The recent bed bug resurgence across the U.S. has homeowners and apartment dwellers taking desperate measures to eradicate these tenacious bloodsuckers, with some relying on dangerous pesticides and fly-by-night exterminators. Even pesticides registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for bed bug use are linked to acute poisoning, cancer, hormone disruption, asthma, neurotoxicity, organ damage, and more. These measures pose more dangers than any perceived short-term benefit.
While there is no magic bullet solution to bed bug eradication, there are many ways to effectively control them without the use of dangerous chemical pesticides. To solve the bed bug problem nationwide, it is going to take a comprehensive public health campaign -public-service announcements, travel tips and perhaps even government-sponsored integrated pest management programs for public housing and other high density areas. If you have bed bugs in your home, they can be effectively controlled through a comprehensive strategy that incorporates monitoring, sanitation, sealing, heat treatments and more.
Below are steps you can take to reduce and get rid of bed bug populations in your home:
In November 2009, the Ohio Department of Agriculture asked EPA to allow an unregistered use of the neurotoxic and cancer causing insecticide propoxur in homes to fight bedbugs in what state officials are describing as an ‘emergency’ situation. In December 2009, Beyond Pesticides sent comments to EPA urging the agency to deny the request because safer alternatives exist and its use would put children in danger. Under pressure from Beyond Pesticides and others, EPA refused Ohio’s request for an emergency exemption (read more).
For more information on least toxic control of other pests go to our Alternatives Page or call Beyond Pesticides at 202-543-5450.