Attendees of the Richmond Hill Block Association meeting were left feeling itchy on Wednesday, February 23, after hearing a speech about bed bugs from the Deputy Director of Special Projects and Community Outreach of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation.
“Good night, don’t let the bed bugs bite,” Henny Calle said before ending her speech about bed bugs.
In light of what has become a major problem in the whole New York City area, Calle was asked to be a guest speaker at the meeting and discuss what bedbugs are and what can be done to alleviate the problems that are caused by them.
“Bedbugs are reclaiming the city of NY, the number over the past five years has only been growing,” Calle said.
Renting furniture and a surge in international travel has prompted the high totals of reported bed bug incidents, said Calle.
“It happens unknowingly,” she said.
Calle offered some advice about removing bed bugs. Sealing cracks and small holes will help reduce hiding places and prevent bed bugs from crawling between apartments, she said. She urged everyone not to use pesticide bombs because they can make conditions worse; instead she offered the usage of rubbing alcohol.
The city has also made strides in countering the persistent problem.
“The City Council provided $500,000 to address bed bug issues in New York City,” said a spokesperson for the NYC Health Department. “This funding will be used to develop a bed bug web portal, best practice protocols for landlords and tenants, improved training for City inspectors and enhanced enforcement of bed bug control efforts, including a system for alerting property owners of multiple unit dwellings that their inspections should include units adjacent to apartments with bed bug violations.”
Before Calle gave her 45 minute briefing on bedbugs, State Senator Joseph Addabbo discussed the Governor’s budget and talked about a bill that he would like to see get passed within the upcoming week in regards to harassment.
“To make it a crime to use any city or state personnel or agency as a form of harassment against another,” Addabbo said.
Addabbo said that disputes among neighbors lead to building inspectors, for example, going on “frivolous, needless trips.”
Assemblymember Mike Miller, who spoke after Addabbo, discussed the problem of graffiti in the community and reiterated a $500 offered reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of someone committing the crime.
“We really do want to pay it out. It is something that will help us combat graffiti,” said Miller.
Miller also shared a questionnaire that his office recently conducted.
One of the questions asked residents if they felt New York was “on the right track.” In response, 68 percent replied “no.”
The next meeting will be Wednesday, March 30 at 8 p.m. Chief Michael Blake of the NYPD Counter Terrorism Division will be a guest speaker.
The meeting will be held at 110-08 Jamaica Avenue, call 718-849-3759 for more information. for more information.