There's a government czar for just about everything, so it's about time we got one for bed bugs. A long-anticipated report on how the city government plans to tackle the booming bed bug problem will be released tomorrow. Brick Underground obtained an advance copy of the battle plan, and reports that Mayor Bloomberg will hold a press conference tomorrow and call for a bed bug czar, whose scepter will verily smite our bed bug tormentors with all the fury of traumatic insemination.
The report, prepared by Bloomberg’s 10-member Bed Bug Advisory Board (est. March 2009!), asserts that there were 63% more residential bed bug complaints citywide than in 2008 (23,790 vs 14,573). That’s nearly double the 35% spike between 2007 and 2008! Recent high-profile infestations at Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and Victoria's Secret have highlighted the intensity of the scourge.
Brick Underground reports that key elements of the plan include creating a bed bug task force headed by an entomologist, a public education push, a city-funded “Bed Bug Academy” for building & property managers, assigning bed bug cases higher priority in Housing Court, and giving stronger rights of access to bed bug-infested apartments. The battle plan will also establish a clear protocol for residents dealing with a bed bug problem, including a "triage" plan detailing what to do in the first 24 hours (i.e. MOVE!).