Warnings On Used Furniture And Mattresses Being Considered

NEW YORK (CBS 2/ 1010 WINS / WCBS 880) — As the bed bug problem grows, there is a new effort to exterminate the problem.

It’s a battle that’s bugging New York City. And as CBS 2’s John Slattery found out, the solutions aren’t simple.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

He’s the little critter that’s fast becoming public enemy number one.

“The most common way to describe it by most customers is that it’s a nightmare. That’s really what it is,” pest exterminator Jeff Eisenberg said.

Eisenberg is in the business of finding bed bugs with dogs and eradicating them, which can cost people dearly.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS Stan Brooks with the latest in the fight against bed bugs

“The average will go $1,500 and up. People spend $5,000 to $10,000,” Eisenberg said.

Because of that, a City Council committee is looking into the pesky problem.

“We really need to know if these people are really qualified or just taking advantage of people,” Council member Oliver Koppell said.

The Council is concerned because bed bugs are showing up in so many different places.

“Whether it be going to a movie, or sending your cleaning out, or your laundry out, you have to think about bed bugs,” Council member Karen Koslowitz said.

With more than 33,000 bed bugs calls to 3-1-1 last year, the Council wants to know if the city’s Consumer Affairs department should be protecting people with not just Web site information, but also with warning tags on used furniture and mattresses. Yet, even the entomologists aren’t sure what methods are best.

“If we knew what to do and it was very effective, we wouldn’t have the problem and it wouldn’t still be growing,” said Jody Galgloff-Kaufmann of the NYC Bed Bug Advisory Board.

As the problem grows, researchers said the number of New Yorkers who have had bed bugs in the last year is 6.7 percent.

One remedy for bed bug-infested clothing is to put it into a dryer at 140 degrees for 30 minutes. Most experts agree, that will do it.

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