Chicago vs. Bed Bugs

Advocating policy to control the spread of bed bugs in the City of Chicago

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The New York Times on Bed Bugs

Posted by Jessica on January 14, 2009

You know bed bugs are a big deal when they show up in a New York Times editorial.  Today, they did.

In Getting the Bed Bugs Out, the Times editors, as we like to say here at Chicago vs. Bed Bugs, absolutely nailed it. And they nailed it hard:

Complaints about bed bugs in New York City are rising steadily. As any health official can attest, the only good thing about these nighttime pests is that they don’t seem to cause disease. That doesn’t count panic attacks and the outsize frustration for residents who try to get help from a maze of local and state bureaucracies.

Nice.  Sounds pretty familiar to me.  And this sounds REALLY familiar to me:

In Boston, officials began giving out fluorescent orange stickers — with a picture of the dreaded bed bug — to warn against taking home overstuffed trash. Other cities have established bed bug task forces to help fight invasions in homes, hotels and hospitals. Unfortunately, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has done much on other quality-of-life issues, has not made bed bugs a big deal.

Ahem.  Well, I’m not bold enough to publicly name the people in our city who have, unfortunately, not made bed bugs a big deal.  I have, however, been saying (repeatedly, I know) that other cities are taking action to protect their residents, their businesses, and their economies.  And I’ve been wondering (repeatedly, I know) why the heck our city isn’t following suit.

Here’s the best part:

We hope Ms. [Gale] Brewer, other Council members and state lawmakers — and the mayor — will press for better training and more rigorous certification of exterminators, more public education about these pests, tougher standards for used furniture and a task force to figure out how to stay ahead of an army that seems to be growing every year.

Me too!  And I certainly hope that our Chicago City Council members and our Illinois lawmakers will press for all of these things, too.  Soon.

Chicagoans, this link takes you to a page that shows a map of all the wards and aldermen in the City of Chicago.  If you click on your ward, you will find all kinds of information about your alderman, including specific contact information.

This link takes you to the Mayor’s Office contact info page.

This one takes you to an Illinois State Board of Elections page, on which you can type in your street address and find the contact information of your state representatives, your state senators, the attorney general, and more.

It’s up to you to make yourselves heard.  If you are dealing with or have experienced a bed bug infestation, I encourage you to tell the people who have the power to take action: Tell them how much it cost you to get rid of bed bugs.  Tell them, landlords, how much it’s costing you to rid your buildings of bed bugs.  Tell them, all of you, if bed bugs have adversely affected your quality of life or your health, and tell them how.

Like I said, you know bed bugs are a big deal when they show up in a New York Times editorial.  Chicagoans, the time is now.  You are, quite obviously, not alone.


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