Federalizing the Solution to Bedbugs

Bed bugs are certainly a problem, they vex even the best hotels, frustrate and infuriate travelers, and keep pest control companies in business.

Now, apparently, the federal government is getting involved.

In keeping with the best of government traditions, the Federal Bed Bug Work Group is hosting its second national summit Feb. 1-2 in Washington to brainstorm about solutions to the resurgence of the tiny bloodsuckers that have made such an itch-inducing comeback in recent years.

The effort is widespread across the federal government, and this is apparently not DC’s first foray into the issue.

Several federal agencies participate in the Federal Bed Bug Work Group: the Environmental Protection Agency, the deapartments of Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Defense and Commerce, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The EPA organized the first federal bedbug summit last year.

Apparently even a federal office building (the USAID offices in the Ronald Reagan Building) had bedbugs.

Someone my best guess is that a solution to the problem isn’t going to come from D.C., though I also suppose there are far worse things they could be spending their time thinking about.

(Via Jeff Miron.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Never hurts to have the Federal Govt. involved in a problem when you want lot of noise and no real solutions.

  2. the federal government CAUSED this problem by listening to pseudo scientific enviro nutjobs in the 70s who claimed DDT was bad.

    Just allow us to use DDT and this will no longer be an issue. A side benefit would be that millions wouldn’t die from malaria either if we could just use DDT.

  3. @John n: See this article in Newsweek. By the time DDT was banned in 1972, most bedbugs were already resistant to it. They remain so: “among a wide variety of pesticides tested against bedbugs within the last two years, DDT performed the worst.” DDT is still permitted and used to combat malaria in India and Africa; using it for other purposes would increase the development of resistant mosquitoes, making it less effective for malaria control.

    There are other pesticides (e.g. propoxur) that reportedly remain effective against bedbugs, and I hope this “work group” will consider decreasing restrictions on their use. But DDT in particular is worse than useless.

  4. While its easy to slam the Fed Govt, given the bed-bug sniffing dogs and other hoaxes out there I hope that the Fed Govt gets involved. There needs to be better and more unbaised information out there. What I fear is the Washington DC lobbyist getting involved not the technocrats or regulators of the Fed. Govt.

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