My Bed Bug Series

For entirely too long I have seen far too much misinformation from the media and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about bed bugs and what should be done about them.  Unfortunately many poeple who should know better who have been involved directly or indirectly with the pest control industry are jumping on this foolish bandwagon.

We win the battle of facts; we always have. They win the battle of emotion; they always have. In order to win the war we must win the battle of facts and emotion.

This series is to help dispel all the wrong headedness, junk science and flawed green philosophy that we are fed daily. If there ever was an issue that clearly outlines how the EPA is a political animal versus the scientific agency they claim to to; this is it!
By, Rich Kozlovich

In the 1800’s there was no greater showman than P.T. Barnum. His flair for the extravagant dazzled the crowds. His museum in New York City was a “combination of zoo, museum, lecture hall, wax museum, theater and freak show. Barnum noticed that people were lingering too long at his exhibits. He posted signs indicating "This Way to the Egress". Not knowing that "Egress" was another word for "Exit", people followed the signs to what they assumed was a fascinating exhibit...and ended up outside”. If they weren’t done seeing what they wanted to see….they had to pay again.

I couldn't help but chuckle and shake my head at the thought of those who are directly responsible for this plague of bedbugs now wanting to find a solution through this big public relations fest. What better way to deflect attention away from the real perpetrators of this mess, themselves. P.T. Barnum would have been truly impressed with this trompe l'oeil

Butterfield Bill: Activity as a Substitute for Accomplishment, Part II
By Rich Kozlovich

On April 14th and 15th of this year the EPA hosted something that they called the Bedbug Summit, which “drew almost 300 state and federal regulatory, public health, and housing officials, academics, landlords/property managers, pest professionals, and other key stakeholders.  OnApril 19th, 2009 I published a critique of EPA’s “Bedbug Summit”, called Bedbug Summit: Activity As A Substitute For Accomplishment, which clearly outlined what could only be called a great public relations deception and a farce. That is, if your goal is the control of bedbugs. If the goal was to misdirect, deceive and justify the creation of a massive, costly and ineffectual multilayered bureaucracy and promote ineffectual pest control programs such as IPM, then it was a smashing success. Quite frankly, it disturbed me to realize that for some reason I didn’t connect the dots at the time between this and the Butterfield bill. I know…I know…there is no such thing as a conspiracy.

Since I am heavily involved in my industry’s affairs I was asked if I was going to this latest EPA Summit. I said I wouldn’t waste my time and money because I already knew it was nothing but a bunch of claptrap. I have read a number of reports and had conversations with those who went; nothing that I have read or heard has changed my view.

Grant Awards to Support Bed Bug Education: Activity as a Substitute for Accomplishment, Part IV
By Rich Kozlovich

Bed bugs have been with mankind for as long as mankind has existed. Records about bed bugs are available that go back 4000 years to ancient Egypt, and archeologists have artifacts that show they are “identical to the present day pest.” Since they took the time to talk about them in ancient Egypt I think that we can reasonably assume that they didn’t like them any more than we do today. Historians have noted that manuals for their elimination have existed for centuries. In 1730 there was “A Treaties of Buggs” where the author recommended a “liquor” for their destruction.

In 1777, "The Compleat Vermin-Killer," recommended "to fill the cracks of the bed with gunpowder and light it on fire."  Sounds silly I know, but people do silly things when they are desperate.  An Ohio man set his apartment building on fire because he attempted to rid his apartment of bed bugs using alcohol while smoking a cigarette Somehow I don’t think burning down houses is the answer we want.

Bedbugs; The Real Answer!
By Rich Kozlovich

What is the reality of bedbugs? We have them! We don’t want them! The numbers keep getting larger! They are spreading farther afield! The tools left to society don’t kill them! There are species of bedbug that are even more resistant to pesticides than the rest!

The average homeowner is faced with over the counter pesticides that don’t work or IPM or green pest control programs that are either largely ineffectual or prohibitively expensive when they work. The same is true of new technology, such as heat which absolutely works. The reality of bedbugs is this; chemistry was the answer in 1946 and it will be the answer in 2010! And it must be the answer. Why?

By Rich Kozlovich

Renee Corea has been in the forefront of New York City’s battle against bedbugs and is part of their Bed Bug Task Force. I first became aware of her web site, New York vs Bed Bugs ,some months back when she highlighted two articles I did on the subject in her post of May 24, 2009, called, Blaming EPA is not the answer either.

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. - C. S. Lewis

Recently I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is outraged that we are attempting to bring propoxur back for bed bug control. He is also outraged at those who are working to do this, which also includes me by the way. I asked why?

We Don't Need No Stinking Badges!
By Rich Kozlovich

This week CBS interviewed and filmed Lonnie Alonso and his son Brian of Columbus Pest Control in Columbus, Ohio while doing a bed bug job in some poor suffering woman’s home; a home that looked perfectly clean and well cared for. That is the thing with bed bugs. They don’t discriminate in any way. They will infest anyone’s home and they don’t care how dirty or clean your home is and they don’t care how rich or poor you are. You are food to them.  There is a rub though; those with the financial wherewithal can afford to get rid of them. It is the people at the bottom of the economic structure that are suffering the most because they are left largely defenseless. They are also spreading them everywhere they go, and those who can afford it will find that they are being re-infested, along with the Empire State Building, Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie and Fitch and a host of other businesses, including hotels…and that was just in New York City.
By Rich Kozlovich

In recent months the bed bug issue has reached headline proportions on the national scene. National television news networks have featured the story, magazines have highlighted the problem nationally and newspapers have focused on local infestations that seem to be out of control and growing. It is almost like one of those overnight movie star sensations who won an award only to find out that he has been in the entertainment business for fifteen years. We, the pest control industry, have known this day was coming for some time, and in point of fact I know one old timer who ominously stated over ten years ago that bed bugs would be back.

Since 1962 when Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring came out the world of pest control and pesticides have been turned upside down. As the years went by people seemed to believe that living a pest free life was a right; it was all part of the American Dream and pesticides had nothing to do with it. Instead of society believing that pesticides are life savers, society has come to believe that pesticides are doing all sort of terrible and unknown things. That in spite of the fact that people are living longer and healthier lives

By Rich Kozlovich

As this national plague of bed bugs continues to grow I find that I am more and more surprised at the reactions of so many. Especially those in the bureaucracies, government and most importantly in pest control. I intend to explore all of the views from each group. I think you will find this examination interesting and frustrating.   My views however are somewhat straightforward. We need effective chemistry that is inexpensive, available to the public and easy to use if we are to rid the nation of this plague. That was the answer in 1946 and that will have to be the answer in 2010 or 2011 or 2102 or there will be no answer.

Four Criteria To End Bed Bug Plague
By Rich Kozlovich
I really find it interesting to see those who normally would be foaming at the mouth about the evils of pesticides discuss this rising plague of bed bugs on their television shows, with clear trepidation as to what should be done. The View some time back had someone from Bed Bug Central showing what to look for and what they could possibly use to protect themselves. Although they now knew that putting encasement covers over the mattress and box springs was a good thing, you could tell from their manner that they knew that this wasn’t “the” answer and that in the real world, with the regulatory realities we have to deal with…..there is no answer.  My mother is 86, so when this bedbug plague first broke out I asked her if she had them in her youth and what they did before DDT. She said that they washed everything in the house thoroughly and took everything outside and washed everything, including the springs, frames and mattresses at least twice a year. I asked if that worked and she laughed and said for a while it was better.  And that is the real point. They never got rid of them entirely!


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