The creepy-crawly villains are in District Attorney Charles Hynes’s Downtown office.
Members of Brooklyn’s law enforcement community again spotted bed bugs at the Brooklyn DA’s office on June 3, a year after the pests’ initial attack on the Jay Street building.
The bloodsucking insects were discovered on the 20th floor, one story above the office of Hynes and other legal executives.
Hynes denied the latest outbreak, brushing past a reporter stationed outside his office complex, offering only a curt, “No,” when asked if his office had bed bugs.
Later, though, Hynes’s spokesman confirmed the infestation.
“There were bed bugs spotted on the 20th floor last week,” said the spokesman, Jerry Schmetterer. “This is the first time they’ve been back since last year, and that’s about all I’m going to say about it.”
Schmetterer said that exterminators administered their own form of justice on Friday and will return on Monday. The bug-infested floor houses the Early Case Assessment Bureau, the place where Hynes’s lawyers review an arrest and decide whether to prosecute a case.
One assistant district attorney told us that frightened 20th-floor employees are shielding their chairs with garbage bags and bringing “safe clothes” in plastic bags — into which they change after the workday.
“How can I put the bad guys away when it feels like I’m being eaten alive?” she said.
Many other employees in the building said they had no idea there was another insect invasion and were still scarred from last year’s swarm. “Please don’t tell me that they’re back,” said one clerk several floors below. “I still have my plastic bag on my chair from last time, and I won’t move it.”
The bed bugs invaded the DA’s office in August, 2010, laying siege to at least four floors. Some workers wrongly blamed the Brooklyn Marriott, but hotel management said it never saw any of the bloodsuckers in its lodge, which is physically in the same building as Hynes’s office, but has its own separate writing and plumbing systems.
Still, the marauding parasites no know boundaries. They’ve also notably attacked the Legal Aid Society’s office nearby and the Time-Warner Center and even the Empire State Building — though what else can you expect from Manhattan?
This month, they captured the men’s locker room of the Reebok Sports Club, a celebrity hangout in West Brooklyn.
A glance through BedBugRegistry.com, an Internet bulletin board, shows that bed bug have been reported sighted in Williamsburg’s McKibbin Lofts and the Best Western Gregory Hotel in Bay Ridge.
Terminix ranked New York City first in the nation for bed bug infestations for the second consecutive year — confirming the formidable human-versus-bug battle that lies before us.
The apple seed-sized mites often hide in the cracks of furniture, floors or walls, waiting to feed on human blood. They then torment their victims by leaving behind tiny bites, blood on bed sheets or black specks of excrement.
The insects reproduce rapidly and can live for more than a year without feeding on a host.
Not everyone at the DA’s office, however, is losing sleep.
“They’re so ubiquitous that I’ve developed — no pun intended — a thick skin,” one assistant DA said. “They’re everywhere in this city.”