Bedbug panel: NYC should have bedbug czar

July 28, 2010 4:36:55 AM PDT
A panel of experts studying New York City's bedbug problem is recommending the city hire a bedbug czar and start a bedbug academy to help combat the pests.

The bedbug advisory board gave its report to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn this spring.

Officials have studied it and planned Wednesday to discuss the recommendations and announce what steps they plan to take.

Bedbugs have spread quickly throughout New York City in recent years. In fiscal year 2004, the city fielded 537 complaints about the bloodsucking bugs. In fiscal 2009, there were nearly 11,000.

The panel says a czar would be the city's top entomologist who would control all efforts to fight the bedbug spread. An academy would help educate building superintendents and property owners.

The report also recommends a heightened public awareness campaign.