Ohio fighting to get Propoxur for residential bed bug applications

by nobugsonme on November 11, 2009 · 3 comments

in banned pesticides, bed bugs, bedbugs, desperation, EPA, ohio, Propoxur

The Ohio Department of Agriculture has asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for an emergency exemption to allow the use of the pesticide Propoxur in residences; more than a dozen additional states are supporting this request, The Columbus Dispatch reports.

The pesticide is currently in use for crops, on flea/tick collars, and in commercial applications.  This would simply be an emergency extension of its use inside residences.

Why Propoxur?

As Doug Caruso reports for The Columbus Dispatch,

In tests at the University of Kentucky, the chemical killed 100 percent of the bedbugs exposed to it within 24 hours and kept on killing after eggs hatched, Beal said. That compared with a 16 percent kill rate after 72 hours for a commonly used household insecticide against one strain found in Cincinnati, and 40 percent in another strain.

Make no mistake: while safety to humans and pets is an important factor when decisions are made about which pesticides are legal for which use, political and financial interests do factor heavily.  The Columbus Dispatch notes,

Introduced in 1959, Propoxur was removed from home use in the 1990s under a law that sought to reduce people’s exposure to insecticides. When manufacturers decided which uses to allow, [Matt Beal, assistant chief at the Ohio Department of Agriculture] said, they kept the chemical for application to crops and commercial buildings because they sold more of it for those purposes.

[Emphasis mine.]

It will be interesting to see if the exemption is granted, and whether this helps us in our battle against the red menace.

Update (11/12):

Is it just me or is the New York Times trying to put a spin on this issue with their headline,

“Ohio Wants to Use Industrial Poison on Bedbugs at Home.”

[Emphasis mine.]

Eek! Industrial poison! Oh no!

(Meanwhile, the people with bed bugs are saying, “yes, please!”)

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1 hanzel November 12, 2009 at 10:30 am

Bed bugs are an epidemic and we have to tackle them with everything we have. Since 2005 bed bugs have tripled across the United States, leaving home owners, government buildings and college dormitories infested. No one is being singled out and people everywhere are literally losing sleep. I think the people of Ohio should be allowed to do what they need to do to try to eradicate this ever growing problem.

2 nobugsonme November 12, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Update (11/12):

Is it just me or is the New York Times trying to put a spin on this issue with their headline,

“Ohio Wants to Use Industrial Poison on Bedbugs at Home.”

[Emphasis mine.]

Eek! Industrial poison! Oh no!

(Meanwhile, the people with bed bugs are saying, “yes, please!”)

3 cilecto November 12, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Good sign.
Government is starting to do its job. States are sharing information.
If EPA drags its feet, perhaps states can use the “medical marijuana” approach and carve out their own regulations.

Caution.
The chemical is a cabamate, still in use in parts of the world, including, IIRC, Canada. Still, they have BB. So, not the silver bullet and certainly not safely “self applied”.

Bingo.
BBs are eradicated by washing sheets, LOL.

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