New York’s Bedbug Epidemic Is Over

The bedbug epidemic in New York is over
Pro tip: Never ever google image search the words “bed bug.”

If you live in New York, you have a story about bedbugs. Hopefully, it isn’t your story. Hopefully, it’s just the story of a friend or an acquaintance. But no matter whose story it is, it pretty much goes like this: bedbugs were discovered, lots of money was spent, mattresses—and sometimes lives—were ruined. It’s a particularly New York-y story, if only because of how non-discriminatory bedbugs are. They infest the wealthiest and the poorest homes alike, destroying all sorts of people’s peace of mind, perhaps permanently. But guess what? Those days appear to be over. New York seems to have come to an end of its bedbug epidemic.

Via the New York Post, Manhattan’s reported incidents of bedbugs have dropped by over half: “according to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, there have been 381 violations issued for bedbug infestations at rental buildings since October 2013, compared to 846 violations that were issued during the height of the epidemic during the 2010 fiscal year.” And the numbers are just as promising citywide, with violations down to only 2,268 as of October 2013 from 4,808 violations during the 2010 fiscal year.

Officials credit heightened bedbug awareness with the drop in violations, as well as an increased understanding in how to handle a bedbug outbreak should you be unfortunate enough to have one. Even companies whose main purpose is the eradication of bedbugs confirm that “the bedbug mania still exists but [they] barely find the creepy crawlers.” What does this mean for the average person then? Can we all go back to those halcyon days of yore, when we could rescue couches and mattresses off the streets without fear that they might be full of bedbugs? Sure, why not? Live dangerously. Chances are you’ll remain bedbug free and get a nice-enough, barely urine-soaked-at-all new piece of furniture. Congratulations, you guys. We survived the bedbug apocalypse intact. Well done.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen


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