New York Will Solve the Bedbug Crisis by Speaking Very Sternly to the Bedbugs

A blog about politics, sports, media, stuff
July 28 2010 9:44 PM

New York Will Solve the Bedbug Crisis by Speaking Very Sternly to the Bedbugs

On Wednesday afternoon, New York officials held a press conference to announce the city's concerted, coordinated, multi-agency crackdown on the ongoing problem of bedbug infestation. Christine Quinn, the speaker of the City Council, offered strong words for an itchy metropolis, the New York Times reported:

"To bedbugs in the city of New York," Ms. Quinn shouted from the steps of City Hall, "Drop dead. Your days are over, they’re numbered, we’re not going to take it anymore, we’re sick and tired."


Beginning tomorrow, the city will send teams of bedbug-control officers door to door throughout the five boroughs, accompanied by bedbug-sniffing dogs, with fumigation teams following on their heels, and—

Oh, sorry, Speaker Quinn got me a little too exercised, and I made that whole plan up. What is the city really going to do about the bedbugs, according to today's declaration of war and its promise of "strong action"?

Recommendation 1.1: Take a proactive approach to public education and awareness.

Super! People should know things, first of all. Knowledge is power!

Recommendation 1.3: Launch and maintain an online Bed Bug Portal devoted to bed bug facts and resources. 

Replace "bed bug" with "magazine" and this was Conde Nast's Internet strategy for 10 or 12 years. (It was not a good strategy.)

Recommendation 3.2: Develop integrated monitoring, tracking, and reporting tools. 

Yes! Keep track of the bedbugs, so you can kill kill kill kill them! 

Recommendation 3.3: Improve the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) bed bug infestation inspection protocols and code enforcement capacity. 

Wait, that does not say "kill kill kill kill." 

Recommendation 3.8: Disseminate consumer warnings about bed bug risks from used furniture and mattresses.

Hey, this is starting to read uncannily like one of those here-come-the-bedbugs-you're-so-screwed newspaper articles from the early years of the outbreak. What's the last word on city bedbug planning?

Recommendation 3.9:  Encourage small business and social enterprise start-ups to provide bed bug preparation services for low- and moderate-income households. 

Translation: sorry, turns out we're too broke to do anything. Hire an exterminator, if you can afford one. 


Tom Scocca is the managing editor of Deadspin and the author of Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future.


Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

Even When They Go to College, the Poor Sometimes Stay Poor

Here’s Just How Far a Southern Woman May Have to Drive to Get an Abortion

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?


Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The Procedural Rule That Could Prevent Gay Marriage From Reaching SCOTUS Again

  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 3:53 PM Smash and Grab Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?
Oct. 20 2014 5:39 PM Whole Foods Desperately Wants Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 1:10 PM Women Are Still Losing Jobs for Getting Pregnant
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 5:03 PM Marcel the Shell Is Back and as Endearing as Ever
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.