Last year, there was an instance of a woman appearing before City Council to complain her landlord was not doing enough about bugs. Now it's elevated to "Watertown's bedbug problem."
Perception is a funny thing when you are inside the government/media bubble as opposed to minding your own business and living life on the outside.
One thing I learned from this article is that CDBG funds from being an entitlement community is the new way to spend money while acting like you are not. The roughly 700K a year is an additional revenue source for a variety of projects but exterminating bugs ? Probably not.
If bedbugs are a public health problem, we have agencies to deal with it in terms of education.
I don't have bedbugs, but like anyone, I have dealt with critter issues when they arise. Where such issues pass from individual responsibility to society's woes is not always an easy line.
It's a stigma to have bugs. For tenants and for landlords, at least the responsible ones. Lets hope the bedbug summit helps everyone understand the issue, but to be candid, it's not a pervasive problem and everyday people with bug or critter issues deal with them privately and without fanfare.