Note: Click here for an update on the most recent New York City bed bug statistics.
This is how New York City’s bed bug statistics have appeared in recent press articles:
Daily News, Douglas Feiden, December 30, 2007:
In the fiscal year that ended in June, 6,889 infestation complaints were logged and 2,008 building owners were hit with summonses.
Those travel patterns [bed bugs hitchhiking on clothing, etc.] account for the 1,708 verified bedbug cases in 277 public housing projects this year, the city Housing Authority says. The Department of Education has documented another 74 cases, spread across 50 schools.
Washington Post, David Segal, February 26, 2008:
In New York, the city housing authority has fielded and checked out more than 2,500 bedbug complaints in the past three years; fewer than 500 turned out to be actual infestations. Even allowing for some overlap — two calls about the same bugs, for instance — that’s as many as two or three callers who don’t have bedbugs for each caller who does.
Columbia Spectator, Dino Grandoni, March 5, 2008:
Seth Donlin, press secretary for New York’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, said the city received 1,729 bedbug complaints and issued 437 violations to landlords in the last fiscal year.
So, is it just us or are there fundamental errors above?
We spoke to HPD’s Seth Donlin today.
The Fiscal Year 2007 (July 1, 2006 – June 30, 2007) numbers are as follows:
1,729 complaints and 437 violations
1,117 complaints and 347 violations
2,382 complaints and 692 violations
1,602 complaints and 514 violations
59 complaints and 18 violations
Grand 5-borough total:
6,889 complaints and 2,008 violations
You can send a thank you note, or a fruit basket, to Douglas Feiden if you are so inclined.
We have great ambition but few resources, so we’re giving the Columbia Spectator a pass and calling Grandoni’s citing Manhattan statistics as city statistics an honest mistake.
And the Washington Post? No, they’re decidedly not getting a pass. We have a call into New York City Housing Authority spokesman Howard Marder.
We’ll continue this tomorrow.
But first we’ll note something that the author of the Washington Post article, David Segal, said in an interview about his story.
I mean, the problem with this story has always been that the stats on it are incredibly squishy.
Indeed, David. David Segal is based in New York.
You can read Bedbugger’s reaction to Segal’s interview here.