Ira Glass, the creator of NPR’s popular “This American Life” weekly broadcast, is being sued by his condo board due to an unaddressed bed bug and rodent infestation in his Chelsea apartment.
The condo board alleges that Glass and his wife, Anaheed Alani, have allowed an ongoing infestation of bed bugs in the apartment they bought for $1.27 million in 2012. According to the lawsuit, the infestation can be traced back to June of 2016, and it alleges that additional unsanitary conditions include a rodent infestation and defective, leaky appliances that have caused damage in other units.
Although the general conditions are unhealthy, the bed bug infestation is the major part of the lawsuit. Apartments and condominiums represent 95% of locations where bed bugs are found, and since they spread relatively quickly and can be difficult to get rid of, they’re understandably a major concern to both property managers and tenants. Glass and Alani have not permitted the landlord to exterminate.
Now the landlords are suing the couple in order to gain access for extermination, and the board is demanding money to cover the cost of necessary repairs within the apartment due to the poor conditions. Both Glass and Alani have stated that what the lawsuit alleges is completely untrue, and that they have already paid for exterminators. To the best of their knowledge, their problem has been solved.
Still, other tenants at 159 W. 24th St. have expressed that the conditions within Glass’s unit have interfered with their comfort and safety. Some have already been forced to vacate the building. This isn’t surprising, since many New Yorkers have ranked a bed bug infestation higher on their list of fears than terrorist attacks.
In addition to the “ick factor,” bed bugs can increase your risk of dangerous infection due to their bites. Generally, they are more of a nuisance than a health risk. Although there are many DIY methods to getting rid of a bed bug infestation, most people agree that it’s best to leave it to the professionals. If you suspect or have confirmation of a bed bug infestation, don’t resign yourself to a miserable ‘American Life’ — contact an exterminator.