NEW YORK — According to New York City health officials
, one out of every 15 New Yorkers have battled bed bugs in the last year, according to a press release.
Health officials have announced a plan to fight the spreading infestation, which has been discovered in theaters, clothing stores, office buildings, housing projects and even upscale hotels, the release stated.
According to the release, health officials reported that bedbugs have rapidly multiplied throughout New York and many other U.S. cities in recent years: Across the country, the National Pest Management Association
notes a 57 percent increase in calls over the past five years for bedbug infestation.
Bedbugs, once thought to be eliminated because of widespread use of the pesticide DDT in the 1940s and 1950s, are thought to be on the rise because of the decreasing use of pesticides and due to immigration and travel from the developing world, the release noted.
Acting on a report by a government advisory board, New York City is re-appropriating $500,000 of health department money to begin the first phase of a "bedbug battle plan," the release detailed.
Some of the money will go toward creating an online portal where New Yorkers can find information about avoiding bedbugs as well as how to treat their homes, the release added.