Goddam bugs!

So the economy has problems. Spare a thought for the citizens of New York where the bedbug plague is reaching crisis proportions with a 34% increase in official complaints last year.

There are lots and lots of people who are having a devastating experience with bedbugs,” said Renee Corea, who helped start the coalition New York vs. Bed Bugs after being bitten. “We are already regarded as the most highly infested city in the United States.

Bed bugs are traditionally associated with the lower orders, and cases were reported in the 1970s in Surry Hills (in Sydney, immortalized by Ruth Park in The Harp in the South).

This is not new, it was an issue in 2007 but it was not something that the hospitality trade wanted the world to know about. What is more, the affliction had moved out of its traditional haunts to attack rich and poor alike.

The blood-sucking nocturnal creatures have infested a Park Ave. penthouse, an artist’s colony in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a $25 million Central Park West duplex and a theater on Broadway, according to victims, exterminators and elected officials.

Once linked to flophouses and fleabags, bedbug outbreaks victimize the rich and poor alike and are spreading panic in some of the city’s hottest neighborhoods.

“In the last six months, I’ve treated maternity wards, five-star hotels, movie theaters, taxi garages, investment banks, private schools, white-shoe law firms, Brooklyn apartments in Greenpoint, DUMBO and Cobble Hill, even the chambers of a federal judge,” said Jeff Eisenberg, owner of Pest Away Exterminating on the upper West Side.

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15 years ago

Cue religious nutbag: It’s the wrath of God schtick.