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Why Are Bed Bugs Spreading At Such A Rapid Rate Today?

May 9th, 2018

Why Are Bed Bugs Spreading At Such A Rapid Rate Today?

Given all of the bed bug-related news stories that we cannot help but to hear about today, it is hard to believe that these blood sucking insects were once rare in North America. For several decades, a particular insecticide known as DDT had largely eradicated all bed bug populations within the United States. However, during the early seventies, the use of DDT became prohibited. Many people have since blamed the modern bed bug epidemic on the forced discontinuation of DDT usage. However, even if DDT had never been outlawed, we would likely still have the same bed bug problem that we have today. This is due to the fact that by the time DDT was outlawed, many bed bug populations had already developed a genetic resistance to the formula’s toxic effects. It would be unfair to blame the full extent of the modern bed bug epidemic on the lack of DDT use during recent decades. When it comes to the rapid spread of bed bugs across the world, some experts believe that human social behaviors may be partly to blame.

Not only do people tend to panic upon learning about bed bug infestations within their homes, but the thought of others finding out about their bed bug infestations can also trigger panic. This is because many people feel embarrassed to admit to their past bed bug issues. Although bed bugs do not spread disease, there is still a stigma attached to bed bug infestations that people do not want to be associated with. It is commonly, and of course, incorrectly believed that bed bug infestations are associated with filth and impoverished conditions. Naturally, people often keep their bed bug infestations secret in order to avoid giving others the impression that they are filthy and impoverished. However, according to Lynne Gregory with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there should not be any stigma associated with bed bugs since a five star hotel is just as likely to contract bed bugs as a run-down motel six.

In reality, the relative cleanliness of conditions does not have an influence on the probability of developing bed bug infestations. Many experts believe that this negative stigma is a problem because it keeps people from reporting bed bug infestations. If people did not feel ashamed to report infestations, then pest control officials would have an easier time tracking bed bug population movements. Bed bug control measures would become more effective if accurate data concerning the number of infestations were to be available to experts. If this stigma were to be eradicated with knowledge concerning bed bugs, then they would probably be much less of a problem in the world.

If you found out that your home was infested with bed bugs would you feel hesitant to report the problem?

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