Since today is the first day of the Chinese Year of the Rat, it seems appropriate to get to know NYC’s new resident rat master, Bobby Corrigan. The city just signed on the country’s leading rodent expert as a full-time employee. Corrigan’s job is to keep rats from eating the core out of the Big Apple.
NYC is full of prime rodent real estate: lots of low shrubbery, parked cars, construction sites, abandoned buildings, tunnels and sewers. Overflowing dumpsters, trash bags stacked along the sidewalks, and lunch bags tossed in (or near) park garbage cans provide a never-ending supply of culinary delights. Corrigan certainly has his work cut out for him.
A city consultant for the past 3 years, Corrigan used his 25 years of expertise as a rodentologist to help the Health Department devise a new $1.5 million rat inspection program for the Bronx. The 18-month pilot program, which started January 1, trains inspectors at Corrigan’s “Rodent Academy” in the art of ferreting out rat activity. The program employs six inspectors — Corrigan’s “Rat Pack” — to inspect properties and make sure landlords evict any furry, four-legged tenants. If evidence of rat activity is found, landlords have two weeks to get rid of the rats before being cited.
Inspectors will carry hand-held computers that will allow them to record and track data while in the field. “Right now, we don’t have any concrete data,” Corrigan told the New York Post. “One of the goals is to collect that data so we can see where problem areas are.” The plan is to create maps to help community boards tackle the problem. “Rats are a barometer for human activity,” Corrigan explained. “So if we can show people where the problems are, they will hopefully do what they need to do” (i.e., get rid of the rats!).
Bed bugs have invaded New York and the city is fighting back! In its continuing effort to educate its citizens, the city will host the second in its series of informative Bed Bug Seminars from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, February 5 at Ricardo’s Catering Hall, 21-01 24th Avenue in Astoria, Queens. Call the Department of Housing Preservation and Development at 212-863-8830 to reserve a space and for more information. Spanish translation will be provided. The program will include:
- How to recognize bed bugs.
- How to prevent bed bug infestations.
- How to eliminate bed bugs from your home.
“Bed bugs do not discriminate and we must do everything we can to stop the spread of the epidemic in our city,” said Council Member Miguel Martinez. “Consumers must be educated about buying used mattresses and of the signs to look for when bitten by the bed bug. The public’s education is desperately needed.”
Bed bug complaints in Astoria climbed from 41 in 2004 to 345 last year. Reports of bed bugs have increased across all of New York’s boroughs. Last year the city logged 6,889 infestation complaints and cited 2,008 building owners. Bed bug complaints soared at nearly all — 57 out of 59 — of the city’s community boards. Some of the worst hit areas are Astoria, Long Island City, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Central Harlem and Bushwick.
“The bed bugs epidemic is one that is adversely affecting all sectors of our community,” said Council Member Diana Reyna. “This issue deserves our full and undivided attention. Educating the community is the first step towards ensuring the safety, proper management and elimination of this problem. A well-informed resident is a safe resident.”
For immediate answers to your bed bug questions, click here. Stern Environmental is at the vanguard of NYC’s battle against invading bed bugs. We now offer the revolutionary chemical-free Cryonite system that is so popular in Europe. Environmentally safe, the Cryonite system is the only treatment program that kills adult bugs, larva and eggs simultaneously. We urge you to attend the city-sponsored bed bug seminars or visit our website to get educated about bed bugs, how to spot them and how to prevent them. If you have or get bed bugs, don’t wait another minute; call Stern immediately. Let “The Cryoniter” put paid to your bed bug problem — permanently.
Using dogs to sniff out bed bugs (see our Jan. 30 post) is a fine idea, though I’m not sure a 3-month patrol is going to get the job done. Bed bugs travel on people, suitcases, clothing, furniture — practically anything. It takes just one unwitting bed-bug carrying guest to infect a hotel room. There’s no 3-month incubation period; the little buggers will be snacking away on the new tenant the next night.
What I found disturbing was the hotelier’s comment that when the dogs sniff out bed bugs (and, believe me, there’s never just one; these guys put rabbits to shame), they fumigate the room. Here’s the problem:
- The room is unusable until the pesticide dissipates.
- You risk exposing hotel guests to pesticide residue.
- Pesticide treatments must be repeated to kill all bed bugs and hatching eggs.
- Some bed bugs have become resistant to commonly used commercial pesticides.
Specialized pesticides are the most widely used method of exterminating bed bugs; and, until now, have been the only reliable option. But now there is a more effective option: Cryonite. Cryonite has particular advantages for the hospitality industry:
- Cryonite is pesticide-free and leaves no poisonous residue so hotel rooms can be back in circulation right after treatment.
- Unlike pesticides, Cryonite presents no health hazard to your guests. It’s safe for even your most sensitive guests and is recommended for use in day care centers, hospitals and nursing homes, as well as the hospitality industry.
- Cryonite kills bed bugs in all stages of development: adults, larva and eggs. Using a dry carbon dioxide snow, bugs are instantly immobilized so they can’t hide or escape and quickly die.
- Cryonite kills even pesticide-resistant bed bugs and other insects, like hard to kill German cockroaches.
The bottom line is that Cryonite is the most effective bed bug eradication system available. It’s healthier for your guests, and it gets your rooms back in circulation faster — making it healthier for your bottom line! Stern is one of an elite number of pest control companies able to offer Cryonite. Contact us today to find out more about Cryonite.