Understanding EPA’s Regulation of Bed Bug Pesticides

Understanding EPA’s Regulation of Bed Bug Pesticides

We are constantly inundated with chemicals in our daily life. Cleaners and shampoos, solvents and additives, we accept that the solutions that so often accompany everyday living are safe. But when it comes to insecticide, we not only have to be concerned for human safety, but for the impact it has on the environment as well. This is especially vital when you consider the stubborn nature of bed bugs. It is not enough to spray for these insects once, treatments must continue over the course of time and include soft surfaces, dark spaces and even the walls of the structure that is affected. Who decides whether things like bed bug pesticide are safe and what is being done to regulate this important chemical?

What is EPA?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was founded in December 1970 amidst growing concerns about pollution to the environment. The EPA was originally founded to consolidate the work of several federal research, monitoring and standard-setting agencies into one clearinghouse for environmental protection. In the nearly 50 years since its founding, the EPA has banned the use of several caustic chemicals, aided in the clean up of toxic waste, worked to protect land and water from pollution, and spearheaded the reduction of carbon emissions from cars, factories, industrial sites, and more.

EPA Regulation of Bed Bug Pesticide

Before they can be sold or used in the US, all pesticides must go through a registration process with the EPA. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Pesticides with a limited number of ingredients, called minimum risk pesticides, are not required to go through this process since they are considered to be generally safe. When it comes to bed bug pesticide, the nature and effectiveness of these chemicals affect public health. The EPA steps in to make sure they are not only effective in killing bed bugs but safe to be used in spaces that are often closed. This includes giving the latest information about effective bed bug pesticide to pest management businesses and the public, encouraging industry professionals to try new compounds to control bed bugs with the least amount of impact on the environment and educating the public on the way bed bugs travel and reproduce.

Which pesticides are safe to use on bed bugs?

The EPA has more than 300 registered products that it considers safe for use on bed bugs. Most of these compounds can be used by consumers, but several are specified as “professional use only” products. In general, these products fall into one of seven classes – pyrethrins, pyrethroids, desiccants, biochemicals, pyrroles, neonicotinoids, and insect growth regulators. Each of these seven classes uses a different method to kill adult insects and their eggs. Some decrease the strength of the bed bug’s exoskeleton, making it susceptible to poison. Others kill the eggs and cause sterility in the adult insects so they cannot breed. In most infestations, it is important to use one more than one chemical to reduce the likelihood that the bed bugs will develop an immunity to the chemical that is being used.

EPA Bed Bug Law

Bed bug law is written and enforced by individual state legislatures. Currently, there are 21 states with reporting legislature in place that requires establishments that have been infested with bedbugs to report the incident to state regulatory agencies. The Department of Housing and Urban Development also has guidance for controlling bed bugs in public housing. The EPA’s primary focus is on the safety of the chemicals used to eradicate bed bugs, not on reporting requirements or legal obligations to those that have been affected.

Fortunately, bed bug lawyers like Elan Law Firm have the capability to untangle the web of responsibility and help you receive recompense for your bed bug injury. If you have experienced bed bug bites in private or public spaces, contact our office for more information. If you believe you have been injured by the pesticides used to kill bed bugs, we can help you determine if you have a case. Call today for a free consultation.