Don’t Let the Bureaucrats Bite
Bedbugs, a common household pest for centuries, all but vanished in the 1940s and ’50s with the widespread use of DDT. But DDT was banned in 1972 as too toxic to wildlife, especially birds. Since then, the bugs have developed resistance to chemicals that replaced DDT.
Also, exterminators have fewer weapons in their arsenal than they did just a few years ago because of a 1996 Clinton-era law that requires older pesticides to be re-evaluated based on more stringent health standards. The re-evaluations led to the restrictions on propoxur and other pesticides.
Bedbugs, infesting U.S. households on a scale unseen in more than a half-century, have become largely resistant to common pesticides. As a result, some homeowners and exterminators are turning to more hazardous chemicals that can harm the central nervous system, irritate the skin and eyes or even cause cancer. …
… authorities around the country have blamed house fires on people misusing all sorts of highly flammable garden and lawn chemicals to fight bedbugs. Experts also warn that some hardware products — bug bombs, cedar oil and other natural oils — claim to be lethal but merely cause the bugs to scatter out of sight and hide in cracks in walls and floors.
The government transformation of supposedly too-popular station wagons into too-popular SUVs comes to mind.
Now will come the public cry for widespread use of DDT, where limited, judicious use might have prevented the problem in the first place.