Habitat Staff in Board Operations
As part of the City’s on-going collaborative bedbug control efforts, the bedbug website provides information on how to recognize bedbugs (also commonly spelled "bed bugs"), steps to prevent infestation, how to safely eliminate bedbugs from the home, and tips on selecting and working with a pest control professional. '
"New York City is taking another swat at bedbugs today,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, part of the task force that also included Council Member Gale Brewer, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Deputy Commissioner Daniel Kass, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development Deputy Commissioner Vito Mustaciuolo.
“One of the biggest problems in bedbug eradication is actually having the correct information,” said Quinn. “That’s why it’s vital to have a site from the City like this available for not only residents, but landlords and businesses as well so that everyone knows their rights and can get rid of those pesky little pests properly.”
The new site includes extensive information "for the public, building owners and managers, purchasers of pest control services, and pest control professionals. The materials reinforce what is now known to be critical for effective bedbug control — get educated, prevent their entry, discover them early and notify people about how to get them treated professionally and safely. "
Information and Response
“Controlling bedbugs is difficult, but not impossible” said Kass. “People are often afraid to report bedbugs, and many don’t know how to get help to get rid of them. The bedbug website gives New Yorkers the information they need and describes clear protocols for property owners to address problems quickly and correctly.”
Additionally, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DoH) have collaborated to create a comprehensive new model for responding to bedbug complaints in residential properties.
Under their new protocol for issuing violations, the agencies will require owners and managers of properties where bedbug infestations have been identified to inspect and treat units adjacent to the bedbug infested unit, use a licensed pest control professional to treat the infestation, and employ a variety of treatment strategies rather than depending on chemical pesticides alone.
If residents think they have an infestation they should first contact their board to inform them of the problem. If the board is unresponsive, tenants should call 311 to report the problem to HPD.
“Whether it’s correctly identifying an infestation, controlling its spread, or choosing the right options for treatment – bedbugs pose a challenge every step of the way,” said Mustaciuolo. “Arming yourself with the information necessary to make a well informed decision is critical in ensuring that the problem is dealt with quickly and efficiently,” he added. “The new website offers a simple, one-stop shop for bedbug information.”
On the website, users can see what bedbugs look like, learn about bedbug myths and facts, download guides to avoid bedbugs when traveling and learn tips on donating or buying used furniture or clothing. Over time, materials will be available in multiple languages.
Ridding your home of bedbugs
Left untreated, bedbugs can spread quickly in co-op and condo buildings. Both Housing and Health Codes require that property owners address infestations promptly. To better support the prevention and control of bedbugs, the city is taking additional steps with property owners who persistently fail to comply with Housing and Health Codes. Faulty property owners can already be subject to a housing violation. New measures include:
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