(PIX11) – They are listed as the city’s go-to agency for information on preventing and remedying bed bug infestations.
But now, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is reportedly dealing with its own nasty case of bed bugs.
How does this happen?
It’s the piece of real estate that boasts a price tag of $316 million but it still isn’t enough to ward off an apparent bed bug infestation.
According to the New York Post, the fancy piece of property known as 2 Gotham Center — which houses the Health Department’s 4,000 employees — has a bed bug problem that the department is trying to downplay.
At least five floors of the 21-story building is said to be crawling with the pests.
What’s even more shocking, this is the second time in less than a year that a bed bug was found in the 3-year-ol d building.
The bug scare at the Health Department happens on the day a new report is released ranking New York City #1 when it comes to being the worst in bed bug infestations.
Experts say the latest ranking and this stubborn bed bug problem should serve as a wake-up call for the city, which say there is an “under-reporting” problem.
“It’s an issue of just saying, ‘Ok, let’s figure it out. Let’s admit and how are we going to solve it,’” said Rick Moskovitz, president of A-Plus Pest Control in Chicago.
Moskovitz says the bed bug situation is indeed an epidemic that city officials everywhere need to address and stop side-stepping.
“You’re really going to be a hero if you’re honest. Say we know there is a problem, now let’s figure it out,” he said.
The problem has reached epic proportions over the past few years, where several prominent New York City locations have fallen victim to the six-legged terrors including the New York Public Library, Lincoln Center, the Waldorf-Astoria and even the United Nations.
And if you’re an avid traveler, you have been warned.
“You always have to check the bedding every hotel you check in [to],” Moskovitz said.
In response to the Post’s report, the Health Department acknowledged that a “small number” of bed bugs were found, but it is in no way an “infestation.”
Well for now at least.