Monday, December 31, 2007

Eeeuwwww! This bites.

Start spreading the news
I'm leaving todayI want to be a part of it, New York, New York
These vagabond shoes Are longing to stray
And make a brand new start of it New York, New York
I want to wake up in the city that never sleeps
To find I'm king of the hill, top of the heap
These little town blues
Are melting away
I'll make a brand new start of it
In old New York
If I can make it there I'll make it anywhere
It's up to you, New York, New York.


Now I'm getting itchy all over! YIKES!

Bedbug epidemic attacks New York City


A bedbug epidemic has exploded in every corner of New York City - striking even upper East Side luxury apartments owned by Gov. Spitzer's father, the Daily News has learned.
The blood-sucking nocturnal creatures have infested a Park Ave. penthouse, an artist's colony in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a $25 million Central Park West duplex and a theater on Broadway, according to victims, exterminators and elected officials.

Once linked to flophouses and fleabags, bedbug outbreaks victimize the rich and poor alike and are spreading panic in some of the city's hottest neighborhoods.

"In the last six months, I've treated maternity wards, five-star hotels, movie theaters, taxi garages, investment banks, private schools, white-shoe law firms, Brooklyn apartments in Greenpoint, DUMBO and Cobble Hill, even the chambers of a federal judge," said Jeff Eisenberg, owner of Pest Away Exterminating on the upper West Side.

The numbers are off the charts: In 2004, New Yorkers placed 537 calls to 311 about bedbugs in their homes; the city slapped 82 landlords with bedbug violations, data show.

In the fiscal year that ended in June, 6,889 infestation complaints were logged and 2,008 building owners were hit with summonses.

They must get rid of the pests within 30 days or face possible action in Housing Court, the city Department of Housing, Preservation & Development says.

The scourge has left no section of the city untouched: Complaints and enforcement actions soared in 57 of the 59 community boards.

In the most bedbug-riddled district, Bushwick in Brooklyn, HPD issued 172 violations this year, up from four in 2004; it responded to 476 complaints, up from 47.

Central Harlem chalked up 269 complaints, up from nine. Williamsburg and Greenpoint, home to the city's hippest galleries, racked up 148, up from 11 in 2004. Astoria and Long Island City saw the tally climb to 345 from 41.

Bedbugs come out of the woodwork at night to feed on human blood, biting people in their sleep and leaving large, itchy skin welts that can be painful. They are not believed to carry or transmit diseases.

A surge in global travel and mobility in all socioeconomic classes, combined with less toxic urban pesticides and the banning of DDT created a perfect storm for reviving the critters, which had been virtually dormant since World War II, experts say.

Prolific reproducers and hardy survivors, they can thrive in penthouses, flophouses or any environment where they can locate warm-blooded hosts, said Louis Sorkin, an entomologist at the Museum of Natural History who keeps a colony of 1,000 bedbugs in his office and lets them feed on his arm.