Niketown. Victoria’s Secret. Hollister. These are a few major Manhattan retailers forced to close their doors in the past few months to treat a bed bug infestation. Now, we can add the Juicy Couture Flagship 5th Avenue Store to the list. Juicy Couture CEO Edgar Huber sent an email to the “Juicy Team” stating:
As you may be aware we have temporarily closed the 5th Avenue location due to the discovery of bed bugs.
Our top priority is to protect our associates and our customers and we are moving swiftly and aggressively to address the problem. We expect to re-open the store later in the week and will keep you updated when we have specifics around the re-opening.
At this time there have been no other locations identified with this issue but we will continue to take all necessary precautions.
And an official statement says:
We wanted to inform the public and our consumers that we have temporarily closed the Juicy Couture Store at 650 Fifth Avenue due to the discovery of bed bugs.
Like other major retailers recently impacted by this issue, we are moving swiftly and aggressively to address the problem. We expect the store to re-open later this week.
The people who shop and work at the store are our top priority and we are taking all necessary precautions.
There are three other Juicy Couture stores serving New York City shoppers – 860 Madison Avenue, 368 Bleecker Street, 103 Fifth Avenue – and of course all merchandise is available 24-hours a day at http://www.juicycouture.com.
Everyone needs to exercise some extra caution during their holiday shopping this season. Inspect all new purchases upon bringing them home for signs of bed bugs. It is a good idea to shake out/dust off new clothing over a white bathroom floor or bathtub before wrapping them up or putting them into your closet. A few changes to our daily routine can drastically reduce the number of new bed bug infestations this holiday season.
A few of you have been emailing me about new bed bug-proof movie theater seat protectors. It is no secret that bed bugs have been spotted in theaters across the country, and that lots of theater-loving folks have simply cut movie night out of their schedule due to the fear of picking one up. New products are out there attempting to restore your peace of mind and get you back into those theaters with what is basically a large, thick plastic bag shaped to fit the chair.
The question is – do they work? It is certainly plausible that the plastic is thick enough to prevent bed bugs and bed bug eggs on your seat from getting onto your belongings. Nevertheless, this is the kind of product that we don’t typically like to endorse. Our primary mission is to educate our readers on the behavior of bed bugs, and how to avoid further infestations. While the concept has good intentions, this is one product that is a bit too radical, in my opinion. While it is important to be cautious about bed bugs in our daily routine, we need to do so without becoming overly obsessed. Bed bugs are a serious problem, but at the end of the day, it is not worth the drastic measures suggested by this product (and some others). If covering our seat in a large plastic bag is what we are resorting to, I’d hate to think about what’s next. To us, a simple inspection of your seat (and underneath) with your cellphone light, as well as a quick dust off of your clothing and jacket after the movie is enough to drastically limit your exposure in a theater.
That, and… what about bed bugs from the seats on either side of you? Save your money — and put it towards the $18.50 you’ll need for a popcorn and soda for you & your date.
Check out the (absurd) article here.
Check out today’s Doonesbury strip, in which Doonesbury has bed bugs. A storyline that is a little too familiar to some of us…
(click to enlarge)
Bed bugs are sneaky and are always finding new ways to latch onto new, unsuspecting passersby. First it was hotel rooms, then they moved to department stores and thrift stores — what’s next? Judging by what we currently know about bed bug behavioral characteristics, I am forced to believe that with the winter quickly approaching, bed bugs are going to find a new vehicle in coat checks. Yes — coat checks at bars, restaurants, reception halls, etc.
Warm, fuzzy jackets are a perfect place for a bed bug to hide in an infested home. And with so many jackets from many different owners going in and out of coat checks, the likelihood of coat check becoming infested by bed bugs is rather high, in my opinion.
Now — what can you do about this? The best thing to do is to avoid checking your jacket when possible. Wear it, hold it under your arm, put it over the back of your chair, whatever. If you have no choice but to check your coat (coat checks are mandatory at some places), you should thoroughly shake your jacket and dust off the inside and outside upon getting it back, potentially dislodging any bed bugs that may have crawled on. Go the extra step by tossing your jacket into your dryer on high heat for 15-20 minutes when you get home, or throw it into a PackTite.
To some people, this could be considered being over-cautious. However, if everyone made a few basic adjustments to their daily routine to avoid bed bugs, infestations could be kept at a minimum.
The holiday season is just around the corner, and everyone is likely making their travel plans. And if you’re like me, I’m sure one thing that’s on your mind is the possibility of getting bed bugs in a hotel.
There are a number of things you should definitely do when traveling, just to be safe (check out the “Travel” page of this blog). But as an added measure, and for peace of mind, one handy product is a must-have for a traveler – JT Eaton Bed Bug Control for Luggage and Mattresses. This bed bug travel spray is cheap (only $12.99), safe, compact, and it is EPA-approved! Just spritz the stuff in and around your luggage before you pack, paying particular attention to the luggage zippers, folds, creases, and wheels. Allow the water-based spray to dry, then pack up your clothes. It’s a great way to deter and even kill bed bugs trying entering your bag when traveling (whether it’s in an airport or at the hotel). And make sure to bring it with you on your trip, since it doubles as a travel mattress spray. Spray it around your hotel mattress, box spring and headboard for extra peace of mind. As with all the bed bugs products out there, be sure to read the label carefully before using.
