Another week, another bedbug-induced trigger warning on our mass transit system: at least three R trains were reportedly taken out of service in the past week due to bedbug sightings.
The News reports the three trains were taken out of service after September 3rd; they add that an A train was also taken out of service during the last week. And a reader wrote to us that a bedbug was spotted "on a bench on a northbound No. 2 train at around 5 p.m. around 34th Street" last Sunday. So in other words, chaos reigns.
These are the first reported sightings of bedbugs on R and A trains. Up until now, there have been nine sightings on N trains, three on Q trains and two on 6 trains; they were spotted once each on 3, 4, 5 and L trains, and bedbugs were also found in transit worker crew rooms and offices in Astoria, Coney Island (N and Q lines), and East New York (A line).
Of course, it's important to keep in mind that these are just sightings—this doesn't mean any bedbugs were actually found on any of these new trains. Subway scaremongering is loud, but it usually doesn't carry a big, or blood-sucking, stick. The MTA did previously tell us they have hired an "expert" to review their anti-bedbug measures, and they confirmed to the News that they fumigated 16 trains after bedbugs were found on board last month.
One source told the News not to expect that to keep happening: "Regular fumigation of cars would be a waste of time and resources considering we have not discovered an infestation anywhere in the system, and fumigating would only be as good as the next time a person walks into the system carrying a bug."