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