There are people out there whose apartments are infested, Eisenberg added.
To moviegoers, the mere mention of flesh-hungry insects noshing on audiences was worse than any horror film playing Sunday in Manhattan.
Dinner and a movie: Experts say bedbugs favor feasting on moviegoers in cushy theater seats
The critters travel in peoples pocketbooks, gym bags, and on clothes – and then crawl onto office desks, sales floors and theater seats.
Bedbugs need people to stop moving to get a blood meal.
It is a crisis. Virtually any place inNew York Cityis at risk.
In a movie theater, you are sitting in one spot for two hours. They have the opportunity to feed on you, saidJennifer Erdogan, director of Bell Environmental Services, a pest control company that fumigates movie theaters, offices and stores.
They are walking around with bedbugs all day long. They go shopping. They go out eating. They go on the subway. And if you sit next to them you are screwed.
Bedbugs hitchhike, saidJeff Eisenberg, president of Pest Away Exterminating on the upper West Side.
This shouldnt be a surprise. We have more homes infected by bedbugs. All those people go to school, the office. They [bugs] go wherever people go, said entomologistRichard Cooper, who sits on the citysBed Bug Advisory Board.
None of the varmint experts contacted by the Daily News would dish on which theaters or stores theyve treated for bedbugs, citing confidentiality agreements.
Experts warned Sunday that cushy theater seats pose a far bigger bedbug threat than racks in clothing stores – despite last weeks news of bedbug infestations at twoManhattanshops.
Experts say bedbugs need people to be steal in order to get a good meal, thats why theyre likely to pop up in movie theaters. (Thayer/Getty)
Exterminators said theyve zapped the pests in Broadway theaters, judges chambers, health clubs, stores, and movie theaters during the past year.
The city doesnt investigate bedbugs in private businesses, leaving it to companies to proactively treat bedbug problems on their own, said a Health Department spokesperson.
Shoppers are still scratching from reports that bedbugs shut downHollisterin SoHo and its sister store Abercrombie & Fitch in theSouth Street Seaport.
Thats sick, saidCassandre Augustine, 18, ofFlatbush,Brooklyn, who was headed to seeGet Him To The Greekin midtown. It makes me extra germophobic. Now I have to wear long pants all the time.
But they all agreed:New Yorks bedbug problem has spread outside apartments into public spaces.
Last year, the 311 hotline got 11,987 bedbug complaints. So far this year, the bedbug complaint tally is about 5,000.
Playing now in a city theater near you: Attack of the Bedbug.