NYC Council Intro 873

Note: Intro 57A-2006, the original bed bug task force bill, has been passed in the New York City Council. The final bill establishes a bed bug advisory board for the city. The Mayor signed the bill on Wednesday, March 18. See Local Law 14 (PDF). And the board finally has been convened.

A bill was introduced in the New York City Council on November 19, 2008 that would require the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to:

  1. create a bed bug control training program for:
    • pest control providers, and
    • property owners;
  2. make available bed bug information on its website; and
  3. establish a bed bug toll-free hotline for the public to report bed bug infestations and request bed bug control information.

Updates

Tools

When writing an email to your New York City Council representative, please copy Speaker Christine Quinn at quinn@council.nyc.gov and Ms. Rosalba Rodriguez, Director of the District Office of Council Member Gale Brewer, at rosalba.rodriguez@council.nyc.ny.us

The Bill

Int. No. 873-A

By Council Members Brewer, Barron, Comrie, Dickens, Eugene, Felder, Gerson, Gonzalez, James, Koppell, Liu, Nelson, Sears, Weprin, Vallone Jr., White Jr., Lappin, Avella, Arroyo and Vacca

A Local. Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring the department of health and mental hygiene to establish a bed bug technique training program for pest control.

Be it enacted by the Council as follows:

Section 1. Chapter 1 of title 17 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 17-195 to read as follows:

§17-195 Bed bug techniques training program. a. The department shall establish a program to train exterminators in the proper techniques to eliminate bed bugs.

b. The department shall establish a program to train property owners in the proper techniques to eliminate bed bugs and to prevent the transfer and spread of any bed bug infestation.

c. Any training programs developed pursuant to this section shall include, but not be limited to, identification of bed bugs and understanding their life cycle, inspection procedures to identify infested areas and furnishings, techniques to prepare infested sites for containment and extermination, encasement methods, proper techniques for the moving and disposal of infested furnishings and materials and special considerations for multiple dwellings. Any training program should also provide instruction on which techniques and pesticides are inappropriate for bed bug elimination.

d. The department shall make available on its website information on bed bug awareness, infestation and control.

e. The department shall ensure that a toll-free hotline number, such as 311, shall be made available to the public for any person seeking to report an incidence of bed bug infestation or to request information on bed bugs.

f. A list of exterminators including the name and company of the exterminator trained pursuant to this section shall be made available to the public on the department’s website, upon request by calling 311 and upon request in person at department offices to be located in each of the five boroughs, as determined by the department.

§2. This local law shall take effect ninety days after its enactment, provided, however, that the department of health and mental hygiene shall take any necessary actions to implement this law, including the promulgation of rules, prior to such effective date.

The sponsors (21) – Int. 873

Gale A. Brewer – chief sponsor
Maria del Carmen Arroyo – 2/8/09
Tony Avella – 2/6/09
Charles Barron
Leroy G. Comrie, Jr.
Inez Dickens
Mathieu Eugene
Simcha Felder
Vincent J. Gentile – 3/2/09
Alan J. Gerson
Sara M. Gonzalez
Letitia James
G. Oliver Koppell
Jessica S. Lappin – 1/9/09
John C. Liu
Michael C. Nelson
Helen Sears
James Vacca – 2/19/09
Peter F. Vallone, Jr. – 12/9/08
David I. Weprin
Thomas White, Jr. – 12/18/08

The New York City Council Health Committee

Joel Rivera – Chair, Health Committee
Maria del Carmen Arroyo
Maria Baez
Inez E. Dickens
Helen D. Foster
John C. Liu
Michael E. McMahon
Rosie Mendez
Helen Sears
Kendall Stewart
Albert Vann

Council Members

Supporters

36 comments

  1. Renee Corea

    We lost data over the weekend and some pages, posts and comments were lost.

    My initial comment:

    Note: I understand that not everyone is happy with this bill. Please comment here if you have reservations, questions or thoughts of any kind.

    This is an important beginning. If it can be made better, the process will work if we all participate in it.

    ashleigh commented on December 6:

    i think it’s a good start but still a rather half-wit attempt. where are the mandates for property owners and exterminators to take proper action regardless of whether or not the infestation has been officially reported with the city? lord knows it would take years for any type of certification from any type of bed bug control program to hold weight, especially concerning the property owners.

    i can see it now:
    a person is viewing an apartment to rent. when it comes time for questions they ask the property owner, “is there parking, and have you been bed bug certified?”

