What do you do when a formerly “wiped out” pest returns to the scene of the crime many years later? Yeah, I agree.

So it’s about time someone addresses this issue of “bedbugs”.

These buggers are spreading their infestations faster than new weapons are being developed to combat them. No one is really sure why the resurgence of these critters is happening now, as they were eradicated and have not existed in the industrialized world for the past half century. We killed the little buggers.

Not only are they back, they are congregating in the state of Ohio. They are so bad there that the governor has asked for help back in 2007.

To make matters worse the EPA is so unbending about what you can and cannot use that it threw up its hands and called the Department of Defense on behalf of the besieged and beleaguered state of Ohio, which has been battling the bothersome bugs for years. Some fatigued citizens of Cincinnati have even resorted to sleeping on the streets in an attempt to escape relentless infestations at home. You know you’ve got serious problems when you have to call in the Department of Defense to help with anything.

The Department of Defense? Yup. You read that right. I’m not sure why they think the DOD can do anything about bed bugs. Are we looking for nuclear weapons to once again eradicate these pests?

Though many other states, like New York, have battled bed bugs, Ohio seems to have been hardest hit by the creepy-crawly epidemic, and citizens of the Buckeye State simply haven’t been able to end home infestations with commonly used DIY methods.

DIY has failed? Send them on down to see Bubba. He’s never failed at killing anything he wanted to see dead.

The last time the bedbugs visited in such numbers they were sent on their way by DDT. Which by the way was banned shortly after the killing of the pests.

There is a weapon that will kill adult bedbugs within 24 hours and continue to kill newborns as they hatch. The new weapon is called propoxur, and was promptly also banned by the EPA, FDA, NASA, NATO, NORAD, and the little green men from Mars. Although the EPA rejected Ohio’s please in June to be allowed to use propoxur, the agency had meeting on August 18th with state and municipal leaders to try to formulate an abatement strategy everyone can live with. Does this include the bedbugs? Among the meeting’s participants: representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and, no joke, the Department of Defense.

Though other states are also experiencing infestations of the bedbug critter type, it appears the residents of Ohio are more bothered by them. In 2007 Cincinnati created a Bedbug Remediation Commission, to discuss plans to mobilize strategies to control infestations of the resilient insects, which can hide in almost any crack or crevice and can go a year or more without eating. Not only can they go a year without eating, they are apparently kin to the cockroach that has been around longer than dinosaurs. Find something that kills them and they morph into a new type creature that is not affected by the killing agent.

Current strategies for “bedbug death” include roasting the buggers. Their living abodes are sealed and then blasted with heat until everything reaches a toasty 113º F. The infestation is so bad in some areas that dogs have been trained to sniff out the pests. Pest companies now including roasting in their arsenals for bug/critter/pest/creature removal/detainment/slaying.

I can’t wait to see how the Billy the Exterminator from Vexcon as seen in the infamous tv show would handle bedbugs. He  wrangles snakes, alligators, opossums, raccoons, mice, bats, and other vermin. I wonder if he can wrangle or trap bed bugs.

I guess this explains why Arizona is not on the map of states with bedbug infestations.

For home infestations, the EPA recommends reducing clutter, sealing cracks and crevices, vacuuming often, drying infested clothes at high heat and using a special mattress cover so you can sleep tight without letting the bedbugs bite. Oh, of course. I knew cleaning and organizing would be slipped in here somehow. Way to go EPA.

Travelers should inspect hotel mattresses, box springs and headboards for the pests and the ink like streaks of their droppings. DUH. Don’t sleep on a dirty bed. I could have told you that.

In other words, a dose of vigilance — if not outright paranoia — is the best preventive. You should think before setting your purse down on an empty movie seat, lest you want the bedbuggers going home with you. If you have college kids, encourage them to move away quickly and refuse to store your kids’ college furniture in the basement when they come home, opting instead to purchase everything new for them when they return to college next year. Be very cautious and conscious that anybody from a group-living situation may come back with bedbugs.

Ohioans you are not alone. Just this week, one of the largest movie theatres in New York City, AMC Empire 25 in Times Square, announced that it was closing its doors to deal with an infestation problem. It since has reopened. You heard me, movie theatre. What’s next? Our beloved Wal-Marts? Well, that’s where we congregate in the south. It’s our form of communal living.

Bedbugs don’t actually transmit disease, but they can make you insane and cause other mental health problems, like hating your neighbors and threatening bodily harm on others suspected of being transportation mechanisms for the pests.

End of story. I need a shower so I can stop scratching.

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From the life and mind of Wanda M. Argersinger. © 2010 All Rights Reserved www.wandaargersinger.com

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Wanda Argersinger

Wanda Argersinger

A writer, humorist, and motivational speaker, Wanda Argersinger was born with a purse in one hand and lipstick in the other.  She wrote her first story in 2nd grade using all of her spelling words, which brought the attention to her of the school counselors suggesting she get counseling.  An excerpt from this story:  “…mice who drink too

much and party all night long….”

As Executive Director for The Lupus Support Network, Wanda is an advocate for all Lupus patients, working diligently as a member of the Statewide Coalition for the State of Florida Department of Health Arthritis Prevention and Education Program.  She facilitates support groups in the Florida Panhandle and Southern Alabama and trains new facilitators to educate and counsel patients, plans and researches topics to be discussed at meetings.

As a published author, Wanda has wrote the book currently being used in The Lupus Support Network SLESH (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Self Help) classes, written and published a number of pamphlets on various aspects of Lupus currently being used for informational purposes at The Lupus Support Network, and My Personal Health Journal, a book sold for a patient’s use in recording and maintaining vital health information.  This book is sold nationwide and all profits go to The Lupus Support Network.  Most recently Wanda has written Y-Mee’s A-B-C Book of Emotiions and created a doll that accompanies the book, which can be purchased from l-bowonline.com or Lulu.com.

She has also been featured in Featured in MD News Magazine, Lupus Now Magazine, Ladies in Business, the Pensacola News Journal, and the Tallahassee Democrat.

As a motivational speaker, and educator in the area of Lupus health, Wanda has been a speaker for the State of Florida Department of Health, Unlocking the Mysteries of Lupus, among numerous other organizations in Florida and South Alabama.

Wanda has been on a number of local radio talk shows with several call-in shows, and guests on many television programs.

Wanda is constantly working and actively involved in the Lupus Research Institutes National Coalition (advocating for Lupus Patients, research funding, and legislative change), as an Associate Member of the American Academy of Rheumatology, a Member of The American Chronic Pain Association, and a Member of the National Fibromyalgia Association, a Member of the National Society of Newspaper columnists, and a member of the National Association of Professional Women.

Wanda has been published in other publications including The Legend, a monthly column entitled “The Write Site,” spotlighting websites that are of interest to writers), Poetic Voices, June 1999, Emerald Coast Review, a short story and poem, and the Gulf Breeze News, as a guest columnist.

Her achievements and awards are numerous.

Currently, Wanda is busy developing her own line of greeting cards along with 2 more books and a board game for patients with Chronic Illness.  This amazing woman, with Lupus SLE herself, is the Energizer Bunny come to life, with no need of any batteries!  She will keep on giving until she falls over from the weight of her purse while wearing a great hot pink lipstick!