Despite Task Force, NYC Bedbug Complaints Way Up A Year Ago, The Bloomberg Administration Was Out To Stop Problem; A Year Later, 311 Hit 34 Percent

Signs of bedbug infestation include pepper-like spots of fecal matter, specks of dried blood on bedsheets, and of course, the bites.

The tiny menaces are making a record number of New Yorkers miserable and it appears Mayor Bloomberg is powerless to prevent the onslaught.

Back in January of 2008, New York City announced it was creating a bedbug task force to help deal with the problem and help educate residents on how to avoid an infestation. The task force was put together after NYC received 7,000 complaints in 2007.

However, an advocacy group said Tuesday there were more than 9,200 bedbug complaints to the city's 311 line in 2008, a 34-percent jump over the year before.

The group, called New York vs. Bedbugs, obtained records from the city through a Freedom of Information request.

The data shows the hardest hit areas include central Brooklyn, northern and eastern Bronx, Midtown Manhattan, a section of eastern Queens, and the north shore of Staten Island.

The scourge is nearly impossible to eradicate. The tiny creatures can go a year without feeding, they reproduce rapidly and don't die easily. Most bed bugs spend their lives inactive just waiting to feed, but when they sense heat, such as human body heat nearby, that's when they start moving around looking for blood. If you happen to sleep tight where the bedbugs bite, you may then inadvertently bring them with you wherever you go.

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Bed Bugs Wreak Havoc In Maryland (2/28/2007)

N.J. Woman Fighting Painful War With Bed Bugs (10/26/2006)

Don't Let The Bed Bugs Bite! (10/26/2006)

The Big Apple's bedbug menace is getting worse.