    …i’m being negative. i still think it’s a good start. :)

    My reply:

    Thanks, Ashleigh. Feel free to be as probing as you like. If this is going to go anywhere, it will have to be discussed and weighed in detail. Thanks!

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  3. wendi

    thanks, been following the other comments in the work space, but will add all comments public forum here.
    i don’t actually read the western queens gazette much, so did not realize that had done bed bug stories in the past. i sent them two notes in the past couple months which they didn’t answer, (or let me know that they have covered in the past.)
    i am not writing or calling anyone till we have definate list and what to say, but look forward to doing it.

  4. wendi

    Hello all,

    I felt it would be good to send Vallone a thank you note and direct him to our dialog here regarding recommendations for the Intro, concerns.

    copy
    Dear Mr. Vallone,

    Thank you for your support of NYC Council Intro 873!!!! I see you are one of the sponsors! Thank you for your leadship.

    Hopefully the speaker with see this is as important as you do. The group I am with, New York vs Bed Bugs support the Intro as a good start, with some important recommendations.

    Please read further at http://www.newyorkvsbedbugs.org for where the Intro is analyzed and how the vagueness of the Intro could be addressed.

    Thank you again,
    Regards,

  5. wendi

    good letter. i also posted the other day about the Intro on astorians.com ….

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  12. Melvin

    Please see my comments under the following link:The NYC Council Tries Again:A New Bed Bug Bill.

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  27. Ron

    Last Summer, my wife and one of my kids first noticed bites occuring overnight. We had no idea what they were, and neither did the doctor (or she didn’t say she did). In hindsight (after doing research on the web), and after capturing two bedbugs (one in Jan. 2009 and one today), we’re pretty confident of the source. We are constantly on the lookout for the critters, day and night, but have seen nothing to indicate their presence except for the bites, the two captures and some black spots on a sofa-bed comforter. The sofa-bed mattress has black spots, too, but we can’t tell what’s what since the pattern/design also has black spots. We also have not seen anything to indicate their presence in the bedroom or the kids’ room (though that’s where one of my kids sems to get bitten).

    Anyway, I wanted to mention a few things. (1) I think infestation is under-reported for many reasons including the reluctance of people to come forward for fear of being branded by friends and neighbors as “contaminated.” It’s understandable but unfortunate. (2) Bed bugs are a potentially huge economic issue, not just the direct cost of dealing with them but also the indirect cost. I know that I am very reluctant to stay in a hotel, go on a cruise, fly, ride a coach, go to a movie theater or any other environ in which there is a possibility of catching an unwanted “hitch-hiker.” Maybe I am being ridiculous, but if this mindset cathches on, the economic consequences for our city could be significant. (3) Maybe I’m a little cynical but do exterminators really work?

    It is also my understanding that offices and schools (including my kids’ PS) are host environments for bed bugs. I hope more people, more building managers and our elected officials get serious about this. This bill should be a no-brainer, and is only a start; monitoring and inspections should be a part of the control/extermination process.

  28. Renee Corea

    Hi Ron, thank you for your comment.

    Early detection is one of the keys to solving infestations relatively painlessly. I’m so sorry that you have struggled with this problem for so long. It is indeed very hard to locate live bed bugs. Highly trained professionals have trained eyes and experience and can locate harborage sites efficiently, as well as the signs of infestation, fecal traces and exuvia. So, the answer to that question is, yes, pest control operators really work provided that they are experienced and good. Some are better at the detailed work and detailed tasks that this involves. And some do not have the right training. So, I hope you find a good person to deal with your problem. Of course, in apartment buildings, inspecting other apartments is key.

    The money that is being wasted on bed bugs is huge. And those reputation costs are nothing to sneeze at either. I hope you will find the time in this stressful situation to attend the hearing and/or testify.

    By the way, we’re not pros, but other places to look are window casements and behind electric switches and outlets. So, checking the outlet and window nearest the bed, as well as behind any frames or objects on the walls in the room where the bites are suspected to occur, might yield more evidence. However, your capture this morning should be more than enough. I would not expect to find many more live insects unless you know where you are looking. Get an experienced pro in there asap is our best advice. Some self-treatment steps that people typically take are actually counterproductive.

  29. Ron

    Renee – Thank you. We’ll follow up with our building mgt. and see how responsive and effective they are. Depending on the result, we may have to move on from there. Thanks, again.

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