We need DDT Back!!!(17 posts)
We need DDT back, it should be allowed to use in our homes, restaurants, hotels, hospitals and schools... bed bugs, roaches, lice are spreading everywhere!
I want DDT Back!!!
It was outlawed for a reason. Bringing it back, when it is still deemed unsafe... Bed Bugs, while causing mental distress, aren't entirely a physical hazard, much like DDT itself is:
Environmental impact, the long list of effects on human health, including breast cancer, developmental issues. Although it's mostly an environmental thing, if I understand correctly, it was used against mosquitoes in Africa I believe, against malaria.
Still, the likelihood of the US/Canada allowing it again, are slim. :\
^My reply wasn't meant to sound snarky, I realize it might've come off that way and it wasn't supposed to.
There are other products that work very well (Propoxur); and I think with the right minds coming together it will eventually happen.
Thermal works great too, and getting the price of thermal down and the process widely acceptable would be a great help for most people (me excluded).
Thermal sounds insane to me. How many people can spend that kind of money on thermal?
Wrapping up your house or a large building and injecting a large amount of heat sounds like a stupid idea to me. We do need stronger pesticides re-introduced into the system even if it is only for a couple of years and then ban them again until we need them. Very controversial I know.
People are suffering mentally and physically and financially and the possibility I believe exists that bed bugs, we may someday find can spread disease.
> We do need stronger pesticides re-introduced into the system even if it is only for a couple of years
In the USA, such a request for Propoxur is making it's way through the relevant agencies. DDVP (liquid) has also been quietly reintroduced. Bear in mind that PCOs may be hesitant or loath to use dome of these products, as it exposes them to potential health hazards.
Not sure why thermal is a dumb idea since I have research to prove it works but to each their own. If you have the money and want them gone in as short a time as possible with as little a disruption to your life as possible, heat is the way to go. I know it's not the right solution for the masses but for those that want and can, why not.
We also keep referring to this whole topic incorrectly. We don't need a "stronger" pesticide. We need a pesticide that has a better residual effect. That's why DDT, Diazinon and all the others were so effective. I don't think you can get much "stronger" then gasoline and I've seen that applied in homes and the bugs are still there.
The bottom line with this topic is that everybody thinks there isn't a problem with re-releasing one of these chemicals for interior use (for bed bugs) and there may not be a huge problem with it. The problem is when someone then takes that pesticide and starts misapplying it outside of their home WHICH IS BOUND TO HAPPEN! That's why these pesticides were taken off the market to begin with. People did that and then they take a long time to break down and effect the environment. People want to sit here and scream about how we need this or that back but it's not happening (oustide of maybe propoxur or some other intermediate pesticide). All people who do that are doing is wasting time looking for something that does work because screaming isn't bringing these things back, ever.
Thermal remediation does not involve tenting.
When my apartment was treated with thermal, the PCOs set up propane heaters in the driveway and ran ducts to convey the hot air into the apartment. (best visual I can give--remember E.T.? the ducts running into the house with E.T.? Looks like that but with fewer ducts.)
It took one day--a much shorter time period than treating with Vikane--which does involve tenting.
It was a much better investment for me, than say, the $400 I spent on a dry vapor steamer which was absolutely no use in my fight against bed bugs because the PCO determined that chemical pesticides wouldn't work in my space.
The thermal took care of all the bugs in one treatment--allowing me to resume sleeping soundly shortly after treatment. For someone with insomnia before bed bugs, that's worth a premium. The effect on my ability to perform my job without sleep for months on end would have been worth extra cost to me--even if thermal had been more expensive than conventional chemical treatment would have been (overall) if it had been practical in my residence.
The dry vapor steamer was totally unnecessary, and while it's nice to get wrinkles out of clothes, an iron would have been a much, much cheaper option for that. I didn't need it for bed bug treatment in any way.
If I hadn't bought the steamer, given that it costs about $50 in laundry every time I do a massive "wash most everything in the house" trip to the laundromat (and bed bug laundry would have been more massive than that), and given how many dry clean only items I have (and a take a couple of items in trip to the dry cleaner costs me $30 easy), thermal is absolutely a cost effective option for me and people with situations similar to mine. If you'd added up my dry cleaning and laundry bills to the cost of thermal, and deducted all the plastic bags and the steamer that I bought before I knew enough to make smart decisions, thermal would have been hands down the most cost effective option of all.
