Thursday, August 23, 2007

See-Oh Too

I apologize for not blogging sooner. Between looking for work and the start of my final semester in college, I've been more than busy these last two weeks.

Al Gore may be on to something after all.

From what I've read online about bed bugs, almost every source I've read states that bed bugs are attracted to us by the CO2 a.k.a. Carbon dioxide from our breath. But the London-based Times has examined the great mystery as to, why are the bed bugs suddenly coming back after being near-extinction almost half a century ago. Obviously humans have been exhaling CO2 from our mouths and nostrils for the last 50 years, so what was it that brought these insects back to our world?

They are attracted to the very thing that has caused the US, and the rest of the world, so much grief lately: carbon dioxide. While historically it is the carbon dioxide in human breath that has brought them out to feed, experts speculate that rising levels in the air could be behind their renaissance. Every day seems to bring a new tale of infestation - and, in the land that spawned the compensation culture, a new lawsuit.
Though it is, for now, only a theory, CO1 or carbon monoxide emissions from vehicles may have been what jump started this bed bug resurgence in the last few years. Perhaps it is just carbon itself which attracts these bugs, whether it's from an exhaust pipe, from a smoke stack or our own lungs. Could the massive amount of CO emissions have been what attracted the few bed bugs remaining on this planet to return from wherever they were hiding to feed once more? Even if this was the case, reducing carbon emissions won't get rid of them.

Hopefully, the same experts who ponder why the bed bugs have returned will focus their time and energy on making sure this world is bed bug-free.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Feeling Depressed?

Well, for those of you living with bed bugs, get ready to feel further depressed.

The Village Voice's blog, Running Scared wrote about a Bedbug Control Seminar held by Pest Control Technology Magazine this month at the Park Central Hotel. According to the blog, the unofficial theme of the seminar was, the bed bug problem's getting worse and we don't really know how to deal with it. A note of warning: the entry features a disgusting YouTube video of a bed bug feeding on an arm.

Here's a few excerpts from the blog entry:

“We have to be in an absolute bed bug state of mind,” warned Dr. Michael Potter, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky and leading expert in the now global bed bug war, with no apologies to Billy Joel. “This problem is not going to go away. I don’t see how the problem is going to get better. It’s going to get chaotic.” appears that even the exterminators' deadly pesticides are no match for bedbugs...
More horrifying was Potter’s assertion that these tiny vampires are growing increasingly resistant to the arsenal of mostly pyrethroid-based compounds currently approved by the EPA. “We’ve had cases where we’re spraying 200 to 300 times the label dose of toxins and we can’t kill ‘em,” Potter said.
The only solution offered to affected New Yorkers were mattress covers, which to me are not only disgusting but do not put up a substantial defense in your bed bug infestation if the bed bugs are not in your bed, or are in your bed and in other areas of your home. The name bed bug is misleading, because beds are only one of the only many, many places in a person's home these insects can live.

Notice that the blog mentions "
currently approved by the EPA", hinting that, as many bed bug bloggers have, the long-banned DDT just might be the only hope in combating bed bugs, just as it did half a century ago.

While effective solutions were non-existent at the seminar, one exceptional idea to decrease the spreading of bed bugs was discussed: a hotline that New Yorkers can call to pick up their bug-infested mattresses rather than have them lying around on the sidewalks, or worse, in an apartment hallway.

Long story short: bed bugs growing epidemic, nothing in sight that can stop them, give up hope, find a nice corner to sit in (corners should be easy to find once you throw out your furniture) and cry silently. Or howl like a banchee, whatever works for you.