TeeJaw Blog

Bedbug Baloney In New York City

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Monday, August 2, 2010, 9: 24 AM

Liberals in the Big Apple are scratching more than their heads these days due to a bedbug infestation, followed by an infestation of another kind: Bedbug baloney from their betters in the City government and most of the local media. Only The New York Post offers common sense on the matter.

New Yorkers are itching to get rid of the bedbugs but the official response is, as usual, silly:

Instead, their Bedbug Advisory Board recommends a bedbug team and an educational Web site. Residents, it advises, should monitor and report infestations. Use blowdryers to flush out (maybe 5 percent of) the bugs, then sweep them into a plastic bag and dispose properly. Throw away (thousands of dollars’ worth of) infested clothing, bedding, carpeting and furniture.

What is needed is an effective insecticide, but fear and loathing from decades of indoctrination on the dangers (greatly exaggerated, of course) of pesticides are leaving New Yorkers in a quandary. The bedbugs might be getting bad enough to cause some re-thinking. Won’t it be ironic if the discomfort of bedbug bites, which are not linked to any disease, could cause liberals to relax fears of pesticides while they remain unmoved by the millions of deaths in Africa from malaria directly linked to the banning of DDT.

Frustration over absurd bedbug programs? Imagine the reaction Africans must have to “malaria no more” campaigns that claim they’ll (eventually) eradicate the disease solely with insecticide-treated bed nets, drugs, “capacity building,” education and (maybe someday) mosquitoes genetically engineered not to carry malaria parasites. As for insecticide spraying, especially DDT, forget it.

DDT is the most powerful, effective, long-lasting mosquito repellant ever invented. Spraying the eaves and inside walls of mud huts and cinderblock homes every six months keeps 80 percent of the flying killers from entering. It irritates most that do enter, so they leave without biting, and kills any that land.

Yet many aid agencies refuse to encourage, endorse or fund spraying. Many don’t even want to monitor mosquito and malaria outbreaks or determine success in reducing disease and death rates. That’s more difficult and costly than counting the number of bed nets distributed and underscores the embarrassing reality that their “comprehensive” (and politically correct) programs achieve only 20 to 40 percent reductions in morbidity and mortality. By contrast, as South Africa and other countries have shown, adding insecticides and DDT can bring 95 percent success.

Since the Environmental Protection Agency banned DDT in 1972, billions have been stricken by malaria and tens of millions have died. This is intolerable.

We need adult supervision and informed debate on pesticide policies, laws and regulations. We can no longer leave those decisions to anti-chemical activists in unaccountable pressure groups and government agencies. These zealots are making decisions that affect the quality of life for millions of Americans — and life itself for billions of poor people worldwide.

Read the whole article at The New York Post.

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