Street Art Project Marks Infested Buildings with Miniature Bed Bug Hotels

10/25/2011 8:58 AM |

The Bed Bugg Inn at 204 East 7th Street has no vacancies. (Courtesy BedBugHotels.org)
  • The Bed Bugg Inn at 204 East 7th Street has no vacancies. (Courtesy BedBugHotels.org)

Remember bed bugs, those tiny, swarming causers of alarmist articles and mental breakdowns? Well Hunter Fine—one half, with Jeff Greenspan, of the team behind the Hipster Traps—has a new project called Bed Bug Hotels to ensure that nobody forgets which buildings are infested.

The Observer reports that Fine started installing the tiny, Feigenbaumian miniature insect hotels outside buildings in the East Village and Lower East Side over the weekend, as a kind of public shaming to force landlords to address their buildings’ infestations. So far nine have been installed, as you can see from the project’s Tumblr.

Fine hopes that others will join in by placing their own mini bug hotels near the front doors of buildings with bed bug problems and sending him photo evidence for the blog. His aim isn’t to humiliate tenants, but force landlords to act. “There’s laws against landlords not alerting tenants to bug problems,” he says. “They’re obligated to [take] care of it. But it hardly ever happens.”

An advertising industry worker by day, Fine is acutely aware of the combined power of street art and the internet to get his message out:

Using a street for a canvas, something about that’s really cool. But with the Internet…with Reddit and other sites… it’s entirely changed how many people can be reached. You get a much larger audience: that’s what’s cool about social media.

Accordingly, expect more of his Bed Bug Hotels to pop up outside a building near you—but hopefully not too near you.