Over the last few years we have read about increasing infestations of bed bugs. The proximal cause of these infestations is the EPA banning many useful pesticides while citing health concerns.
According to Rich Kozlovich, an extermination professional:
The one thing we have to come to understand is that the finger of blame needs to be pointed at the right party. The blame must be placed at the feet the ones responsible for this plague overtaking the nation, the pesticide misapplications and the related health problems; The Environmental Protection Agency! Through their irrational anti-pesticide agenda we have lost effective products that would prevented this plague in the first place. As a result people would not have required unending treatments they cannot afford by professionals which has forced them to attempt to eradicate this problem on their own. As a result of the EPA’s actions, people, especially the poor, are desperate for relief. This sense of desperation these people feel causes them to act with folly in order to rid their homes of these pests.
See his full article and additional references here.
The concern of the EPA and the CDC is that improper use of pesticides have resulted in illness. How much? According to the CDC, for the period 2003 to 2010, there have been 111 reported cases of pesticide poisoning due mainly to people not reading directions and applying the chemicals improperly. (CDC report here.)
The chemophobia of the bureaucrats at the EPA and CDC have resulted in the following recommendations to control bed bugs:
CDC and EPA promote integrated pest management (IPM) for bed bug control. IPM is an effective pest control method that uses information on the life cycle of the pest and incorporates nonchemical and chemical methods. Nonchemical methods to effectively control bed bugs include heating infested rooms to 118°F (48°C) for 1 hour or cooling rooms to 3°F (-16°C) for 1 hour by professional applicators; encasing mattresses and box springs with bed bug-excluding covers; and vacuuming, steaming, laundering, and disposing of infested items. Any effective control measure for bed bugs requires support from all residents in affected buildings and ongoing monitoring for infestation from other housing units. Often, multiple inspections and treatments are needed to eradicate bed bugs.
So, the EPA and CDC want you to bake or freeze your bedroom instead of using pesticides which handled properly would be safe and effective. How many people would do that?
This is another example of Big Brother trying to save us from ourselves but in the process exacerbating the problem by banning effective tools.