first two months of the academic year, reports of bed bug cases have just about tripled, with expectations that this figure—as high as it is so early in the school year—will greatly increase by school year’s end, said CBS NY.

Other establishments have been hit hard by the growing infestations, as well. The Waldorf Astoria has been hit with two lawsuits and a third report of complaints of bed bugs. The resurgent pests have sparked at least two other lawsuits; many more lawsuits are expected as the pest show up in an ever-growing range of areas.

Bed bugs have also been reported at the Jersey City Municipal Court and the Hudson County Plaza building in New Jersey; the administrative offices of the University of Wisconsin Health and Clinics; the New York City Ballet and New York City Opera at Lincoln Center; a variety of popular stores, including Nike Inc.’s flagship store, Victoria’s Secret, Hollister, Bloomingdale’s, and Abercrombie and Fitch; offices, such as Sirius Radio and the Wall Street Journal headquarters; theatres; housing projects and chic apartments; a couple of hospitals nationwide; and the Empire State Building.

At least five states have sought assistance from the Department of Defense and the state of Ohio recently asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for permission to use a banned pesticide, said ABC News previously.

Meanwhile, in New York, school budgets have been slashed, which means that schools have had to cut their pest control efforts by 75 percent. Manhattan Borough President, Scott Stringer, argues that this is adding to the epidemic, said CBS New York. “We should learn by these mistakes and not allow our children to be eaten alive by bed bugs because we’re not acting quick enough, and I think we’ve got to have a real war and finish this job and get rid of these bed bugs in the public schools,” said Stringer, quoted CBS News. The Department of Education stated there is no epidemic and it requires dead bed bug samples to ensure an infestation is, in fact, bed bugs, before funding extermination, said CBS news.

CBS News provided its NYC Bed Bug Guide site here.

The EPA’s information can be accessed here.

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