Bedbug Mess Brings Work to NYC Actors

... helping people clean apartments before extermination

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 16, 2010 4:11 PM CST

(Newser) – At least one group of New Yorkers has benefited from the city's bedbug problem: out-of-work actors, many of whom have taken jobs as extermination preparers, the Wall Street Journal reports. They "have great personalities and follow directions well," says the owner of one company who hires them to help clients with the labor-intensive pre-extermination process—apartments must be cleaned, clothes laundered, book and media collections vacuumed, and items sealed in plastic.

For many actors, the in-demand work is a good match: they even get to practice performing in the most dirty apartments. You have to act to "pretend to be OK, like you're still having a good time with friends and stuff, while you're choking on a lot of dust," explains a 25-year-old aspiring actress.

This 2008 file photo provided by Virginia Tech Department of Entomology shows two bedbugs.
This 2008 file photo provided by Virginia Tech Department of Entomology shows two bedbugs.   (AP Photo/Virginia Tech Department of Entomology, Tim McCoy, FILE)
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