The Real.Est List
Most likely to have bed bugs: Poor old Swedish hipsters
If you want to predict your building’s bed bug risk, act like a state trooper and start profiling the neighbors, suggests a commenter on Brownstoner.
His take on The Most Likely to Become Infested:
"1) old people who never leave their apartments
2) section 8 families
3) transient 20 year old partiers
4) europeans who travel half the year back and forth"
We bounced this profile off of our BrickTank pest management expert, Gil Bloom. Besides being an entomologist and the vice-president of Standard Pest Management, Bloom also sits on Mayor Bloomberg’s very busy Bedbug Advisory Board, tasked with vanquishing NYC’s bed bug epidemic.
Bloom was dubious about the science behind the aspersions, but acknowledged certain truths.
For instance, he says, elderly residents can be a “challenged” group--due to the lifetime of possessions that often fill their homes and the fact that because they seem to be less reactive to bed bug bites, they can be slower to recognize a problem.
As for Euros and youngsters?
“Transients and travelers move around so the odds may increase, but I know of no study to support a higher level of infestation,” says Bloom.
Meanwhile, many Section 8 residents "may not have funds available to treat bed bugs, but this is not so across the board.”
To assess your building’s bed bug risk, says Bloom, it matters more whether anyone has bed bugs now, when the last treatment occurred, and whether lack of access or clutter are interfering with efforts to eradicate the insects.