The recent discovery of bed bugs in New Westminster, Burnaby and Vancouver libraries, spurred CBC Radio to query New York City's tactics to curtail this blood-thirsty pest with Jeffery White, the Technical Director of the for-profit on-line resource Bed Bug Central (BBC).
Who Is Handling The Bed Bug Problem?
Jeffery White, Technical Director, Bed Bug CentralIn a nutshell, Jeffery explained New York City developed a bed bug advisory board and tackled the hot problem 'Who is handling the bed bug problem?' Because bed bugs have not been show to transmit disease the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) did not take up the reins (although they are now putting out information) it fell to the board to make recommendations which have translated into laws and legislation. In turn landlord/tenant responsibilities are less murky and public awareness is starting to shift.
Education Is The First Line Of Defence
Jeffery now sees we are making ground here [New Jersey], "I do see people becoming more and more aware of bed bugs" and he reiterates several times - public education is the first line of defence.
Jeffery relays New York City's bed bug situation is seen as a barometer for the rest of North America for the next five to ten years. Bed bugs are here to stay and will invade our cities as they have New York City. An accurate and effective bed bug public campaign would limit the number and the severity of future bed bug infestations. If we do not want to repeat the severity of New York City's bed bug problem, a BC public education campaign is needed here in BC.
As for the statement that bed bugs do not transmit disease and are not a public health threat, Jeffery suggests a night spent in a bed bug infested bed would be in order, “the psychological trauma of what people go through in dealing with a bed bug infestation is what we consider is the disease they transmit”.
To hear the interview first-hand click on the link 'How New York Fights Bed Bugs' which follows the list of questions posed by CBC to Jeffery:
- What kind of issues has New York dealt with when it comes to the problem of bed bugs in public libraries?
- Is there anything about books that makes them attractive to bed bugs?
- What can people do about it ... to safeguard yourself against getting bed bugs if you happen to bring library books home?
- What else is New York City doing to deal with the bed bug problem, particularly in public places?
- Are they simply a reality of today? Do we have to simply get used to the fact there are bed bugs around?
- How paranoid are you…what do you do when it comes to avoiding bed bugs?