January 23, 2013
Departments of Public Health, Energy and Environmental Protection, and The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Warn Residents Not To Use Outdoor Pesticides for Bed Bugs
Misuse of pesticides prompts CDC to release official Health Advisory
The Connecticut Departments of Public Health (DPH), Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), and The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) are warning the public not to use outdoor pesticides to treat for bed bugs.
“Pesticides meant for outdoor use should never be used inside under any circumstance,” says DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “Even pesticides made for indoor use can make people sick if they are used improperly.”
Bed bugs are parasites that preferentially feed on humans. In the past decade, bed bugs have begun making a comeback across the United States. With the growing concern about bed bugs, there have been reports of people using strong outdoor pesticides in bedrooms, playrooms, and other areas inside homes.
The National Pesticide Information Center has received numerous calls to their hotline where residents, homeowners, or pesticide applicators sprayed pesticides indoors to treat bedbugs. These cases involved pesticides that were misapplied, not intended for indoor use, or legally banned from use. Many of the calls resulted in mild or serious health effects (including one death) for persons living in affected residences. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued an official Health Advisory due to these repeated misapplications.
“Using the appropriate pesticide in a manner consistent with the manufacturer’s label instructions is always critical to protecting public health and our natural resources,” said Daniel C. Esty, Commissioner of DEEP. “We advise anyone who suspects they may face an infestation that is difficult to address – such as bedbugs – to consult a professional to ensure the most effective and safest results.”
To avoid poisoning from pesticides, it is recommended that residents hire a pesticide management professional (PMP) licensed by the DEEP to treat for bed bugs. PMPs are trained to select appropriate pesticides and safely handle and apply them. Most pesticides available to the public do not work for bed bug infestations.
In Connecticut, pesticide use is regulated by DEEP. People who have concerns about possible misuse of pesticides or questions about the proper use of pesticides should contact DEEP’s Pesticide Management Program at (860) 424-3369.
For more information about precautions that should be taken when considering using pesticides to treat for bed bugs, go to the DPH website at www.ct.gov/dph/bedbugs
and click on “Bed Bugs: What to Consider When Treating for Bed Bugs with Pesticides.”
For more information contact:
Health concerns: Department of Public Health, (860) 509-7367
Pesticide use: Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, (860) 424-3369
Insect identification and treatment: The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, (203) 974-8600
Pesticide poisoning: Connecticut Poison Control Center, 1-800-222-1222