A lot of people tend to downplay or overlook completely is that these chemicals may end up killing more than just the bugs. Bed bug chemical pesticides have been known to cause health problems and damage property, but what alternatives do we have?
To understand the solutions, its important to understand the beginning. During World War II, a “miracle pesticide” known as DDT was developed. It was used to control Malaria and Yellow Fever outbreaks among soldiers and it was very effective.
Following the war, it became widely used by commercial farmers and local governments, and was even selected to be the weapon-of-choice in a worldwide campaign to eliminate malaria.
DDT use was widespread for more than 40 years, and during its time it was credited for allowing a significant increase in crop yields, the complete elimination of the bedbug, and a drastically reduced amount of Malaria and Yellow Fever cases worldwide in places it was used.
But as time went on, people began to suspect a darker side to the miracle pesticide, and in the 1960s, a conservationist named Rachel Carson published a book on the subject, titled Silent Spring.
In her book, she explored the effects of the widespread use of DDT and criticized government and the public for not taking into account the effects it would have on the environment before promoting its use.
She made the case against DDT, and provided evidence that linked it to environmental issues, claims which would be later be proven by scientists. But, by far the most shocking claims in her book were the ones linking DDT to human health problems.
The evidence presented in her book brought many of these issues to the attention of the general public, and as a result, they began to demand greater safeguards and checks on the types of pesticides used.
This marked the beginning of the environmentalist movement of the ‘60s, which ultimately led the US Congress to outright ban the use of DDT. Other countries followed suit, and as a result, pesticides became more expensive and difficult to use.
Developing safer methods of pest control has a number of benefits, in addition to being effective against multiple different kinds of pests, it is also very easy for individuals.
Things as simple as keeping the trash bins covered, and generally keeping your house free of any dirt, food scraps, trash heap, residue or grease is enough to keep all but the most damaging household pests away.
More complex methods involve sealing up the cracks and holes in and around your home, either with the help of a contractor or on your own, to ensure that pests have no way into your home.
Thanks to the environmental movement, the many countries have begun to move away from harmful pesticides like DDT and have begun to adopt Integrated Pest Management, a combination of pest control methods that are more environmentally sound, yet effective.
Today, only a single country produces DDT, and its use is limited to small, isolated areas where it would be more expensive to implement IPM.