When I’m contacted by people working on bed bug problems in other cities, I try to reply with a detailed email. Occasionally, I get no response.
From Australian medical entomologist Stephen Doggett, a draft first edition of a Bed Bug Management Policy for Accommodation Providers, “initially developed to assist community housing groups who were experiencing recurrent bed bug problems” but useful for anyone in “the hospitality industry, student and staff lodgings, and/or public housing.”
With people’s backs against the wall in various cities of the United States, the CDC and EPA pronounce themselves officially on the case of “alarming” U.S. bed bug resurgence: CDC-EPA Joint Statement on bed bug control in the U.S.
I was as surprised as you to learn that the city intended to release the advisory board report after all and adopt some of its recommendations. It’s tempting to think that interesting things happen when CEOs start writing to the Mayor asking for guidance.
Well, maybe one more history post.
The papers say the city is ready to do battle, more on what that might mean later.
Of course bed bugs have always been a big deal. Eradicating them, a big production. We had a brief respite there in the 20th century with a succession of various effective and cheap (and therefore widely deployable) control methods. Now we get to spend incredible amounts of cash killing bed bugs, and be grateful for it. And the organizational logistics of eradication? Again comparable to what they once were?
All of which is to say, let’s have any excuse to look at some photographs from a bed bug disinfestation protocol at Camp Lee (now Ft. Lee), Virginia in 1943.1
Photos copyright Dr. Eugene J. Gerberg, used with permission, all rights reserved.
Soldiers’ gas masks were “often severely infested.”
- “Bedbug control by fumigation with hydrocyanic acid gas discoids,” private photo album, EJ Gerberg (1943). [↩]
There are so many things I’ve wanted to write about in the time I’ve been away (and not just about historical research, heh).