Bed Bug Epidemic
The bed bug epidemic continues to expand across the United States. The one technology that continues to be viewed by many experts as the best solution for eliminating bed bugs is heat: ThermaPureHeat. On Thursday, 4/29/10 (subject to any breaking news coverage pre-emption) ABC’s Nightline will air a segment on bed bugs and treatment options. ThermaPureHeat will be featured as a solution.
VENTURA, CA — The bed bug epidemic in North America continues to escalate, as does the national media coverage of the troublesome pests. ABC’s Nightline* is scheduled to air a segment on controlling bed bugs this Thursday, April 29. Tiny blood-sucking bedbugs have become an epidemic in New York City. The little pests have invaded even the cleanest and most expensive apartments in neighborhoods around New York. In fact, a councilwoman from the Upper West Side has called for a citywide bedbug task force to address the problem.
The party line is that bed bugs are a "nuisance" but not bad for your health. By this they mean that so far bed bugs have not been found to be a vector for any specific diseases. However, they create havoc in people's lives. Their only food is you, the human host. They mostly attack in the wee hours of the morning while you are asleep and they feed on your blood. Some people do not react to the bites, but most get very itchy welts of various degrees, and some get even worse allergic reactions, even life threatening ones. Insomnia, anxiety, depression, and other stress reactions can also result, so bed bugs,of course, affect and threaten our health. Because these bugs, unlike roaches, for example, do not feed on all kinds of stuff, there is no easy way to kill them with bait type insecticide. They are very hard to get rid of and exterminating them is a very laborous process and a very expensive one. It also entails a pretreatment protocol in which you must clean and bag everything in your home. The cleaning and the throwing away of really infested items makes this nightmare even more expensive.
You can pick up bed bugs anywhere, fancy hotels, hospitals, etc., or from another apartment if you live in an infested building. Infested buildings are everywhere in every major city. You can get them by bringing in used furniture, so be careful.
This is a political issue and belongs in this forum. People with financial resources can rid themselves easily of this blight, or they can move. People without resources are stuck. Landlords in many cities are mandated to exterminate bed bugs, but they often hire a cheap amateur, and tenants get no relief.
Over the past five years more than 400 articles about the resurgent bedbug scourge sweeping the nation have been published, no more so than in "the capital of bedbug journalism," Manhattan. Today, The Washington Post reported that the "scale of this swarm has been overstated."
Yes, it's true that bedbugs made an unexpected comeback at the turn of the century after they were all but eradicted by the pesticide DDT in the 1950's. But the man vs. critter appeal of the bedbug narrative has fueled a media frenzy that is difficult to verify with statistics; yet, it's been sending shockwaves through the hospitality sector.
Since few studies have been done on the supposed bedbug revival, news reports rely on hysterical calls to pest controllers--an industry that reaps $6.5 billion annually--perpetuating the fear-mongering even further. The Post quotes entymologists blaming exterminators for telling skittish homeowners they have bedbugs when they don't; cites the new phenomenon of dogs trained to sniff them out; and points to a boom in bedbug litigation, signaling that the media attention may have spurred a veritable industry.