Bed Bugs in NYC

By Mark | Bed Bugs Travel

It’s hardly a surprise, but New York City (NYC) is infected with bed bugs! Some say that as many as 10% of NYC inhabitants have bed bugs (whether they know if or not). There are two main reasons for this high infestation rate in NYC: (1) the huge numbers of tourists that pass through the city daily often bring bed bugs with them, and (2) the close-living quarters in the city makes it difficult for pest control to effectively exterminate entire buildings.

It’s hard to find a hotel in New York that doesn’t have bed bugs these days. Before staying at any hotel, I read the reviews of that hotel for anything that suggests it has had bed bugs recently and then google the name of my hotel with the words “bed bugs” after it to see if any blog posts or news articles pop up about it. Plenty of hotels in New York have had bed bug infestations so I take extra precautions when staying in New York.

It’s not just hotels either that are being infested. Movie theatres and clothing stores are just some of the latest places in NYC being hit by the bed bug epidemic. The Times Square AMC Empire 25 Theater had to close up and be exterminated after various movie goers complained of bed bug bites. Niketown was one of a list of clothing stores that also had to close up to deal with the insects.

Even more upscale places such as the Lincoln Center and the Bloomingdales have been hit. The bed bugs found in the Lincoln center were in dressing rooms and not in any public areas, but Bloomingdales did not specify where they found bed bugs – they only commented that they found a single bed bug and that it had been removed promptly. Back in August 2010, bed bugs were found in both the Empire State Building (in its staff changing area in the basement of the building) and in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. And you know it’s got to be bad when even the Department of Health gets it!

So what can you do to avoid bed bugs when visiting the Big Apple? First, check out reviews of your hotel. Even the luxury hotels are not immune to bed bugs as one tourist found out when staying at the Waldorf-Astoria, although the hotel denies that any bed bugs were found in the room. When travelling by bus, train, or plane, use washable luggage so that you can pop it into your washing machine when you get home. When you arrive at the hotel, place your luggage in the bathroom on the tiled floor as bed bugs are less likely to live on tiles. Then, check the mattress by lifting up the sheets and look for dark brown stains that may indicated bed bug infestations. If you see such stains or see bed bugs or get bitten in the night, then tell the receptionist immediately and demand to be put in another room. When you get home, be sure to wash and dry your luggage and clothes on the hottest setting. For more information on how to avoid bed bugs when travelling, read our Bed Bugs in Hotels page.

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