These bed bugs have had enough of their movie theater and clothing store infestations. Now, they've taken their terrifying act to the big time, and have settled themselves into the employee changing room at the Empire State Building. But the ESB doesn't seem too worried, telling the Daily News, "Like so many other buildings in New York City, the Empire State Building had a small incident of bedbugs. The occurrence was specific to a uniform storage area in the basement of the building. The area has been treated and fully cleared." Don't they know the mere whiff of an infestation is enough to turn a beloved city icon into a social pariah?
Speaking of outcasts, the Times interviewed everyone's favorite bed bug poster boy Jeremy Sparig—because speaking with the Daily News wasn't enough to guarantee he'd never find another apartment in this town. He said of those who know him, “They don’t want to hug you anymore; they don’t want you coming over. You’re like a leper." But those who haven't been plagued by the pests aren't taking any chances. One Chicago woman said her friend had the critters a year ago, but she still hasn't been to her house. "I don’t want the cooties," she explained.
Though it's causing him problems, Sparig at least has the courtesy to warn people of his bed bug problems. In a
wise move move that puts even more in jeopardy, many of those with bed bugs are hiding it, fearing it could cost them their jobs and relationships. One caterer said she wears long sleeves to hide her bites, arguing, "Who is going to want me in their private home?" As one woman said of the epidemic, "It’s like terrorism." Scared to go outside? Check. Suspect your neighbors? Check. Invaded a city landmark? Check. Bloomberg's 9/11? We'll see.
[UPDATE] Jeremy Sparig commented about his situation in the comments section. Check it out.