A decline in bedbug violations in recent years doesn’t mean that there are fewer bedbugs in the city.
As some of us know from personal experience, finding bedbugs in your apartment is jarring. While they don’t carry diseases to humans (that we know of), their bites are itchy and can get infected.
Bedbugs are adept hitchhikers, easily picked up in hotel rooms, car shares, movie theaters and other public spaces. And once they settle into your home, they are difficult and expensive to get rid of — and notorious for spreading to the neighbors’ apartments.
We asked Localize, a website that can provide information on any address in New York City, to analyze the last five years’ worth of bedbug violations (through August 2018) for rentals in the five boroughs, to find out where the problem has been the worst and if it is getting any better. (Violations are issued by the city to landlords who fail to properly address an infestation.)
The Bronx, it turns out, has consistently had the most violations per rental household, followed by Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Overall, violations are on the decline, but bedbugs are far from being under control, according to the Localize report. Any improvement, experts say, may be the result of new laws that have spurred landlords to take infestations more seriously and address them sooner.