CULTURE & ARTS
10/30/2011 06:37 am ET Updated Dec 26, 2011

Clever Street Art Brings Attention To Bug Infestations In NYC

It's fairly well known that New York has been invaded by bed bugs for some time now. The nearly microscopic blood-suckers have descended upon the city, the situation heightening to an epidemic status. The bugs have overtaken retail stores, hotels and apartments, and the poor victims of the infestations often don't have a clue of the problem until it's too late. One upstanding citizen is addressing the problem head-on with his biting street art.

Hunter Fine, who previously worked with Jeff Greenspan on the project "Hipster Traps," is going solo to raise awareness about the critters by setting up 'Bed Bug Hotels' outside buildings reported to have infestations. The idea for the project arose after one of Fine's friends suffered an infestation and had to dispose of all belongings. Fine explains, "I was telling them, there should be a way to warn people from moving into buildings with bed bugs." He called up his production designer— Fine works in the advertising industry— and the two set up a Tumblr to show their project to the world.

Fine has taken to the Lower East Side of Manhattan and set up nine hotels so far; you can check them out on his Tumblr. Fine invites others to create their own 'Bed Bug Hotels' and submit their photos to be put up on the site. Fine credits social networking as the main catalyst to the growing popularity of the project. "The project just started, but it looks like people are passing it around on social media, so even after the landlords and supers pry them off their buildings the message will live on and be a warning to future tenants." View a slideshow of the 'Bed Bug Hotels' below.

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