This year, bed bugs were definitely one of the most popular costumes on Halloween (just after Snooki and the Chilean Miners, of course). Did you see any good versions? Here are a few to get the ball rolling. Send me your submissions to email@example.com, or just post a link to your photo in the comments!
- Tompkins Square Park in NYC has Bed Bugs! Oh, wait…
Isabella Rossellini as a Bed Bug
Will Ferrell as a Bed Bug on Regis & Kelly
Reader Submission! Jordon's Bed Bug Costume
Bed bugs may be resilient, but one thing they cannot withstand is the high heat of a steamer. Steamers are an excellent, chemical-free way to treat for bed bugs and other pests such as dust mites. Reaching upwards of 250º F, steamers will kill any bed bug or bed bug eggs instantly on contact, while also thoroughly cleaning the treated area. When treating an area for bed bugs, there are a few guidelines one should follow to ensure any and all bed bugs are completely eradicated in a safe manner. Want to know how to kill bed bugs with a steamer? Here are 9 important bed bug steaming tips to help…
- Use caution when steaming an area that has recently been treated with chemicals (such as diatomaceous earth powder). Heat may break down the chemicals already applied, undermining their residual effect. As a general rule, apply chemicals after you steam.
- Prior to steaming, it is recommended that you vacuum the areas to be treated to increase effectiveness. It is recommended to use a vacuum cleaner with a bag, allowing for easy disposal of any bed bugs that may have been captured in the vacuum. Another option is to use a steamer/vacuum combo (such as the EnviroMate Tandem EV1) for ultimate effectiveness.
- Carefully read the instructions provided with your steamer to prepare the steamer for operation. Remember that steamers produce extremely hot steam, so please use caution to avoid burning yourself.
- Before steaming, you should purge the steamer into a cloth towel to clear the nozzle of excess water that has been collected as the steamer heats up initially and when moving between locations. Once the water is purged, you can attach the appropriate accessory and begin steaming. In general, you should always have a dry towel on hand to help absorb excess water that may accumulate while steaming.
- When steaming, start from the top of the room (drapes, etc.) and work your way down to the floor boards. The steamer can be used on moldings, mattresses, box springs, headboards, sofas, carpeting, floorboards and more. However, you should never steam into an electrical outlet or appliances!
- When possible, use a larger head attachment for the nozzle, as smaller heads may create too much centralized pressure, thus scattering the bed bugs rather than killing them. Some steamers have a pressure control valve, allowing you to control the pressure of the steam.
- Take your time with the steamer – keep the tip of the nozzle about one to two inches from the surface you are treating, and move at a rate of about one inch per second.
- After steaming your mattress, allow proper time for the steam to completely dry before applying a mattress, box spring or pillow encasement. Applying encasements before the steam has dried may result in mold.
- After steaming, keep an eye out for any signs of bed bugs in the next few days. If signs of bed bugs appear, re-treat the area with steam. It is always recommended to follow up a steam treatment with EPA-approved bed bug spray such as Steri-Fab.
Vapamore MR-100 Bed Bug Steamer
Need a last minute Halloween costume idea? Check out Will Ferrell as a bed bug on Regis & Kelly!
Here’s the video of Will Ferrell as a Bed Bug…
It has been all over the news lately that many people have been canceling their holiday vacation plans (particularly to my home town of NYC) in fear of picking up bed bugs somewhere along the way. Check out this article from MSNBC.
Instead of hastily canceling your trip and missing your annual outing to see the Radio City Rockettes (perish the thought), check out these recommended bed bug travel products that will help prevent bed bugs when traveling…
- BugZip Bed Bug Proof Luggage & Clothing Encasements: As many of you know, a number of hotels are swarming with bed bugs. The bed bug proof luggage and clothing encasements from BugZip are a perfect solution. Instead of plopping your bag down on the potentially infested bed, place your BugZip-enclosed luggage on the fold-out luggage rack in the middle of your room to prevent bed bugs from sneaking into your bag and hitching a ride home. Make sure to wipe down the BugZip encasement (especially the zipper and all creases) before leaving the hotel room.
- J.T. Eaton Bed Bug Control for Luggage & Mattresses Spray: This portable 6 ounce spray is great to spritz around your luggage to kill any bed bugs that may try to sneak into your luggage. This product has been EPA-registered, so it can be used safely at home or on vacation. The spray also controls fleas, ticks, moths, lice, spiders and cockroaches. Bedbug Control for Luggage and Mattresses is water-based, so it won’t leave an oily or sticky residue on fabrics.
- PackTite Portable Heating Unit: Upon checking out of your hotel, even if signs of bed bugs were not present, inspect your belongings carefully. Placing your luggage, clothing and any other belongings in a PackTite heating unit will kill bed bugs with heat that may have snuck into your luggage. PackTite is safe to use with clothing, bags, shoes, or any other non-washable item.
So if you’re thinking of staying home this holiday season because of bed bugs, check out these products first… Because we all know that Christmas dinner just isn’t the same without an authentic Manhattan street hot dog.