Why Are Bed Bugs So Bad This Year?
The truth is, for the last 20 years or so, bed bugs have gotten worse with every year.
Even this year, when all the "experts" were predicting that bed bugs would decrease in severity due to international travel dropping due to the "virus pandemic", the opposite actually happened.
Looks like bed bugs didn't follow proper "social distancing". Oh darn.
As most of us in the bed bug world already know, after world governments made the most effective pesticides against bed bugs illegal at the halfway point of the 20th Century due to terrible side-effects and environmental damage, bedbugs have jumped out of children's nursery rhymes and back onto the general public's collective mattress once again.
Do Bed Bugs Really Ever Go Away?
Let's back up a couple thousand years, shall we?
They've been around for thousands of years, with bed bugs being recorded in papyrus scrolls in Egypt from as early as 2,000 B.C.
In recent times, bed bugs have altered their own DNA to resist pyrethrin-based pesticides, which comprise the majority of commercial bedbug treatments, within only a few generations.And not only are pyrethrin and pyrethroid type insecticides ineffective, they've also been known to adversely affect the health of your pets.
Bed Bug Resistance to Pesticides
According to the American Society for Microbiology, "Resistance to the organochlorines and pyrethrin has been known since the 1950s, and resistance to the organochlorines infers cross-resistance to pyrethroids due to their similar modes of action.
The difference today, compared with the past, is that most recent bed bug populations carry pyrethroid resistance, and the vast majority of insecticide products currently in use belong to the pyrethroid group."
Can bed bugs be completely eliminated?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is no. Now here's the sad truth:
The Existing Monopoly on Bed Bug Products Enforced By Your Own Government Benefits a Tiny, Tiny Few- and Harms Many.
New pesticides are prohibitively expensive to register and license, legally, for use among the general public in the US as well as in individual states.
Just look at the "Cost Estimates of Studies Required for Pesticide Registration" to see how much money goes into bringing a new product to market, and that's before even producing a single unit for sale!It has been estimated that a new pesticide costs anywhere from $700,000 to $1.5 Million US dollars to register, and it only gets worse.
On October 1, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Federal Register notice announcing the that fees under the Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act of 2018 (PRIA 4) were increased by five percent for pesticide applications received on or after October 1, 2019.
No wonder there's only a few options on the market for you to purchase, and most are from billion dollar corporations with a team of lawyers that only they can afford to navigate the complicated and expensive bureaucracy.
Bed Bugs Are Worse for Poor People
In the United States, average costs were around $800 to $1,200 for the treatment of a single bed bug infestation.
Most people simply do not have this amount of money to deal with a bed bug problem.
Science Daily reports that there is a greater risk of bed bugs in poorer, crowded urban areas where they do not have the resources to eliminate bed bugs.
Additionally, dealing with a bed bug problem can cause a lot of anxiety and even PTSD, which is why it is rated as the highest item of importance by the National Apartment Association, even before taxes and fees or any other tenant/landlord related issues in polls conducted on renters.
Severe, prolonged exposure to bed bugs can even result in anemia, making it an increased risk to the elderly and hospital patients, according to the NIH.