A crawl to arms in bedbug war
New York Post
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
New York City to bedbugs: "We're biting back."
The City Council and Bloomberg administration officials will
announce stepped-up rules today targeting landlords who neglect
bedbug problems in their buildings.
Under the new rules - which take effect immediately - building
owners must inspect and treat apartments next to, above and below
any unit that has bedbugs. They also must notify all tenants when
bedbugs have been detected and distribute a plan on eradicating
Property owners who repeatedly fail to take care of bedbug
infestations will be required to get a licensed exterminator to
fill out a sworn affidavit indicating the problem has been
"We're sending the message that we're taking this seriously,"
Council Speaker Christine Quinn said. "People are very nervous
The Department of Health will be empowered to send landlords who
ignore bedbugs to the city's Environmental Control Board, which can
issue fines. Presently, only the Department of Housing Preservation
and Development can issue violations to landlords for bedbugs.
In a last-resort move, the city would sell liens on properties
whose owners ignore those fines.
City officials will also unveil a Web site -
www.nyc.gov/html/doh/bedbugs - to arm residents with information on
eradicating the pests.
The Web site will provide pictures and detailed descriptions of
the critters and tips on how to prevent them from entering homes,
such as keeping suitcases off floors and beds while traveling,
sealing cracks in your home with caulk and washing clothes and
bedding on hot settings if you suspect the presence of bedbugs.
The site also advises against bringing home any used furniture
off the street.
Councilwoman Gale Brewer (D-Manhattan), who worked on the Web
site and new regulations, said many New Yorkers are in a constant
state of fear over picking up the critters.
"The numbers of complaints, in rental buildings in particular,
are continuing," she said.