Don’t Let the Bed Bug Cure Be Worse Than the Problem

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a chilling report in yesterday’s (Sept 22, 2011) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report concerning illnesses and fatality associated with the use of insecticides used to control bed bugs.  Bed bug infestations have been on the increase and there are many theories why. Contributing factors may include more travel and resistance to commonly used pesticides.  As a result, the bed bug cure (insecticide) is becoming a real problem.

The Center studied data from 7 states participating in the Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks (SENSOR) pesticides program during the time period 2003 to 2010.  A total of 111 illnesses were associated with bed bug pesticides were identified.  While 81% were of low severity, there was one fatality.  Most of the cases were associated with the use of pyrethroids and pyrethrins. Only 12% of the cases were considered work-related (either pest control operators or hotel workers who entered recently treated rooms) but interestingly included 2 emergency medical technicians who responded to a treated scene.  The remainder fell mostly in the categories of people who applied too much insecticide, didn’t wash treated bedding, or failed to notify others of the pesticide application.  The bed bug cure probably caused more of a problem than the bed bug itself.  Bed bugs won’t kill you, insecticide will.

In an effort to kill the bed bugs, people are making themselves and others sick. It doesn’t do any good to get rid of the bed bugs if you aren’t going to live to enjoy the bug free room.

An editorial note to the report reminds the reader that the CDC and Environmental Protection Agency promote integrated pest management strategies for bed bug control.  Their non-chemical methods include encasing mattresses and box springs with bed bug proof covers and vacuuming, steaming, and laundering and even disposing of infested items.

We agree!  We have provided bed bug proof covers for many years. As the problem has grown, we added the Vapamore Steam Cleaner with 17 tools so that our customers can do the CDC recommended steaming in ALL nooks, crannies and crevices of their infested areas.  We don’t recommend spraying insecticides on your beds and bedding when there are chemical-free ways to treat the problem.  Don’t be a statistic, be safe!  Don’t let your bed bug cure be more of a problem than the bed bug

Til Next Time!

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