Now, does that mean that I lambast chemical treatment as insane now that I've been around here a while?
No, I don't because I realize that there are always going to be cheap landlords who are happy to pass laundry and dry cleaning costs on to tenants; as a result, to prevent the folks who rent from them from suffering needlessly, I acknowledge that we need to have a greater variety of and many more effective chemical treatments available than we currently do. Bed bugs are a tough pest, which means that there will never be a magic bullet. That means that we need to have a variety of treatments available.
However, calling a viable treatment that has a proven track record insane, lieutenantdan, doesn't exactly earn you credibility points in my book.
Please keep in mind that in many countries where DDT is still legal to use, bed bugs are showing resistance to it and /or prove to be repelled by it.
I stood on my porch--my tree hugging, reusable bag and cup using self--and begged for DDT back too--when I was in the throes of hopelessness before treatment started.
Now that I've had the time to come back and look at it with a clearer mind, I've determined that DDT isn't a magic bullet, and bringing it back won't solve the problem.
Bed bugs are a tough pest that need a variety of treatment approaches. I heartily endorse research into new pesticides. I also strongly support making thermal and Vikane more widely available. I even more strongly endorse educating the public about bed bugs so that regular inspection (at home and while traveling) and good preventative design (furniture, public space, hotel rooms designed to be less bed bug friendly and easier to debug in infested) become standard. We need all those approaches to win the war.
Excellent points Jeff.
At this point in my life, I can name about three or four PMPs whom I would absolutely trust to use pesticides like malathion or DDT in or around my residence if those chemicals were available; most of them post here. I've been here long enough to listen to their consistent discussions that I'm convinced of how thoroughly they know their subject. (Unfortunately, none of them live near me.)
However, my previous landlord still had malathion and wanted to apply it himself on our property to treat for ants not that long ago.
He is, unfortunately, the problem--as Jeff points out. Knowledgeable pest management folks can safely apply a lot of maligned chemicals. Sadly, not all pest control folks are that knowledgeable and ethical, and the do it yourself types who don't have enough expertise or knowledge are the ones who "ruin" it for everyone in terms of availability.
(You also run into the problem of the disposal of the waste from manufacturing them as well. I live not that far away from a giant concentration of DDT offshore which was the result not of people recklessly applying it but from the manufacturer dumping it there. Then the American taxpaying public ends up having to pay to clean that up.)
In addition, Jeff's point about needing chemicals with a more effective residual action is one of the things that convinces me of his expertise. After all, I've learned that many of the current chemical pesticides are designed to be ingested while the insect grooms itself or delivered through food bait. Neither of those methods works for bed bugs.
As I understand it, that's why the residuals we currently have aren't as effective. Add in the behavior of bed bugs running away after they feed--and thereby hiding and laying eggs where they're esp. tough to get to, and you begin to see why bed bugs are a tough pest.
Layer on top of that that there was very little research done on bed bugs for decades, and you have a kind of perfect pest storm.
Doesn't mean we can't catch up and develop more effective residuals. Doesn't mean we can't begin to develop--as some PMPs and entomologists are--more effective integrated management techniques specific to bed bugs.
We need people suffering from bed bugs to understand those facts about the behavior of bed bugs and the current chemicals available as much as we need them to understand that it is possible to win a battle against the bugs so that they don't get hopeless and desperate and resort to dangerous (and often ineffective) options on their own.
Does thermal treatment have any residual effect as DE does have?
Don't take the insane comment to the heart I apologize to you if you took offense.
I speculate that any environmental issue that one may blame pesticides for may not have been
created by the average person who sprayed their home once in a while but by crop dusters and the continuous spraying and over spraying of massive amounts of land and water. In addition
there are many ways that big business is still to this day polluting the environment.
There needs to be an automatic post whenever DDT is typed that quotes Jeff.
We don't need a "stronger" pesticide. We need a pesticide that has a better residual effect. That's why DDT, Diazinon and all the others were so effective.
Along with the fact BBs collected in the field and tested in many a study are resistant to DDT. It isn't effective anymore!
The durability of DDT was it's strong suit and today we have various long term residual dusts Drione, and DE for example, that can have similar durable efficacy.
Liquid sprays can't compete with dusts in long term efficacy.
No, thermal doesn't have a residual effect, but since it kills all bugs and eggs (if done properly) it doesn't need a residual effect.
