Bed Bugs, Science and the Media

Posted on December 18, 2006  Comments (4)

Media Criticism – the bed bug story

Since I discovered that I have bed bugs I have been touring around the internet doing research right from day one and what I have discovered is that the media is doing a terrible job of covering the bed bug story, and as a result many of the bed bug blogs I have read are full of misinformation which echoes this bad reporting in the media. One of the most common themes in the media stories you will read if you do a search for news articles on bed bugs is that we have bed bugs because DDT was banned, thus forcing us to use ‘weak chemicals’ against bed bugs. This is false. Bed bugs developed resistance to DDT in the 1940s

I recommend tenting your bed, because you see a bed bug is not a super bug, the bug of steel, it is just a bug, and it is a bug that is used to being foiled by humans who do all the thinking in that symbiotic relationship, which is why bed bugs have evolved to be so damned sneaky in the hopes of getting away with all that biting.

I like the idea of avoiding pesticides, but I am not sure this is sufficient. Still I like the idea of presenting alternative ideas to pesticides as the first option. Extension services at many universities have great information, on a wide variety of topics, and in general are not overly biased toward commercial solutions (like business may be). They often have applied scientific thinking, run experiments and examined existing research on the topics for which they provide information.

Related: Cornell Extension on Bed BugsUniversity of Minnesota Extension Service on Bed Bugs

4 Responses to “Bed Bugs, Science and the Media”

  1. Sean
    January 2nd, 2007 @ 12:34 pm


    I am a former pest control technician and current Quality Assurance Manager & Technical Advisor for one of North America’s largest pest control companies.

    I have created a bed bug website dedicated to providing resources to the general public.

    The Bed Bug Resource can be found at . At this site there is also a message board (forum) available with some of the world’s leading bed bug researchers and professionals. If you or anyone you know would like to ask questions, get information, or offer assistance to others in need please drop on by.


    Entomologist / Pest Professional

  2. CuriousCat: Bedbugs Are Back
    April 8th, 2007 @ 8:20 pm

    […] “Pest control companies nationwide reported a 71 percent increase in bedbug calls between 2000 and 2005.” […]

  3. CuriousCat" Untidy Beds May Keep us Healthy
    October 18th, 2007 @ 8:38 am

    “Research suggests that while an unmade bed may look scruffy it is also unappealing to house dust mites thought to cause asthma and other allergies. A Kingston University study discovered the bugs cannot survive in the warm, dry conditions found in an unmade bed…”

  4. Anonymous
    November 13th, 2008 @ 6:22 am

    Yeah, it always happens…pests of all kinds develop immunity for existing poisons or pesticides, and they become “stronger”. Fortunately, there are some pretty effective sprays that still can be used safely around the house to get rid of bed bugs though. And like the post above said, it might take extreme dry humidity and leaving the room/bed alone for a while to get rid of bed bugs naturally…the question is, do you have the time?

Leave a Reply