Friday, September 15, 2006

Bed Bug City Council Hearing

For those of you who read Bugged Out back in February, you know that I reported that City Councilmember Gale Brewer announced plans to hold a hearing on the bed bug problem in New York City in hopes of finding a solution to the problem.

Well, I just recieved a heads up from her people about the hearing, scheduled to be held this Monday, September 18 at 1 pm. I strongly encourage everybody who can show up to this hearing to do so. Here is the message I receieved.

***MEDIA ADVISORY***
BREWER BROACHES BED BUG BILL
Legislation Bans Bed Bug Breeding Grounds

Contact: Shula Warren Office: (212) 788-6975 Mobile: (347) 668-9576

WHAT: Public Hearing on Int. 57: “ The Bed Bug Bill”

WHO: Council Member Gale A. Brewer, Entomologist Dr. Louis Sorkin of the American Museum of Natural History, Dr. Richard Pollack of the Harvard School of Public Health, Steven DeCastro, Esq., Jeffrey Eisenberg of Pest Away Exterminating, and others

WHEN: 1 p.m., Monday, September 18, 2006

WHERE: Council Chambers, City Hall

Council Member Gale A. Brewer (D-Manhattan) will join Council Member Leroy Comrie, Chair of the Committee on Consumer Affairs at a public hearing on Intro 57-2006 ("The Bed Bug Bill") on Monday, September 18, 2006 from 1pm-4pm in the Council Chambers, located on the second floor of City Hall. Intro 57, as introduced by Council Member Gale A. Brewer (District 6: Upper West Side, Manhattan), bans the sale of reconditioned mattresses and establishes a Bed Bug Task Force to explore solutions to this problem and look at ways to educate the public about bed bugs. City agency officials, entomologists, and exterminators have been invited to testify. Members of the public are also encouraged to testify on their personal experiences with bed bugs. Bed bug infestations have reached epidemic levels throughout the City, affecting New Yorkers in households of all economic levels, hotels, and even police precincts.

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Unfortunately, I have class on Monday until 2:30 and I wont be able to get to City Hall before 4 pm. I will be calling the Council Press Corps to gather testimonies given by the four aforementioned seakers and anyone else who shows up to provide testimony. If anyone wants to speak at the hearing and shock the audience with your own bed bug horror story, go for it.

FYI: City Hall is right next to the City Hall/Brooklyn Bridge station on the 4 train. I don't recommend driving there, as parking in lower Manhattan is a bitch. Once you get out of the train station City Hall will be easy to find as it is surrounded by cops. Prepare for the metal detector; what I do is just remove my coat and run it through the conveyor rather than have the cop wave that stupid metal detector wand up and down my body 10,000 times. Bring ID as the NYPD will not let you enter City Hall without it.

Once you're inside the Council Chambers, please do not make any outbursts or applause as the Council security guards act like nightclub bouncers and will promptly throw you out of City Hall altogether. Most of the more prominent speakers will provide written copies of their testimony a minute or two before they say it to the Council and the audience. The copies that the speaker gives to the guard will be stacked onto the press table. If you don't have a press ID, the guards may not let you take a copy. The best thing to do in this situation is to approah the speaker (after they've given testimony and have returned to their seat) and ask them for a hard copy or to send you a copy via e-mail.

If whatever you have to say sounds smilar or identical to testimony given by someone before you, the best thing to do is simply state your name, state that you agree with the previous speaker and state your support for any legislation that can help rid New Yorkers of bed bugs. Repeating what was just said makes the speaker look stupid and wastes everyone's time. Understand that everything you say when you step up to the podium will be recorded by the Council and any

Chances are there will be significant media coverage of this hearing, so I will provide links to any articles I find on this event.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

We had bedbugs about 2 years ago. We were exterminated twice within a month and have been clear. Now I'm starting to suspect they have returned. Not sure yet though. I'm bitten up, but it definitely could be another bug.

BTM said...

My girlfriend and I think we may have bed bugs. About a week ago we began waking up with "mosquito" bites. 3 days ago i got up at about 4 am and looked all over the mattress and boxspring with a flashlight. I saw nothing. I must have looked for an hour. Then when I was about to give up, I saw a dark speck in a crease in the bedskirt. It was definitely a bug. There was another about a foot away from the first in another crease. I immediately washed all of the linens and pillows in hot water...many, many times...and steamed the mattress and box spring. On the top of the boxspring I noticed that there were some stains (about 4 or 5) in straight lines and some were near small holes in the fabric.

I then steamed the carpet, crevices, and furniture. While doing this I tore the bedroom apart and did not see one. Well, I found a ded bug in the carpet, but I can not affirmatively identify it as a bed bug. I covered the mattress, box spring, and pillows in allergen-free covers and put vaseline on the bed legs and moved the bed away from the wall and other furniture.

We have not received any bites for the past two nights. Also, I woke up at 4 am this morning and with a flashlight searched the bed and the space between the carpet and baseboards....nothing. If there were still bed bugs running around I would have seen some, right? I'm not sure if we ever had them now...maybe I was just paranoid.

If we did have them, is it possible that I killed them all with the steam cleaning? The two that I saw on the bed skirt were smaller than apple seeds, which is what I hear the size of an adult is. They were more like the size of a sesame seed, but more round in nature. In addition, I have not seen any stuck in the vaseline on the legs of the bed.

What do you guys think?

Anonymous said...

I have had mine since June 2006 and have had to be sprayed twice. I get little raised welts on my hands and feet and shoulders once in a while but I can't tell for sure if they're baby bedbug bites or allergies since I now shower and launder my clothes alot.

I don't get itchy as much but I am still paranoid. I keep all my clothes in garbage bags and launder all my clothes in hot water regardless of what the tag says.

BB can last up to a year without biting so you should do research on how to get rid of an infestation. Anyone can pick them up at any time. There's no gurantee that if you get rid of them you won't get them again.

Exercise care about going over to people's houses or them coming over to yours. This is how bed bugs survive and spread and it will only come back to you if your friends and family get them. I would tell them about it if you care about them. Everyone should be informed and maybe if enough people are aware, the city would do something to address it.

Anonymous said...

No, you are not paranoid. Bedbug bites do not look like mosquito bites. They are raised welts and I apparently became allergic to them after the second or third time I was bitten. Every bite was very swollen and red. I took antibiotics it looked so bad.
The important thing is to use a reputable exterminator who is familiar with the problem. My house was surface-sprayed and fumigated at the same time to get rid of all the young and it needs to be repeated several times to get rid of the ones which were eggs and hatched after the treatment.
They do live in the pile of carpeting so I removed mine but they can live in the cracks of hardwood floors as well as baseboards.

Anonymous said...

So, City Councilmember Gale Brewer proposed legislation like almost a year ago about mattresses. It's going to take a lot more that a law about the reselling of mattresses to take care of this bb problem. What else is she, or any other member of government doing to help our people? I have not heard anything. And, there are people in places that still have not heard of bbs. It just didn't hit their areas yet. How long does it have to be?