One of the downsides to thermal is that it's only effective in cases where it can be assured that reinfestation is not likely to occur. In my case, all adjacent units were inspected; I could trace back the hotel at which I was most likely exposed (i.e., I had it narrowed down to one or two hotels I stayed at during the window of likely first exposure. At one, I saw what I thought was a tick in my bed.).
Residual effects are necessary for treatments that cannot kill all bugs and eggs in one go and/or in multi-unit infestations in which not all units are being treated with a one time kills all approach all at the same time.
Some are using dusts (cautiously) as a long-term backup for thermal. It would not be a solution if reinfestation were expected, but may be a good plan for most situations (where it's possible).
Also, I think thermal will likely become cheaper as it becomes more widespread.
Minneapolis Housing Authority is actually using it for public housing. This suggests that long-term it makes financial sense. (Repeated and never-ending spray treatments can be very costly too!)
I think what aggravates me about this topic is that people spend so much time yelling about what we don't have and what we need back and you're just wasting time by doing that. Many of these pesticides are never coming back and for good reason too. You can yell until your blue in the face and it's not going to make a difference.
Maybe it's just a theory in my own life but I don't worry about things I can't control and surely don't spend time thinking about things that aren't going to happen. Everyone elses brain cells, including my own, can be burned on more productive topics.
I hear you Jeff.
Try some of these when you read the next DDT thread.....
I am not sure why there is such a strong culture for more powerful chemical products. If you stop for a second and think about what chemical control does and how it works you will soon realise the follies in that path.
Evolution will always work against a chemical control strategy. The insects that are more tolerant will be left to survive and breed and just like the global issues with bacterial resistance to anti-biotics you will force bed bugs to develop.
Yes I appreciate that bed bugs are unpleasant to have and to deal with but why the world think greater chemical control is the answer is still a mystery to me.
I did some filming yesterday for a consumers affairs program. I cant go into details but think hidden camera sting operation. I actually watched someone from another pest control firm working in a room and the mistakes they had. They use a product that is perceived to stronger than the one we use but this is mainly because it causes respiratory and eye irritation so people feel it must be more powerful. They literally sprayed all surfaces and areas using an excess of chemical product.
I will post the details when the program airs but suffice to say its a shame there was not a single live bed bug in the room at the time.
We need to help people understand that more chemical is not the answer but teaching people how to use what is available a lot more appropriately. I use on average 2 US pints per room and get highly effective control. The most powerful weapon we use in the fight for bed bugs is helping people to understand the problem and how to avoid it in future.
You also need to understand that its a horses for courses situation and treatment strategies will never be as simple as following a fixed set of instructions, you need to look at the situation and apply the best tools for the job otherwise you end up trying to crack a peanut with a sledgehammer.
Bed Bugs Limited
I hate to say this but the reality is that when people are confronted with bedbugs or other pests, they forget everything but themselves and their immediate comfort. Believe me, I more than many KNOW in a visceral way how horrible bed bug bites are because I'm VERY allergic to them. However, I am also very allergic to insecticides and I think this happened because many exterminators do NOT use their product in a responsible manner. The apartment under mine was soaked with insecticide and I wasn't even informed - thus I spent the entire day breathing in those fumes because my building is old and these apartments are NOT sealed from each other.
I can SEE through my floor into the apartment below me. I was so sick for two weeks, I could barely walk and had no idea what was wrong till I found out two months later about the spraying etc. It says clearly on all the instructions for these products - DO NOT INHALE OR GET ON SKIN - DO NOT INGEST. How could I follow that advice when I wasn't even warned and guess what? This was during the summer when all my windows were closed and my air conditioner was re circulating the same air. I, my room mate and my cats were all vomiting and sick but I especially was sickened for some reason and now, as a result I can't be around insecticide. Someone snuk and sprayed before Christmas and I had to go to the hospital in an ambulance plus I've been left with some mysterious sort of arthritis which has nearly crippled me. And those of you who want DDT back? Do some research - be responsible and LEARN first what you're asking for because number one - DDT doesn't work that well anymore and two - there is NO SAFE LEVEL OF IT. Do you really want to expose a little child to this stuff so they can come down with a mysterious leukemia ten years from now?
Do YOU want to come down with Parkinson's disease while you're in your early fifties or even younger? Please - go to this link and read what pesticides are doing in our world.
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