NYC Rat Pack Goes on Rodent Rampage

New York City has gone on a rat rampage in an attempt to make a dent in the city’s considerable rodent population. Rat czar Bobby Corrigan, the noted rodentologist, and his team (dubbed the rat pack) are scurrying about the city looking for signs of rodent infestation. When a problem is found, property owners must correct the problem quickly.

The world record for biggest rat is held by an Asian rat that weighed in at a hefty 1 pound 7 ounces. (As a comparison, “purse dogs” like those favored by Paris Hilton weigh about 3 pounds; the average house cat weighs, 6 pounds.) Fortunately for NYC residents, it’s the Norway rat that makes the Big Apple its home. Weighing just a pound, adults grow to be between 1 and 1.5 feet long, though that’s plenty big enough.

At least we don’t have the problems found in some parts of the world. In the remote state of Mizoram, India, an army of rats has caused a critical food shortage. Initially attracted by tasty bamboo flowers, the rats have been feasting on standing crops and rice stored in granaries.  Rats have devoured nearly three-quarters of the region’s annual rice supply. State authorities have initiated a “kill a rat, get cash” program, paying 5 US cents for every dead rat. What they need is Stern’s Track & Trap mouse and rat control program.

Unusual and Spooky Bed Bug Hiding Places

Before the recent bed bug invasion, if you were sitting in a restaurant and you overheard a person tell his friend his phone was bugged you might think the FBI is looking into his nefarious activities. That conclusion is no longer valid. Beg bugs were discovered in a cell phone. It’s a rarity but it’s also a little spooky. Exterminators have recently been finding bed bugs in unusual places such as in clock radios, computer keyboards, electrical switches, televisions, inside books  and other places you perhaps thought were void of the insects. It’s almost like a creepy movie  made by high school kids bored with text messaging. 

 I have more wonderful, I mean troubling news. Experts predict that Long Island and the New York area will soon experience a significant increase in bed bugs due to all the visitors who come to the region for spring break. International travel and hotels are an excellent combination for the arrival of more bed bugs. Perhaps New Yorkers should recommend the beaches of Bulgaria to Spring Breakers.

People being in denial that New York City has a bed bug problem is another prominent issue that has to be dealt with. Preventive measures and pest control procedures have to be  strongly considered by the human population.

Protect Yourself from Bed Bug-Infested Mattresses

The mattresses are sold as “reconditioned” or “refurbished,” fancy words for “used.” Wrapped in factory plastic, they look new on the outside. The covers are immaculate and the price is certainly right — $40 for a twin, a fraction of the cost of buying even an inexpensive new mattress. The problem is under that beautiful, pristine cover often lurk filthy debris, fecal matter, bacteria — and bed bugs.

That was the appalling discovery made during a recent NBC Dateline expose (see our April 23 & 25 posts) of the reconditioned mattress industry. Federal law requires that manufacturers and sellers disclose that mattresses are made of used materials. Twenty-six states also have laws requiring both disclosure and that mattresses be sterilized. As Dateline discovered, the problem is that most states don’t specify the process to be used in reconditioning mattresses, nor do they specify the steps to be taken in sterilizing or fumigating mattresses. This leaves reconditioning factories free to set their own obviously inadequate rules.

Until New York and other states correct the problem, the only way to protect yourself and your family from bed bugs in your bed is to cover mattresses and box springs with bed bug-proof encasements. Encasements trap bed bugs and their eggs inside where they eventually die. Encasements also protect your bedding investment and keep bed bugs from infecting mattresses and box springs.

‘New’ Mattresses May Be Crawling With Bed Bugs

In New York City, the spread of bed bugs, particularly in immigrant communities, has been directly linked to the sale of reconditioned (used) mattresses. NBC’s Dateline tracked a mattress through the reconditioning process (see our April 23 post). Today we tell you what Dateline discovered.

Dateline purchased dozens of reconditioned mattresses. Rebuilt mattresses are a high-profit business. “They might pay a collector $5 per product,” explained bedding industry consultant Gordon Demant. “They might sell that product to the consumer for $50. And all they’ve done in many instances is to put a new cover on it.” Customers include low-end hotels, shelters, school dorms and unsuspecting consumers. “They believe that they’re getting a product which is maybe of lower quality, but not a product which could subject them to significant health problems.”

