New York vs Bed Bugs
This project was started in 2008 by a very small group of New Yorkers who knew first-hand what bed bug infestations can do to our families, our health and our productivity. The sole objective of New York vs Bed Bugs was to help bring about a comprehensive bed bug control plan in New York City. We wanted to protect our neighbors and fellow New Yorkers. And we wanted our city to lead.
Our efforts ended in March 2010.
The advocacy work (campaigning for policy changes and a comprehensive plan) is over, but as of November 2010 the blog at New York vs Bed Bugs has been reactivated for a projected short period of time. My aim is to explore the constructive ways to make a difference that remain available. I also intend to write, as previously, about the science and history of bed bugs.
- Louis N. Sorkin
New York vs Bed Bugs was started by a small group of New Yorkers who were bed bug sufferers or former sufferers. The impetus for this project was the belief that New York City could act to protect its citizens—and its businesses—from the health effects, productivity drain, and staggering financial consequences of bed bug infestations. We advocated a city-wide bed bug control plan and we believed that bed bug control policies can be modeled on the plans and strategies in development or already adopted in other cities.
In March 2008, we started a campaign for a bed bug task force. In February 2009, the New York City Council held a hearing on various legislation proposals, including the original bed bug task force bill (PDF) sponsored by Council Member Gale Brewer in 2006. Thanks to Council Member Brewer’s sustained efforts over several years, the New York City Bed Bug Advisory Board was finally convened in September 2009. (A founder of New York vs Bed Bugs served on the bed bug advisory board.)
The report of the New York City Bed Bug Advisory Board (PDF) was released on July 28, 2010 as the city announced a $500,000 commitment to fund a website and to improve certain aspects of landlord/tenant enforcement. A final update here. To date, it is expected that the city will roll out a website in the spring of 2011. It is not clear what changes have been made to the way the city handles bed bug complaints and its role in engaging with landlords and tenants.