and Gersh Kuntzman
A little villain is taking a bite out of the people who take a bite out of crime.
Workers in District Attorney Charles Hynes’s Downtown office say they are freaked out by an infestation of bedbugs.
At least four floors have been infested with the pesky mites, Hynes’s spokesman admitted, and workers are not happy.
“When I found out that there were bugs, I ran out of there as fast as I could,” a woman said outside the office on Friday afternoon. “They’re so disgusting.”
The spokesman said that he has no idea how the outbreak started, but that Hynes’s office has hired an exterminator.
“Just thinking about it makes me itch,” said a woman who works on the ninth floor of the building — one floor below the DA’s office. “I just hope that they’re gone soon.”
Office workers have their own theories for how the bug invasion began.
One woman blamed the Brooklyn Marriott, which is in the same building as the District Attorney’s office and has thousands of transient customers every year, but Marriott management denied having any bedbug problem.
“We have no bugs at the hotel,” a spokesman said.
Regardless of the origin of this particular infestation, there’s no question that the DA is in wide company, as New York battles a bedbug invasion that officials say has touched one in 15 residents, plus plenty of theaters, office buildings, housing projects and even high-end boutiques.
Earlier this week, Bergdorf Goodman said it had hired an insect-sniffing beagle to rid the store of bedbugs during this citywide infestation.
And CNN’s office in the relatively new Time-Warner Center in Gaphattan was reportedly dealing with a bedbug invasion.
Lost in the battle against this pernicious foe is a basic understanding of what the bug actually is. About the size of an apple seed, bedbugs tend to burrow into lots of areas — not just beds.
Their human victims sometimes don’t even see them, but become aware of them only because their bodies become covered with the tell-tale sign: tiny bites, blood on bedsheets, or little patches of bedbug excrement, which looks like black pepper.
Experts don’t know what to make of the recent comeback in bedbug activity, but some attribute it to global travel and bans on particularly potentpesticides like DDT.
New York convened a government advisory board last year to study the problem. One of its recommendations? Appoint a “bedbug czar” to stay on top of the problem.
No doubt, Charles Hynes is the leading candidate right now.