Bedbugs, DDT

April 13, 2008

Bedbugs came back.

Common bedbug, Cimex lectularius, University of Minnesota image

Common bedbug, Cimex lectularius, University of Minnesota image

Once a scourge, bedbugs seemed to have gone away, largely, during most of the past 30 years, in most of the western world. International travel and other conducive conditions joined in the perfect storm, however, and bedbug infestation reports are rising in places like New York City.

A significant number of news stories on the topic mention DDT, which was briefly the pesticide of choice against bedbugs. Probably a majority of the blog posts on the topic call for a return of DDT for general use.

This blog is a refreshing exception: New York vs. Bed Bugs, “No DDT, thanks, we’re good.”

Update: In comments, Bug Girl suggests we look at the blog of Bedbugger, and especially this interview with an entomologist.  Take a look — the expert, Dr. James W. Austin of Texas A&M, says bedbugs are about 100% resistant to DDT.


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