Monday, November 15, 2010

Astoria full of bedbugs

From the Queens Tribune:

A man wearing a white Tyvek suit entered an apartment on Steinway Street looking like a space explorer. Safely cloaked in high-density polyethylene plastic, he sat a bag on the floor and began extracting aerosol cans with cryptic names like CB-80, Phantom, and Bedlam.

Keeping her distance, a concerned woman watched from the bedroom doorway as he heaved her mattresses and furniture back and forth, making sure each crevice was soaked with hissing spray. Her 4-year-old son clung to her leg, mesmerized by the scene – the result of a single bedbug that his mother discovered clinging to his shirt.

According to Jody L. Gangloff-Kaufmann, Ph.D., an urban entomologist with the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program at Cornell University, landlords have been known to spend up to $80,000 to get large buildings bedbug free.

Adding to landlords’ bedbug woes is the “Bedbug Disclosure Act,” a new citywide law that took effect Aug. 30. The measure requires landlords to notify prospective tenants about any infestations in the building within the previous year. The legislation’s stated goal is to suppress the bedbug epidemic by giving “landlords an incentive to comply with their legal obligations to eradicate” infestations. Oddly, the disclosure act fails to include any legal or financial penalties for landlords who do not comply.

“It might scare people away,” said Jonathan Cedeno, the superintendent of a 54-unit apartment complex in Astoria that was treated for two bedbug outbreaks earlier this year. “But if they ask me, I can’t lie to them. I have to let them know.”

The high cost of extermination has caused some landlords to resort to cheaper, less reliable pest control methods, while others are avoiding the problem altogether.

“It’s hard to get landlords to take care of things here,” said Marnie Schulenburg, a 26-year-old actress whose Astoria apartment building was recently infested with bedbugs. She said residents had to call the landlord repeatedly before an assistant finally showed up and contacted an exterminator.

Marvin Orellana, 25, came face-to-face with one after boarding the subway train on Astoria Boulevard last Thursday.

“Out of the corner of my eye, I see something moving on this girl’s book bag. Immediately, I look at it and I realize it’s a bedbug. I felt horrible because it was crowded and I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want anyone to panic,” recounted Orellana, who had his own bedbug infestation a few years ago.

“It’s just so easy for that bug to walk onto some other person.”


Anonymous said...

And to think that when the current leadership in Astoria took over, a long long long time ago, Astoria was clearly better than Hoboken.

Now its looking at Corona. Not said...

One of the things that outsiders from Astoria always found amusing was the prominent permament thread on of the bedbug discussion, a mute testimony of the character of local landlords:

Yet the political discussion threads is buried under 'Random Gabble' - most fitting for a community where a difference of opinion - particularly political - is discouraged and just about unheard of.

Makes sense to me. They are governed so well its quite unnessary. Don't you agree?

Anonymous said...

Astoria is also full of taco trucks, Mexican restaurants, hooka parlors, and Domincan barbershops blaring happy music onto the sidewalk.

Oh yes, a few dozen cookie cutter cafes, too.

Anonymous said...

Vibrant Diversity

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the third world. Coming to your neighborhood soon!

Anonymous said...

So I guess the movie MIB can be real afterall..
Kill bugs.... but bedbags

Anonymous said...

bayside is popular for raising (illegal animals) geese in the backyards and fenced driveways.the honking all night is not from cars . the asian owners park their vehicles (extra long vans) on residential streets for months with out movement.
the 111 pct claims it is legal to leave vehicles for unlimited periods. cure: call 311????

check out the deadend street,203st to lirr.

Anonymous said...

WTF? Have we all gone crazy? New Yorkers know how to handle anything! Unless of course we have International bedbugs! ROLL OVER and get bugged in the rear, don't forget to say "welcome" stay and feed of my family, friends, neighbors, etc. and Thank you for sharing! Can anyone say "Infestation!" without prejudice?

Anonymous said...

Hey, the real estate touts always entice the hipsters to Astoria by comparing it to Manhattan.

We used to laugh at their cluelessness until we figured it out: the real estate scumbags are right afterall.

Upper Manhattan.

Anonymous said...

This year's trendy new plague.

On the road to Armageddon...

Lacey Ann said...

Hi. I wrote this bed bug article. Could I have a byline please?

Lacey Johnson