Dateline opened up the mattresses they purchased. Their outer pristine appearance was a sham. Inside, Dateline found debris, cigarette burns, urine, fecal matter, fungi, bacteria — and bed bugs. Not every mattress contained live bugs, but telltale fecal smears indicated bed bugs had been present and may have left eggs waiting to hatch. The mattresses purchased from the Brooklyn Sleep Products factory were among the filthiest and most bed bug infested mattresses obtained by Dateline.

Next time: Correcting the problem

We’re Seeking Bed Bug Victims to Share Their Story on TV

The national media has sunk their teeth into what they call the bed bug story: the exploding number of bed bug infestations being reported across the country. As a national expert in the extermination of bed bugs, Douglas Stern, managing partner of Stern Environmental Group, has been deluged with media requests from nationally televised stations and syndicated media groups. Not content with handsome head shots of our fearless leader discussing the merits of Cryonite or footage of our crack technicians at work eradicating bed bugs, the national media wants to talk to the bed bug victims themselves.

To encourage you to share your testimony we’ll treat your home FREE! We understand that you may not want to share your identity on television and so will work to protect your name and face from exposure on television, but please consider sharing your story to help others understand the suffering you are going through.

The media is anxious to illustrate the true horror of living with these blood-sucking parasites. They want to hear from a victim what it’s like to wake up feeling like you’re being eaten alive in a bed crawling with these vicious little vampires. They want to film the raw, red welts on a body ravaged by bed bug bites. They want to understand the crushing embarrassment suffered by bed bug victims who are ostracized by family, friends and coworkers afraid of “catching” the bugs. They want to document the misery of victims whose bed bug battle has cost them their jobs. They want to portray the fear of victims with chemical sensitivities, asthma or other health issues who have suffered the repercussions of toxic chemical pesticide treatments. They want to share victims’ stories of emotional trauma and anguish. They want to put a face on the bed bug story to make it real to their viewers.

Stern has offered to help find a bed bug victim who is willing to share his or her story on national television. We are looking for a bed bug victim who is fighting an active infestation and who is willing to go public about their experience. The individual must agree to be interviewed on camera and allow their bites to be televised. Due to the nature of our media requests, Stern will also consider the following in evaluating submitted stories:

  • We can only consider individuals who live in a single-family home or townhouse. Apartments, condominiums and other multi-unit properties are ineligible for this offer due to the parameters of our media requests.
  • Due to transportation and media logistics, individuals who live in the local New York City, New Jersey, southern Connecticut area may be given priority consideration; although individual stories from across the U.S. will be considered.
  • Since we would like to illustrate the fact that bed bugs are equal opportunity pests that cross social, cultural and economic boundaries, priority consideration may be given to attractive homes with a visually upscale look.

If your story is selected to be shared with the media, Stern Environmental will provide a free Cryonite treatment of your home, including any necessary residual follow-up treatment. We will get rid of your bed bug problem completely so you won’t spend another night at the mercy of these nasty little vampires.

Cryonite is the revolutionary, non-toxic bed bug treatment that effectively kills these noxious pests by freezing them with pressurized carbon dioxide snow. Cryonite’s chemical-free vapors are able to reach the undersides of beds and furniture and deep into cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide. Cryonite kills bed bugs in all phases of development, including eggs which are not killed by traditional pesticides, and is highly effective in exterminating pesticide-resistant bed bugs. Using food-grade carbon dioxide, Cryonite leaves no nasty chemical residues and is safe in even the most sensitive settings.

If you’re willing to share your bed bug horror story with Stern Environmental and the media and would like to be considered to receive a free Cryonite treatment, please contact Stern’s representative Nancy McCord at or via phone at 301-705-7303. Please leave a message with your name and contact information, as well as a brief statement about your bed bug experience. Please do not contact the Stern Environmental office; consideration for this offer can only be given to contacts made through Ms. McCord.