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Alarming Surge in Bed Bug Complaints Hits New York City: Causes and Concerns

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Complaints regarding bed bug infestations in New York City have surged by a concerning 17% this year, as revealed by data obtained by The Post. Between January 1 and October 31, there were 2,667 reported cases of these bloodsucking pests, compared to 2,276 during the same period last year.

Brooklyn consistently leads in the number of reported cases among the five boroughs, maintaining this trend since 2019. In 2023, there has been a staggering 21% increase in grievances, with 928 cases reported so far, as opposed to 765 in 2022, according to data compiled by the city’s Housing Preservation and Development Department.

The statistics from the HPD encompass 311 complaints, along with violations of city codes related to bed bugs. Manhattan has experienced a 35% increase in complaints, rising from 532 to 716. Staten Island has witnessed a 45% surge, with 61 complaints compared to 42, and Queens has seen an 11% uptick, with 447 complaints versus 429.

The Bronx stands as the sole borough witnessing a decline in bed bug complaints, marking a 4% decrease. In 2023, there have been 485 reported cases compared to 508 in the previous year.

Mark D. Loffredo, the president of Staten Island-based Post Exterminators, shared insights with The Post, stating, “I’ve seen [surges in bed bugs] happen over the past 50 years three times — and this time they’re coming up from Central and South America. You have a tremendous influx of folks that are coming up from those areas.” According to Loffredo, the other two surges, occurring in the 1950s and 1970s, were also attributed to increases in both domestic and international travel.


Loffredo also pointed out that part of the surge in bed bugs in the city can be attributed to the “tremendous problem” Paris faced during its Fashion Week from September 25 to October 3. The event, attended by affluent celebrities and influencers from NYC, resulted in some individuals unwittingly bringing back bed bugs as unwanted souvenirs.

According to Loffredo, these parasites have a knack for hitchhiking in people’s clothing, personal belongings, and luggage. He emphasized, “They’ll flatten themselves out and get into the smallest, tiniest little habitats.”

The consequences of a severe bed bug infestation prompted one New Yorker to prematurely terminate the lease on a three-bedroom apartment on 116th Street in Harlem. Andrea, 36, described her experience, stating, “I want to say I was in a panic, but it was, like, beyond a panic — it was like crisis intervention mode.” She woke up “scratching all over” and discovered a blood-filled bug in her bed.

Original Source: New York Post