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BED BUGS: ARE INSECTICIDES THE REAL PROBLEM?

With bed bugs on the rise in metropolitan areas, most notably New York City, the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) conducted a three-year study that has linked one death and 80 illnesses to bed bug insecticides.

In 2010, a 65-year-old woman from Rocky Mount, N.C. died after attempting to rid her home of bed bugs. She and her husband used nine cans of insecticide fogger one day, then the same amount two days later, without opening doors and windows to air out their home afterward. The woman also covered her body and hair with insecticide in an attempt to keep the bugs away. Although she suffered from heart problems and other health ailments, some believe her aggressive use of insecticides played a role in her death.

With bed bugs on the rise in metropolitan areas, most notably New York City, the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) conducted a three-year study that has linked one death and 80 illnesses to bed bug insecticides. The study also revealed that most problems were caused by do-it-yourselfers that used the wrong chemicals or misused store-bought products.

"At this point, it's not a major public health problem," said Dr. Geoff Calvert, a CDC investigator who co-authored the study. But, given the growing prevalence of bed bugs in big cities, it appears that more public education on how to eradicate them safely would help curb the problem. Bed bugs are very hard and dangerous to eradicate without professional help. The public should also be better educated on how to prevent bed bugs in the first place.

In most cases, bed bugs themselves aren't highly dangerous. But, with an infestation comes bed bug bites which can be very itchy, cause inflammation and lead to more serious problems such as lymphangitis (an infection of the lymph nodes) and ecthyma (skin lesions). In addition to bites, people with bed bug infestations have to deal with cleaning up disgusting bed bug casings and sheets stained with human blood and bed bug feces.

Tips for Preventing Bed Bugs

  • Get a Bed Bug Protection Kit from Protect-a-Bed
  • Always inspect your hotel room when staying out of town. You can do this by taking a close look at mattress corners and looking for bug casings and fecal matter. Bed bugs love to hitch a ride from your hotel room back to your bedroom.
  • Do a home inspection by checking your beds, furniture and curtain pleats for bed bug casings and fecal matter.
  • Source: Yahoo News