Reports of bedbug infestations in New York City have soared by 17 percent so far this year, with 2,667 cases logged between January 1 and October 31.
Out of all the city’s boroughs, Brooklyn has been hit the hardest by the plague of bloodsuckers with a whopping 928 reported cases, compared to 765 in 2022, according to data from NYC’s Housing Preservation and Development Department obtained by the New York Post.
The data shows that Brooklynites have suffered the most from bedbugs out of all other New York boroughs since 2019.
Still, other areas have also seen stark increases, with Manhattan bedbug reports up by 35 percent with 716 complaints, Staten Island up by 45 percent, and Queens up by 11 percent.
Fortunately for residents of the Bronx, they’ve gotten lucky: It is the only borough to see a dip in infestations, as they’re down by 4 percent — but still has recorded 485 cases so far in 2023.
“I’ve seen [surges in bedbugs] happen over the past 50 years three times — and this time they’re coming up from Central and South America,” Staten Island exterminator Mark D. Loffredo told the Post. “You have a tremendous influx of folks that are coming up from those areas.”
The previous two major waves of bed bugs—one in the 1950s and another in the 70s—were also both due to increased travel from hotbed (no pun intended) areas.
Loffredo also linked NYC’s infestation to the “tremendous problem” facing Paris, when their Fashion Week erupted in chaos with the influx of international travelers earlier this fall.
Bedbugs “travel in people’s clothes, in their personal effects, in their luggage…They’ll flatten themselves out and get into the smallest, tiniest little habitats,” the extermination expert warned.
For one New Yorker, a bad case of bedbugs was enough to terminate the lease early on a three-bedroom apartment on 116th Street in Harlem.
An HPD spokesperson told the outlet that they are “closely monitoring the overseas bedbug situation” and “all New Yorker’s [sic] should know there is currently no reason for alarm.”
“We will stay vigilant tracking the slight increase we’re seeing now [in NYC],” they added.