Officials bite bedbugs back

Sleeping tight could be getting a little easier.

Assemblymember Michael Gianaris has announced the passing by the Senate and Assembly of his Bedbug Prevention Bill, requiring parental notification when bedbugs are discovered in a school.

Awaiting signature by Governor David Paterson, the legislation would require New York City school health services to not only inform the affected child’s family about a bed bug discovery, but the entire school community. Educational materials that include preventative measures would also be provided.

“Parents need to be notified when their children are exposed to these irritating and harmful parasites,” said Gianaris. “It’s high time we take strides to prevent the spread of these nasty creatures that have plagued thousands of New Yorkers.”

Bedbugs have been a hot button issue for elected officials since their resurgence in Queens in 2006.

State Senator Jose Peralta sponsored a bill in March requiring the sanitation of all used mattresses or bedding material transported, stored or sold with new bedding in New York State. It passed in both the Senate and Assembly on June 15.

The Assembly also took up a Peralta Bill requiring landlords and property owners to disclose their property’s bedbug infestation history before it is leased. It would become necessary for property owners to produce a form approved by the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal, providing a history of infestation for that specific living space and/or the entire building.

Assemblymembers Margaret Markey, Nettie Mayersohn and Catherine Nolan are among the sponsors of the Bill.


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