2007_12_dailybedbug.jpg

Nothing makes our skin crawl like reading stories about bedbug infestations. The notorious nocturnal bloodsuckers are almost impossible to get rid of, attack you under the comfort of covers, and can leave you covered with welts. Yesterday, the Daily News took a final 2007 look at the bedbug epidemic that leaves no corner of the city untouched.

In 2004, 537 complaints were phoned in to 311 regarding bedbugs; however, in the fiscal year ending June of this year, 6,889 complaints were made! Residents and landlords must get rid of bedbugs "within 30 days or face possible action in Housing Court." More (justified) fear-mongering: "The small, wingless, rust-colored insects hitch rides on clothing, luggage, furniture, bedding, bookbags, even shoelaces. They've been spotted in cabs and limos, as well as on buses and subways." Bedbugs are at schools, hotels, housing projects and fancy buildings, because the bloodsuckers don't discriminate. For instance, a few apartments in a "swank" building owned by the governor's father Bernard Spitzer has been infested (his company says they have been working "aggressively" to fight the problem), and SNL's Maya Rudolph battled the bugs in her swank apartment last year.

The Daily News article has a helpful sidebar of Dos and Don'ts (above): Standouts: Do find out out if your landlord is liable to pay for extermination. Don't douse your mattress in kerosene, gasoline, or other flammable liquid; that's dangerous and doesn't work. And the only thing more resilient than bedbugs it seems, are news stories about bedbugs. Check out our bedbug archives, including the Bedbug City Map, infestation of a police station and more helpful advice.