Friday, February 25, 2011

Second EPA Bed Bug Summit: Activity as a Substitute for Accomplishment, Part III

By Rich Kozlovich

Since I am heavily involved in my industry’s affairs I was asked if I was going to this latest EPA Summit. I said I wouldn’t waste my time and money because I already knew it was nothing but a bunch of claptrap. I have read a number of reports and had conversations with those who went; nothing that I have read or heard has changed my view.

Bold headlines state:
• “EPA’s bedbug summit aids to squash epidemic” –
• “Bed bug summit strategizes on formulation a plan for future”.
• “Bed Bug Summit: Officials encourage public not to ‘freak out’
• “The War on Bedbugs starts today: The 2nd National Bed Bug Summit”
• “National Bed Bug Summit Hopes to Find Solutions”
Although this sounds impressive, what is it they really accomplished? The only thing they have accomplished is to decide that they would need more summits, more posters, more public education, more about the desperate need to implement IPM, more wasted time and money, and a national clearing house for bed bug information; but most importantly; more government. That was the theme in the first Bed Bug Summit, it was the theme in the Butterfield Bill and it is the theme in this summit. Bureaucrats just can’t help it. Let’s face it. If a solution is simple bureaucrats will hate it.
Question - What happens after we know all there is to know about bed bugs and have shared it with the world?

Answer - Well, having all of that information in one really big book and then smacking them with it will kill every bed bug it hits.

Question - What happens when the public is aware of all aspects of bed bug biology and can share it with the rest of the world and all the bureaucracies that will be involved in this “information central” they wish to create.

Answer - They will still have them; but at least they will know why!
Otherwise it is the same old stuff. Bed bugs are spreading exponentially throughout the nation, in spite of the unending promotion by EPA of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and the claim by them that “we must” implement IPM in our bed bugs control programs; a program which apparently doesn’t work, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
Manitoba Must Move Faster on Bed Bugs
Canada NewsWire
Abell also provided advice on bed bug prevention at a recent Quebec conference and at last year's Bed Bug Summit hosted by the Ontario government. ...

Bedbug infestation spreads south to Florida
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
AP Bedbugs are seen in a container from the lab at the National Pest Management Association, during the National Bedbug Summit in Washington on Tuesday. ...

Bedbug crisis not abating, specialists warn
CNN International
... bedbug crisis is unlikely to subside at any point in the near future, experts concluded Tuesday at the Environmental Protection Agency's second summit ...
Apparently this plague is spreading so fast that everyone else in the world seems to be getting it; so why does the EPA continue to promote programs that haven’t worked? In point of fact, their programs are responsible for this nationwide plague.

Insisting on increased government spending and enlarged government involvement through bigger interlocking bureaucracies is an insistence on maintaining policies that hasn’t worked in the past and will not work in the future. That makes it a form of insanity.

Why haven’t these so-called IPM programs worked? Since I am the world’s foremost expert on IPM in structural pest control I can tell you why this isn’t working. It doesn’t exist! There is no such thing as IPM in structural pest control because the concept has no logical or scientific foundation for its existence in structural pest control. The only reason it exists is because the government says it exists. That doesn’t change the lack of logical and scientific foundation.

IPM is an agricultural concept first outlined in 1959 in The Hilgardia, an obscure agriculture magazine, which laid the logical foundation for IPM based on threshold limits. A certain amount of pests cause a certain amount of damage. When the level of damage exceeds the cost of a pesticide application, you made a pesticide application.

So, if threshold limits are the logical foundation for IPM in agriculture; what is the logical and scientific foundation for IPM in structural pest control? There isn’t any! If there isn’t any it has no methodology, no real technique and few results. Let me make this as clear as I can. Good sanitation isn’t IPM. Monitoring isn’t IPM. Customer education isn’t IPM. Public education isn’t IPM. The use of pesticides or failure to use pesticides isn’t IPM. Those are tools and techniques of traditional pest control. You can call it IPM if you like, but it isn’t IPM because IPM is now and has always been an agricultural concept based on threshold limits and the threshold limit for vermin in our homes and businesses is zero.

There has been talk about new research on bed bug genes and how “this is a new bug”. Baloney! Just because there is resistance in the current bed bugs populations that we are facing doesn’t mean that it is a whole new bug! There has been more and more talk about resistance as if we didn’t already know that this existed and why. Bed bugs that have been deliberately isolated for decades practically die at the whiff of any pesticide in their area. That doesn’t make modern varieties “new bugs”.

First of all we need to know that when any pests are isolated and kept away from pesticides those resistant members decline. Why? Back in the 1980’s we had a lot of difficulties with cockroaches and resistance. At a Purdue conference at that time there was a discussion regarding this genetic phenomenon. They went on to describe how they attempted to use DDT on cockroaches once again and viola…. It worked….for a very short while and then resistance reared its ugly head and it was no longer effective. Why? It turned out that there are always resistant members of any species, and can reappear quickly once they have been a dominant group. But they are not the hardiest of their group. It was the non-resistant members that were the hardiest members. Once they were killed off with pesticides the less hardy with the resistant gene became dominant. When the pesticide is removed from their environment generation after generation….guess what happens? The hardier members (which are not resistant) become dominant, and the resistant members decline. Given enough time the resistant members could presumable disappear in a small population.

None of this changes what the real answer to bed bugs is! Effective, inexpensive chemistry that is easy to use and available to everyone. Period! No more need for community involvement, no more community outreach programs, no more expanded bureaucracy, no more wasted money….but most importantly…no more suffering for those least able to afford current treatment techniques.

There was a short commentary published by Karen De Coster on February 2, 2011PM called, Bed Bug Pandemic that I felt outlined how people actually feel about this issue. She goes on to say;
I thought I was listening to Mad Magazine Radio yesterday when I heard about the National Bed Bug Summit. But the dial was on FOX radio, I am sure of it. Apparently, this summit came about because the Federal Bed Bug Working Group had failed to provide a solution to the problem. And then I heard Mayor Bloomberg call for a Bed Bug Czar. Keep in mind that Bloomberg already has a 10-person Bed Bug Advisory Board. The Bloomberg-Advisory Board plan for dealing with bed bugs will look like this:
…key elements of the plan include creating a bed bug task force headed by an entomologist, a public education push, a city-funded “Bed Bug Academy” for building & property managers, assigning bed bug cases higher priority in Housing Court, and giving stronger rights of access to bed bug-infested apartments. The battle plan will also establish a clear protocol for residents dealing with a bed bug problem, including a “triage” plan detailing what to do in the first 24 hours.
……..only the government can solve (this) through the means of bureaucrat planning, Czars, advisory boards, public policy, and Three Stooges reruns.
So then what is the answer? History clearly outlines what must be done. In 1945 when the boys came back from the war bed bugs were ubiquitous. Why? Because they were here when they left! In 1946 they were mostly dead. Why? DDT was introduced to society. Then when resistance developed in bed bugs to DDT we shifted to malathion and then other organophosphates and carbamates. Effective, inexpensive chemistry that is easy to use and available to everyone was the answer. That was the answer in 1946 and if that isn’t the answer in 2011there will be no answer, and that goes for 2012, 2013, etc. I said that about 2010…and I was right…that wasn’t the answer in 2010 and there is no answer.

For more information please visit My Bed Bug Series

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