Gotham’s bugging out!
Complaints about bed bugs across New York City have surged a revolting 17% so far this year — with 2,667 cases of the bloodsuckers reported between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31, compared to 2,276 in the same period last year, data obtained by The Post revealed.
Brooklynites have logged the most cases of the creepy-crawlies out of all five boroughs every year since 2019 — and in 2023, they’ve seen a startling 21% spike in grievances, with 928 so far this year compared to 765 in 2022, according to data collected by the city Housing Preservation and Development Department.
HPD’s stats included 311 complaints, as well as violations of city codes regarding bed bugs.
Gripes about the bugs are up 35% in Manhattan, with 716 complaints, up from 532; 45% in Staten Island (61 vs. 42), and 11% in Queens (447 vs. 429).
The only borough to see a dip in bed-bug complaints was The Bronx, down 4%, with 485 so far in 2023 compared to 508 last year.
“I’ve seen [surges in bed bugs] happen over the past 50 years three times — and this time they’re coming up from Central and South America,” Mark D. Loffredo, the president of Staten Island-based Post Exterminators, told The Post. “You have a tremendous influx of folks that are coming up from those areas.”
The other two surges — one in the 1950s and another in the 70s — were also both due to upticks in both domestic and international travel, he added.
Loffredo also attributed part of the city’s inundation of bed bugs today to the “tremendous problem” Paris had with them during its Fashion Week Sept. 25 through Oct. 3 — which saw ritzy NYC-based celebrities and influencers return with unwelcome souvenirs.
The parasites “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,” Loffredo warned.
For one New Yorker, a bad case of bed bugs was enough to terminate the lease early on a three-bedroom apartment on 116th Street in Harlem.
“I want to say I was in a panic but it was, like, beyond a panic — it was like crisis intervention mode,” said Andrea, 36. She woke up “scratching all over” and spotted a blood-stuffed bug in her bed.
“I think that’s what freaks out New Yorkers – or anyone who deals with [bed bugs] — that sudden sense of not being safe in your own space and in your own bed,” Andrea said.
An HPD spokesperson said the department is “closely monitoring the overseas bed bug situation” and “all New Yorker’s should know there is currently no reason for alarm.”
“We will stay vigilant tracking the slight increase we’re seeing now [in NYC],” the spokesperson added.