The government now wants to advise us on potential trouble in our bedrooms. At the same time, it is finding out that being politically correct doesn’t solve the problem.
On Sept. 5, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) joined forces to release a document to warn the citizenry about what these agencies see as an “emerging public health problem”–bed bugs. Meanwhile, a New Jersey community newspaper Sept. 5 said bed bugs have been increasing because the little pests are “building up an immunity to the ‘greener’ chemicals.” Such a finding must, indeed, be a shock to an agency such as EPA, which has lived an existence of political correctness in support of an ever “greener” world.
The United States is “one of many countries now experiencing an alarming resurgence in the population of bed bugs,” the new government document warns. “Though the exact cause is not known, experts suspect the resurgence is associated with increased resistance of bed bugs to available pesticides,” the government agencies acknowledged with what must have been some reluctance.
The agencies also blamed the prevalence of bed bugs on “lack of knowledge regarding control of bed bugs,” apparently surmising that most Americans live in some fairyland, unaware of, or unconcerned about, the variety of problems life can bring. The federal document warned that bed bugs are “similar to head lice,” with which most parents with children in public schools are all too familiar. But bed bugs “are not believed to transmit disease,” the government agencies conceded. With just a touch of hysteria, however, the government document states, “Bed bugs cause a variety of negative physical health, mental health and economic consequences.” Some people have allergic reactions to bed bug bites with “effects ranging from no reaction to small bite mark to, in rare cases, Anaphylaxis (severe whole body reaction)….Bed bugs may also affect the mental health of people living in infested homes. Reported effects include anxiety and insomnia.” It’s hard to imagine what could be worse.
The New Jersey article reported New York City had the honor of “being declared as the top hot spot for the pests in the United States, according to a list from Terminex Pest Control.” Bed bugs have been increasing in numbers because of changed standards in pesticides, according to Jan TenHoeve, owner of Sentry Termite and Pest Control, the story said. According to TenHoeve, the bugs “used to be controlled with more potent chemicals like DDT, but legislation has banned the use of DDT. Certain chemicals being used to control bed bugs, like Pyrethrin…might be easier on the environment. But they may be a bit too easy on bed bugs, which appear to be building up an immunity to the ‘greener’ chemicals,” said TenHoeve.
A Rutgers University study earlier this year speculated that a combination of international travel, insecticide resistance, and lack of effective chemical control tools may be the leading contributors to the bed bug increase. The study also found that bed bug infestations are not related to a building’s quality or the socioeconomic status of its residents, and efforts by either residents or pest control professionals “are often ineffective in eliminating the bugs.
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