A simple way to check if you might be sleeping with bedbugs in the apartment you’re thinking of buying is to check the bedbug registry.
At first, the site is tricky since for some addresses it requires “East” or “West” and for others you need to use “E” or “W” instead. Further, for NYC, you need to go to the City Maps section, click on New York and then insert the address.This is a site where people can post reports of bedbug sightings and what happened. The site also allow for disputes to be posted. As of December 27, 2011, there were 4,490 postings in New York City.
So you have to tool around a bit to find the building you are searching.
However, once you get beyond the oddities of the address searching, the site is quite informative. For example, a recent search revealed that a building had a full blown thermal remediation in April only to find several reports of bedbugs again a month later. The site also provides a terrifying little map which shows bedbug sightings in the neighborhood you are searching. Mercifully, if the building you are searching has no reports, it will advise you that there are no bedbug sightings posted.
Some suggestions for this otherwise great site: (1) Make the maps interactive so you can click on the “Red Button” indicating infestation and get the address: and (2) fix the address searching tools so that you can type in “East” or “E”, etc., and still find the building.
Take heed that this is not the end all solution. I have to believe that many people who have seen bedbugs do not post on the site and there are probably many who post sightings which are inaccurate. However, it is a good double check that can either calm or alarm you.
This site is not only for buyers. My suggestion is for sellers to also check the site to make sure they can address any bedbug problem in the building or which references their apartment before they bring the unit to market. By the same token, management companies and co-op and condo boards should routinely check the registry to make sure they can dispute false postings or their remediation efforts of accurate sightings.
By the way, you can also check hotels on the site.
Next up, movie theaters, coat check rooms?