Bed Bugs, Other Pests and Disability

Bed bugListen 28 min

Everyone hates it when the bedbugs come.  By law, the landlord should arrange and pay for eradication.  There’s two government agencies who could show up to inspect and advise you, the Public Health Department and Code Enforcement.  But…. when it comes down to it, you are in charge of the arduous preparation for treatment yourself.

 Bugs don’t discriminate between rich and poor, but as you bag your clothes up after the second failed treatment, it’s hard not to internalize the message that it’s somehow your fault. 

Sheela Gunn-Cushman

Sheela Gunn-Cushman

It’s exhausting and demoralizing.   The sleeplessness of bedbugs can become a mental health issue and allergies make everything worse.   The pesticides are dangerous and the workers often lack awareness of disability issues.  

Sheela Gunn-Cushman tells a bedbug story from a household of three blind people.  

We talk to Leah Simon-Weisberg, an attorney with Tenants Together.  They’re organizing tenants in Concord against a recalcitrant landlord who let these pests get out of control.  The Tenant Hot Line from Tenants Together is 888-495-8020.



All this and more as Pushing Limits takes on the issue of bedbugs and other pests.   With a commentary by Shelley Berman.

Sheela Gunn Cushman, Shelley Berman, Eddie Ytuarte and Adrienne Lauby share the microphone duties.

Original air date: 4-18-14
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