By Rich Kozlovich
Recently there was a number of articles published releasing information that, “Scientists in Canada have found MRSA in bedbugs from three hospital patients who live in a poverty-stricken Vancouver neighborhood.” The article went on to say; “There’s no evidence of whether or not the bedbugs actually spread the MRSA bacteria or another less dangerous drug-resistant germ, but the study is “an intriguing finding” that needs to be looked at further’. They did note that the researchers; “saw a spike in both bedbugs and MRSA in the area; they decided to see if there was any correlation”.
I am somewhat surprised at how many have read the articles about this. I have been asked a number of times; “Do you believe bed bugs spread disease”. I always answer that I believe that they may be capable of it, but not for the reasons everyone thinks. Bed bugs aren’t like mosquitoes, which carry diseases and transmit them through their bites. In effect, they inject the causative agent directly into our blood streams. Bed bugs can’t do that, and they don’t seem to carry any particular disease carrying agent consistantly.
They have pathogens on their bodies; that’s it! And until more information comes out, it seems that they only way they could possibly spread diseases would be through indirect exposure. There was research being done in the 1920’s and 30’s that attempted to show that bed bugs were vectors of disease, but DDT made all of that research moot. But until more research is done we need to get this into perspective.
Many years ago I read an article discussing cockroaches and their ability to carry pathogens. The ariticle went on to say that they had discovered that cockroaches carry at least 5 or 6 different pathogens on their bodies and a number of them associated with feces. In one Asian hospital they discovered a cockroach with a bubonic plague pathogen on its body. So what? We have to be consistent regarding all of this. Over the years I have stated over and over again the correlation isn’t necessarily causation. I believe that! I have stated over and over again that these kinds of “studies” should have never been released to the media because they prove nothing. They are mere speculation….or in scientific terms…..hypotheses. Since when do real scientists publish hypotheses? This is an affliction of an overzealous media that could care less about what is really science and what is “yellow journalism”.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recently released a paper stating their position on this matter saying; “The National Pest Management Association has reviewed the report and found that it leaves many questions unanswered. We do not plan to fuel this conversation and public fear by promoting news coverage of the survey. Comments from NPMA will cite the study as one of the many examples of why additional, scientific research on bed bugs must be conducted. We encourage members to refrain from comments suggesting that bed bugs may contribute to the spread of MRSA or other diseases.”
The NPMA and I have had many differences on many issues, but this is one which we are in total harmony. We need to discuss it with our customers, but we don’t need to sensationalize it. Speculative scare tactics are a pattern of the left leaning greens. We stand for science and facts; which we are prepared to follow wherever they may lead. That means that we must be strong on consistency and truth. Something the greens seem to be incapable of. We need to be consistent because “truth will very patiently wait for us”, and when we get there we don’t want it to be found that we were residing in the camp of the insane. The greenies can have that residence all to themselves.
I have long been an advocate of the need to overturn that piece of junk science and regulatory bullying called, The Food Quality Protection Act, and returning organophosphates and carbamates to our arsenal of tools. However, I am not prepared to do so because of claims that have no basis in science; and speculation isn't science.