EPA Launches Bed Bug Database

In response to the growing bed bug outbreak that is spreading across the nation, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just released a new online database to help with the problem, said Information Week.

The database is accessible here and enables customers to look through about 300 pesticides registered by the agency that are appropriate for bed bug removal, said Information Week. The database enables the public to locate products by EPA registration number, company, name, active ingredient, and place of application, noted Information Week.

Another EPA site is available to the public that provides general information on the pests, such as tips for managing the pests without chemicals and information on identifying if the infestation is bed bug (cimex lectularius) and not another type. That site is accessible at: http://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/

In addition to explaining what bed bugs like—“warmth, blood, and carbon dioxide, not dirt and grime”—the EPA stresses that linens be washed and heat dried and clutter be reduced, said Information Week, noting that the site also offers tips on how to avoid passing along infestations.

Although at one time nearly eradicated, bed bug infestations have been reported in a broad array of establishments nationwide: Movie theatres; offices; dressing rooms; hospitals; colleges; libraries; stores, including Nike Inc.’s flagship store, NikeTown, in Manhattan, Victoria’s Secret, Hollister, and Abercrombie and Fitch; at least one New York City theater; Sirius Radio headquarters; The Wall Street Journal headquarters; and housing projects and tony apartments alike.

At least five states have sought assistance from the Department of Defense and Ohio recently asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for permission to use a banned pesticide, said ABC News previously. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the US is experiencing what Wake My NC described as an “alarming” return of the tiny bloodsucking parasites.

The US saw a near eradication of the pests about a-half century ago; however, the reduced use of powerful pesticides like dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), which was banned in the 1960s, as well as use of narrow spectrum products targeting specific pests, have enabled the bugs to survive, thrive, and develop pesticide resistance.

Many feel the growing problem with bed bug infestations has been linked to increased travel and, according to the EPA, the public’s lack of information on bed bug prevention. The agency stresses there is no one, quick response, but that infestation management can be achieved via a collaboration of “chemical and non-chemical methods,” quoted Information Week.

The EPA recently issued a warning against using outdoor chemicals indoors, because some adversely affect the central nervous system and can lead to skin and eye irritation; even some cancers.

The pests have sparked at least two law suits and many more lawsuits are expected as the pests continue to show up in an ever-growing range of areas.

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