NYT Article Admits DDT Ban as a Cause of Bedbug Outbreak

Sleep tight. Don't let the bedbugs bite.

Unfortunately for residents of many urban areas such as New York and Philadelphia, the bedbugs are not only biting but spreading at an alarming rate. Despite this outbreak, the mainstream media has until recently kept insisting that bedbugs developed a resistance to DDT so any emergency lifting of the EPA ban on that pesticide is unnecessary. However, your humble correspondent has speculated that the MSM would eventually have to change its position on the DDT ban due to the fact that so many of its members are being assaulted by bedbug attacks which keep increasing despite the use of other pesticides. Well, it now appears that New York Times writer, Emily B. Hager, has had a revelation about DDT. While its not an outright call for a lifting of the DDT, consider it an important pit stop on the way to demanding the ban be lifted:

...Bedbugs, once nearly eradicated, have spread across New York City, in part because of the decline in the use of DDT. According to the city’s Department of Housing and Preservation, the number of bedbug violations has gone up 67 percent in the last two years. In the most recent fiscal year, which ended on June 30, the city’s 311 help line recorded 12,768 bedbug complaints, 16 percent more than the previous year and 39 percent above the year before. A New York City community health survey showed that in 2009, 1 in 15 New Yorkers had bedbugs in their homes, a number that is probably higher now. 

Yes, the MSM meme seems to have shifted from the claim that DDT would be ineffective against bedbugs to the admission that the current outbreak is due to a decline in its use. And the New York Times is not alone in admitting that the lack of DDT is a cause for the bedbug outbreak. Business Week is now also admitting that the ban on DDT as a cause for the bedbug outbreak:

Experts are baffled by the resurgence of the tiny reddish-brown insects that feed off human and animal blood, their bites often leaving red welts. Entomologists say the pests are appearing on a scale not seen since before World War II and cite increases in global travel and the elimination of certain chemicals, like DDT, that were once used to treat bedbugs, as possible factors contributing to the upsurge.

And now that media outlets are willing to admit that the ban on DDT helped caused this bedbug outbreak, a demand for the EPA to at least temporarily lift its ban can't be far behind. Annoyance over lack of sleep due to biting bedbugs should trump tree-hugging political correctness over continuing the DDT ban.

New York Times

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