Do you know about the landlord's responsibility regarding bedbugs? We've had them since November, and have been told repeatedly by the landlord that they have no idea why this is happening and that there are no other bedbug reports in the building. We just found out that 5 other apartments in the building have bedbug problems, some for longer than us, and that all of us have been told we are the only ones with a problem and have been repeatedly treated by the exterminator. The landlord has paid for multiple exterminations over the months, but it now makes sense that they are coming back if they are in the walls and travelling between apartments. We have requested a meeting with the landlord and the office is refusing to meet with us and said that it is not our concern what is happening in other apartments, so they are not exactly being helpful at this time. We are in the process of writing them a letter, and consulting an attorney for advice, but also do not want to completely ruin our relationship with them, do things that would cause future difficulty in getting an apartment, or be forced to spend any more money. Help!
AT, East Village
Gothamist reported about the bed bug infestation just two weeks ago, so you're definitely not alone, AT. You've probably exhausted all of the home remedies, but the city Department of Health has some suggestions: 1) Wash everything in hot water and dry your bedding at the highest setting; the heat will kill the bugs. 2) Vacuum and dust all surfaces, especially if you have carpeting. 3) Over-the-counter bug sprays are fairly effective; spray down your mattress and bedding.
See also this article for som extra tips and this interview with an exterminator in Newsday.
It sounds, though, that if you've already had the exterminators in, there may not be much more you can do.
It does seem kind of sketchy that your landlord won't admit to a building-wide infestation, hence inhibiting a real solution to the problem. Additionally, the landlord has an obligation to keep your apartment vermin free (see tenant's rights: duty to repair).
So, you may be able to take legal action, but it's pretty much a guarantee that such action would strain your relationship with your landlord, and it's up to you to decide if it's worth it or not. Such action probably wouldn't harm your chances of getting an apartment in the future (and if the bed bug problem persists, you may need to find a new place to live soon anyway), but if that worries you, be upfront with future landlords that action was taken because of a bug problem.
Related: What to do about maintenance emergencies and more neglectful landlords.