As I read through the Peterborough bed bugs story, I found my concern for the general public begin to mount. There is a definite sense of urgency in the words of Mr. Barford, the Pest Control Operator interviewed in the article, unlike anything I’ve seen in the news before. I’m grateful for his honesty, but I am also fearful, as I know he is correct when he says “[Bedbugs] can easily be transmitted, and in today’s world people are moving about and travelling much more. Bed bugs can easily be picked up. People may bring them back from a holiday, or they may sleep somewhere with an infestation and bring it into their own home.” I think Mr. Barford is dead on here, people, and I’m deeply concerned.
I’m wondering how many people who have infestations are inadvertently infesting others every day? I mean, one doesn’t really even have to SLEEP in an infested place, so much as simply visit and sit on an infested couch, pick up a bedbug, and go home to sit on his own couch. And what about public transportation? How many infested people take trains and buses to work every day? And how many of those people have physical contact with others? How many bags are set on the floor, next to other bags? What, then, about work? School? What exactly are the limits of our social responsibility, as people with bedbug infestations?
It’s almost as if, in order to avoid spreading bedbug infestations, one is faced with the real possibility of having to quarantine himself and his or her family for the entire duration of extermination. This would mean people missing work and children missing school for long periods of time, as we are well aware that an infestation cannot be eliminated in two weeks; many times not even in a month. And what if an infested person makes the decision, as many of us have, to go to work or school despite the possibility of transmission? What are the limits of our responsibility if our places of work become infested? Or when the homes of our colleagues become infested?
I smell lawsuits, people. Lots of them. I smell a serious problem for our country, economically speaking. These issues need to be addressed. Legislation needs to be passed. We need help from our government, and quickly.
It’s my hope that the goverment will step in with a pesticide that eliminates bedbug infestations quickly- meaning within days; not weeks and months. This is really the only way I see an end to the bedbug epidemic all over the world. And rules need to be made- quickly- to set proper extermination standards for all towns, cities, states and our country. Health departments, where are you?