FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, SEPT. 28, 2010
||Brian Long, director
NCDA&CS Public Affairs
|James Burnette Jr., director
Structural Pest Control and Pesticides Division
Troxler wants EPA to do something about bedbugs
RALEIGH — Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler thinks bedbugs are rapidly becoming Public Enemy No. 1, and he wants the federal government to do something about the blood-sucking pests.
At the annual meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, Troxler championed an action item urging the Environmental Protection Agency to issue emergency registrations for pesticide products to treat bedbugs.
“Currently, there is no really effective treatment for bedbugs,” Troxler said. “I’ve heard reports of people dangerously misusing household bug sprays to try and get rid of these blood suckers.”
Heat treatments and fumigation performed by licensed pest management professionals may provide relief, but are generally expensive and give no residual control of the insects, said James Burnette Jr., director of the Structural Pest Control and Pesticides Division at the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
DDT, which was successful in exterminating bedbugs 50 years ago, is no longer used in the United States. And other insecticides, such as those containing pyrethroids, haven’t been effective. That’s because the bedbugs currently in the United States likely came from countries where pyrethroids are heavily used, and the bugs have become resistant to them, Burnette said.
Last year, officials in Ohio asked the EPA to approve an insecticide called Propoxur for use in homes by licensed pest management professionals, but the agency has not granted the request, Burnette said.
Bedbug infestations have become more common in recent years. Earlier this month, a residence hall at Catawba College in Salisbury was evacuated because of an infestation.