Highlights from BrickUnderground's BedbuggedNYC Meetup: Dogs, dryers, and pinot grigio

Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral
By Teri Karush Rogers  |
September 19, 2011 - 11:45AM

Many thanks to everyone who came out for BrickUnderground's BedbuggedNYC Meetup Thursday night. It has been especially gratifying to hear from some that not only do they feel more equipped to deal with their bed bug problem, they also feel less alone.

Along with pinot grigio, there was a lot of bed bug intel zinging around the Chelsea headquarters of our co-host, neighborhood social networking site  Here are some highlights:

  • False positives (and occasionally, false negatives) are still a big problem with bed-bug sniffing dogs that have been improperly trained or handled, according to panelist/bed bug guru Gil Bloom. Make sure your handler is certified by the National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association.  Also, if a dog identifies a "hot spot," don't immediately fly into a panic and/or spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on treatment until you have other evidence, such as actually seeing a bed bug or signs of one such as fecal deposits, shed skins, bites, etc.  
  • Your dryer = Bed Bug Chamber of Death. Thirty minutes at 120 degrees kills everything, says Bloom. (Just don't pack it too tightly and run the dryer longer if the items are wet).
  • Early next year, the Fume Cube 3.0 will be coming to a NYC apartment building near you. The existing generation of the Fume Cube (invented by our Meetup sponsor, Bed Bug Fumigation Specialists) is a shed-like container constructed on-site at an apartment building into which infested belongings can be conveniently transported and fumigated overnight.  It has to be operated by a licensed fumigator--which is fine in the throes of an active infestation, but less convenient for ongoing day-to-day prevention.  Enter the Fume Cube 3.0: a self-operable heat chamber big enough to toss your luggage after a trip or to bed bug-proof that sofa you just bought off Craigslist.
  • If you think you have bed bugs, under no circumstances should you start throwing things out willy-nilly, advises bed bug survivor and Bedbugged! columnist Theresa Braine. It is completely unnecessary in most cases, it won't throw out the problem and in most cases will only spread bed bugs if your stuff is even infested. If it's not, you've wasted tons of money. Instead, educate yourself aggressively via and the other good sites out there, and call in a knowledgeable pest professional to help you evaluate your situation so you can figure out how best to treat it. Also, find out what's happening next door, and talk to the landlord/property manager. 
  • If your landlord or co-op/condo board isn't taking appropriate steps to clean up your apartment or the building, consider filing an easy, do-it-yourself lawsuit that attorney Steve Wagner refers to as "the nuclear bomb." (For more info, see #5 of 6 ways to get your landlord to fix stuff in your apartment.)
  • Even if you don't have bed bugs, monthly or periodic inspection of both your living space and your hotel room/luggage  is essential if you are going to nip an infestation in the bud. "People don't inspect because they don't want to think about bed bugs," says Braine. "This will keep bed bugs out of their head, but not out of their life."


Related posts:

How to bed bug proof your NYC apartment

How bed bugs spread through apartment buildings

How to talk to your neighbors and your landlord about bed bugs

Bed bugs 101: Fumigation Demystified (sponsored)

Can you get bed bugs or lice through a communal laundry room?

Your kid's bed bugs: Back to school advice for the paranoid and merely cautious


Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral

Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.