Why Are Bed Bugs Making A Comeback?
When you were growing up, did you ever hear anyone talk about bed bugs? If you are over the age of fifteen, the answer is probably going to be, no. That's because bed bugs were almost completely wiped out in the United States. It wasn't until the turn of the century that these bugs started showing up again. What happened to cause the bugs to start coming back? Was it something we did? By answering this question, we can actually learn quite a bit about how we can protect ourselves from these blood-eating pests.
Before we talk about what is causing them to come back, we have to explore why they left in the first place. It had to do with what some refer to as the Golden Age Of Pesticides and, more specifically, with a chemical product known as dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane. That's quite a mouthful. So, from here on out, we'll just call it DDT.
When it comes to killing insects, there are few products that can claim the level of success DDT has had. And, because of its success, it was quickly adopted for broad use in the United States and other countries when it was first developed into a modern synthetic insecticide in the 1940s. The results were not only amazing, we're still benefiting from what DDT did from the 1950s to 1972 when it was banned by the U.S. government.
Why was it banned? Because studies had determined that DDT is dangerous to humans, wildlife, and the environment. The President's Cancer Panel determined that girls who were exposed to the chemical DDT before puberty were 5 times as likely to have breast cancer in middle age. The CDC found that 99% of people tested had DDT breakdown products in their blood. And the USDA discovered a startling amount of DDT breakdown products in crops tested. After its ban, the bald eagle made a dramatic recovery and has been removed from the endangered species list.
But, not everything was positive after the ban on DDT. As it turns out, DDTs long-lasting effect on harmful pests, like mosquitoes, has led to its reintroduction in 3rd-world countries to reduce deaths caused by mMalaria, West Nile, and other dangerous viruses, which claim millions of lives each year.
During the decades when DDT was used as a pest control agent in homes across the United States, it did a miraculous job of arresting bed bug infestations. So good, in fact, entomologists were hard pressed to find a single bed bug in the United States. This chemical was so entrenched in our food supply and our bodies, that bed bugs could not survive here. But the positives did not outweigh the negatives, and it was determined that other means of pest control would need to be established to control life-threatening insects like the mosquito, and tormenting pests like the bed bug.
After its ban in the 70s, it took three decades for bed bugs to re-establish themselves in the United States. But, at the end of the 1990s, it finally happened. Bed bug infestations started to pop up. With a staggering increase in world travel, we saw an explosion of bed bug infestations.
In this present age, bed bugs continue to gain more and more ground, but they are not an inevitable pest. There are many things we can do to prevent bed bug infestations in our homes and in our businesses, without a need for DDT.
Educated pest control professionals use comprehensive bed bug protocols that include ongoing inspections, heat, steam, mattress encasements, fumigation, and targeted conventional treatments to arrest bed bug infestations when they appear, and also prevent bed bugs before they have a chance to fully take root. You don't have to let the bed bugs bite.
If you live or own a business in, our South Florida service area, reach out to the bed bug experts here at Nozzle Nolen. We use industry-leading pest protocols to isolate, target, and control these blood-eating pests before they can torment you, and before they can ruin the reputation of your business. Connect with us today for immediate assistance.