Bite Of The Bed Bugs

— Wed, 21st July 2010 —

Bed bugs — Their name alone sends shivers down our spine. We can’t speak from personal experience (praise the Lord!), but a home and wardrobe infestation is a horror we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy, let alone our dear readers. As such, it’s a tad disconcerting that NYC retailers are reportedly refusing to face what is clearly a real issue. If you hadn’t heard, there’ve been at least three confirmed reports of store infestations in recent weeks. Yet, as WWD reports, “The prevailing industry response is ostrichlike, heads in the sand … Appalling.” We have no interest in causing alarm, or discouraging anyone from taking advantage of summer sales. Like WWD, however, we would like some assurance from the retail community and its governing bodies that they’re tackling this problem head on. In the meantime, how can you avoid taking home the unwanted invaders? Before letting any new clothes into your dwelling, simply drop them off at your local dry cleaner or laundromat. Ten minutes in any dryer should do the trick.

  1. Hmmm Who exactly shops only during the hours a dry cleaner is open? In any case, doesn’t a spin in the dryer ruin a lot of clothing?

  2. Another tactic I’ve heard about is as soon as you bring the clothes home (or better yet, right after you buy them), tie them up in a plastic bag. Then if you can’t get to the cleaner/dryer immediately, you’re relatively safe with the clothes in the bag, then dump then directly from the bag into the dryer.

  3. I am a manager at a pest control company and the amount of calls we receive a day for bed bugs is out of hand! This problem is a lot bigger than people think and its a disgrace that the retailers are ignoring it. This is just the beginning i have a feeling we might see these things popping up in stores all over the same way its spread to every apartment building in the city. Bedbugs are hard to prevent but they should be taking every measure possible to prevent it. I have tried to reach out to some of these companies to help but i have been unsuccessful thus far. I don’t think they realize what a mess they could be getting themselves into.

  4. Interesting insight, Abe. I’m intrigued by your comment that the problem has “spread to every apartment building in the city.” Is that true?

  5. obviously that is an exaggeration but i don’t think people realize how bad it is and at the rate it is spreading that may not be so far off. Almost every single phone call i receive is about bedbugs, its almost as if there are no roaches, mice, or rats in the city anymore. If you live in a building you should keep an eye out for them although they are not in any way limited to apartment buildings they just spread faster there. Also an important note is these bugs have nothing to do with sanitary conditions so they are just as likely to be in upscale residences. Anyone who is traveling and staying in hotels should be extra careful as that is probably the easiest way to get them.

  6. Yeah, I guess if you consider the bugs’ lifestyle, the ease with which they spread and flourish, and the particulars of New York living, seems to hard to imagine the bed bugs would not be omnipresent before too long. Pretty chilling thought.
    If you are traveling, is there anything you can try doing to mitigate your risk?

  7. Having survived an apartment infestation, I understand that dry cleaning does nothing to kill bedbugs.

  8. Yup – taking everything for laundering w/ dryer seems to work. I spent about $500 on laundry in less than a week, in addition to getting rid of most of my furniture.