The 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. Use of these measures poses more dangers than any perceived short-term benefit.
Although there is no "magic bullet" for eradicating bed bugs, there are many ways to control them effectively without using dangerous chemical pesticides. A national solution to the bed bug problem will require a comprehensive public health campaign, including public service announcements, travel tips, and perhaps even government-sponsored, integrated pest management programs for public housing and other high-density areas. At home bed bugs can be effectively controlled through monitoring, sanitation, sealing, heat treatments, and other protocols.
Below are steps to take to reduce and eliminate bed bug populations in the 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 ManageSafe page or call Beyond Pesticides at 1.202.543.5450.