We've been given a brief respite from the Bedbug Wars of 2014: the MTA tells us they have found no bedbugs on any 7 train after one passenger reported seeing creepy crawlies salivating at the sight of human flesh yesterday. But that doesn't mean things are going so well for the victims of the first wave of attacks: an MTA cleaner complained to the Daily News today about how she contracted bedbugs from one of the infected N trains, and now the MTA won't pay to fumigate her house. “They’re all over me," the 54-year-old grandmother told them. "They’re all over my clothes and the MTA isn’t doing a damn thing."
The woman, a six-year MTA veteran who asked to remain anonymous, continued: "I asked them for help and they told me to call my landlord, but I don’t want him to know. I can’t even go back to work because I’ll be bringing them back with me and I like the people I’m working with." Bedbugs were found on at least three N train cars last week; there were also reports of bedbugs on a 5 train and a 4 train.
The cleaner said the MTA has fumigated an employee locker room at the Ditmars Blvd. station, where she works, but refuses to do her home: "We cannot fumigate property that does not belong to us," an MTA spokesman told the News. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has lots of information about tenant's rights when it comes to bedbugs, including a list [PDF] of pest control companies. For starters, landlords are legally required to "eradicate the infestation and keep the affected units from getting reinfested." And you can't legally be evicted for having bedbugs.
The cleaner says the bedbugs are already ruining her life, as they do, preventing her from attending her granddaughter's 7th birthday party. "My daughter felt bad, she didn’t want to say it, so I had to — she preferred that I not come to the party," she said. "So I’m going to miss out." Bedbugs: tearing families apart since the dawn of blood.