Bed bugs are unspeakably gross. And in New York City, bed bugs are mutating. As if the nasty little freeloaders weren’t durable enough, their shells are getting thicker. That reduces the effect of common insecticides, making them even tougher to evict from your apartment. Having them removed by a pro can cost $500-$1500 or more. Since exterminating them is such a giant pain, the ideal solution is not to come down with them in the first place. So here are some tips on how you can avoid letting the worst roommate ever into your home.
Learn about bed bugs. They are 4-5mm long, or about the size of an apple seed. So they aren’t microscopic. You don’t have to bust out your high school pocket microscope to find them. They have only one item on the menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Blood. Yup. That’s it. Could these things possibly be any creepier? They can go for a year without eating. That . . . doesn’t even make sense, but there you have it. These things are like aliens from another planet or something. They like mattresses, but not because they’re soft. They like dark crevices that offer lots of protection. Beds are a common party spot for them, but they can also be found gathering in other pieces of furniture, like chairs and tables. Or sheets. Even light sockets.
It’s a common misconception that bed bugs only infest dirty places. It makes sense, at first glance. Dirty, polluted, filthy apartment? Please meet soulless, evil, insectoid avatar of corruption. With so much in common, the two of you will get along great!
But it’s not so. Bed bugs will cheerfully inhabit perfectly clean places if they get the chance. One thing that keeping the place clean does do, however, is make them much easier to spot. Less cover for the little guys as they rush between the trenches. And bed bugs are easier to deal with if caught early. So while being clean won’t necessarily save you from them, it can make dealing with them easier, faster, and cheaper.
Craigslist Is A Haven For Pests
And for once, nobody is talking about scammers. Bed bugs are notorious hitch-hikers. If you purchase a piece of furniture on Craigslist, and they are lurking within the depths of the poofy pillows, you can bring them into your home. Inspect thoroughly. Look for bugs, but also for eggs and skin shucked off when they molt. While not microscopic, it’s still tough to see, so bring a flashlight.
Creepers On The Subway
Public transportation in New York can be a migration mecca for bed bugs. Taxi’s, shared bicycles, even ticket vending machines. The subway is a particularly popular scene for bed bugs in NYC. With so many people coming and going, it’s easy for them to move from one person to another. Or just hang out in the cushions for someone to sit down. In the past, whole New York subway trains have been fumigated after being overrun with the things. While avoiding the subway during peak hours is ideal, let’s face it, most of us have jobs and can’t afford to do that. So just be aware of where you stand, and it doesn’t hurt to check your clothes after you get home.
Do you have any bed bug stories? How about tips for avoiding bed bugs in NYC? Post your comments below.