Thursday, December 2, 2010

The American Dream Didn’t Include Bed Bugs. Part II: The Consequences

By Rich Kozlovich

In recent months the bed bug issue has reached headline proportions on the national scene. National television news networks have featured the story, magazines have highlighted the problem nationally and newspapers have focused on local infestations that seem to be out of control and growing. We, the pest control industry, have known this day was coming for some time, and in point of fact I know one old timer who ominously stated over ten years ago that bed bugs would be among the first vermin to reappear as a national plague.

Since 1962 when Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring came out the world of pest control and pesticides have been turned upside down. As the years went by people seemed to believe that living a pest free life was a right; it was all part of the American Dream and pesticides had nothing to do with it. Instead of society believing that pesticides are life savers, society has come to believe that pesticides are doing all sort of terrible and unknown things. That in spite of the fact that people are living longer and healthier lives than any time in human history, an accomplishment which pesticides have played a major role.

The American Dream was defined as an national ethos by James Truslow Adams in 1931 as , "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the second sentence of the United States Declaration of Independence which states that "all men are created equal" and that they are "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights" including "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

(As a side bar: the Declaration really does say “inalienable” and not “unalienable” in spite of the fact that modernists attempt to change It by quoting incorrectly. To be truthful I don’t really know if it may be more correct or not, but the Declaration says ”inalienable”; a point that no one seemed to care about or saw the need to change for over 200 years!)

You will notice that it didn’t say a thing about bed bugs. However, being rid of vermin in our homes and lives is central to everything Adams stated about the American Dream.
• Does anyone believe that life isn’t richer and fuller without bed bugs, rats, roaches and mosquitoes carrying yellow fever and malaria?

• Isn’t it basic to our American nature to believe that everyone, regardless of social standing, should be able to live a life without vermin in their homes and have the pest control tools available in order to care for their families?
There was a time (and in my lifetime) when mothers used to stand above a boiling pot of pasta or beans and wait for the bugs to surface so that they could skim them out with a strainer. We don’t do that anymore because we developed chemistry that eliminates most pests from our food. Does anyone wish to go back to those days because they feel it makes their lives “richer and fuller”? If so, I invite them to go to countries that live that way and leave the rest of us alone; and as soon as possible if you please.

I have had friends tell me that they have gone on bed bug job only to find children so badly bitten that if they didn’t know what had caused it they would have called Children’s Services on the parents. At the end of WWII when the boys came back bed bugs were ubiquitous, but that was because they were there when they left. After DDT was so extensively used the bed bug population dropped dramatically. After resistance developed in bed bugs to DDT we turned to organophosphate products such as malation. That was the knockout punch.

Now we are almost right back to where we were in 1945! And we are now facing a national plague! Offices at the Wall Street Journal had to be treated, along with a host of well known retailers in New York City. Bed bugs are expanding rapidly and exponentially across the nation. Every person in every state, in every city, in every town, in every village and in every home will eventually face the potential of infestation if they travel, have company in their homes, go to the theater, go to work, go shopping or visit others in their homes or have children that go to school, public or private.

Those are the facts! And they are undisputed!

See The American Dream Didn’t Include Bed Bugs. Part I: The Problem


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