Beyond Pesticides weighs in on Ohio’s propoxur Section 18 request:

Importantly, there are many alternative ways to manage bed bugs without the use of harmful chemicals such as propoxur. These strategies include habitat modifications and least-toxic alternatives available to prevent and control bed bugs. These include sealing cracks and crevices where bed bugs can hide, regular laundering of bed linens and clothing in hot water (120oF), as well as regular vacuuming and steam cleaning of carpets and other soft furnishings, which can destroy bed bugs and their eggs. There are also several least-toxic chemical alternatives on the market, including diatomaceous earth.

These alternatives don’t work very well for the majority of people who have bed bugs. Indeed, one can argue (and I do) that if they did, we would not be in this mess. They consume a great deal of resources (money and manpower) and time, and are beyond the capabilities and skills of people who are not strong and healthy. Even able-bodied people have a very difficult time eradicating bed bugs with these strategies. In cities, the most significant reason for this is that bed bugs spread between apartments and floors in multi-unit buildings and eradication is not a matter of individual actors.

Importantly, few government entities or social services providers are rushing to the aid of people who cannot fend for themselves to eradicate a bed bug infestation. Indeed, most vulnerable people are left to their own devices. Certainly in New York City they are. No one has the money or the will for this.

And this is something you would know if you actually knew anything about bed bug infestations in the real world.

While we’re at this, if you knew anything about bed bugs, you would not mention “regular laundering of bed linens” as an eradication method. You can launder your bed linens every day for months and not make a dent in the bed bug infestation in your home.

This is a serious situation. I understand the need to further an organization’s objectives, but some deeper acquaintance with reality would be useful right now. I’d welcome some real-world suggestions from organizations like Beyond Pesticides. We need all the help we can get. The suggestion that currently available alternatives are just fine is not it.

And that goes double for being reminded that bed bugs do not spread disease.


  1. Rich Kozlovich


    You outlined the problem perfectly. Groups such as Beyond Pesticides sound convincing, but they are not involved in resolving the problem! They are armchair philosophers who have somehow become “experts” in fields in which they do not compete.

    I have decided that we need a new bureaucracy. I know…I know….it seems a bit shocking for me to suggest such a thing, but ….yes, a new bureaucracy with regulations outlining what will allow someone to become a social activist is clearly what we need. We can call it the Activists Bureau under the U.S Department of Commerce…since that department seems to do very little for a great deal of money this will at least give the impression that they are worth it. Here are some suggestions.

    1. Require protesters to have started their own successful companies before we allow them actively involve themselves in public protests of other businesses.
    2. Having started businesses that fail will not count.
    3. Require animal rights activists to start businesses that require them to feed the world or develop medicines without animal testing.
    4. Having failed will disqualify this person as an activist.
    5. We can require anti-energy protesters to start businesses that provide electricity to millions of people without any of the means currently being used. Nor will presenting future possible inventions that may possibly be invented at some future possible date count as a qualification to protest.
    6. Anti-pesticide activists must be operating a successful business that provides the following;
    7. Actual protection from disease carrying pests without registered or non-registered pesticides or chemicals in general.
    8. Provide protection for homes without registered or non-registered pesticides or chemicals in general against all the things we currently provide services for.
    9. Must be able to grow enough food to meet the same capacity that is currently enjoyed in this country. This must be done with the same amount of landmass without fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides.
    10. This all must be accomplished without grant money from any source or tax incentives of any kind from the government.
    11. Not meeting these criteria will disqualify the person as a registered activist with the “Activists Bureau”.
    12. If they meet the qualifications and are successful in their protest against any company or system, the activists must be willing to undertake to provide the same service, product or whatever it is that they have overturned.
    13. This must be done without using any of the means they have protested against.
    14. Failure to protect, feed or provide the services promised by the activist will require the activist to be liable to criminal and/or civil litigation.

    Failure to be willing to meet this final requirement will require them to “just be quiet.”

    Best wishes,
    Rich Kozlovich

  2. Renee Corea

    Then I’d have to shut up about lots of things. I guess now I know how it must feel.

    I’m just tired of all this holding forth about washing sheets and vacuuming — the moral certainty of some of this b.s. is just unbearable.

  3. Rich Kozlovich

    That is the world we face in my industry. Morally superior pronouncements from those who have nothing to lose, who never have to pay any penalty for being wrong and who never saw a burden so great that they couldn’t put it on someone else.

    If you get the chance, take a look at what happened when environmental activists convinced South American governments to remove chlorine from their drinking water supply because it was going to cause everyone to have cancer. Dystopia is the Sancho Panza of the green movement.

    Rich K.

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