Now that’s a disgusting title isn’t it? So the rich family that is unfortunate enough to have bed bugs can at least pay for it but what about those who cannot? Shouldn’t those who are more fortunate pay for this not yet classified epidemic or at least help? Just as lawyers are forced to do pro bono work and sometimes Doctors volunteer their skills- Free Bed Bug Work may be on its way. Of course nothings for free and the cost which could be staggering will be put on the tax payers or private companies who do this type of work. Even as we speak, special task forces, committees and groups are forming to try and tackle this behemoth problem. In the research I’ve done you’ll see no mention of aid to combat the problem for the entire population, only those who cannot afford it.
This is not my question & I didn’t sit down to write a piece to disparage any one group of people (well maybe one). This is a topic that has picked up steam not only in pest control forums but in almost every government agency known to man. Communiqués, meetings and forums are flying back and forth all trying to come up with a plan to combat the bed bug takeover and it is at this point only a matter of time before a final mandate will go out. IS THIS WISE?
The #1 problem is the designation of the bed bug situation in America. Is it an epidemic? Are bed bugs considered a public health pest? If you follow the link you’ll see that they made the EPA’s list but so did the secondary screwworm-huh? There is a caveat that seems to suggest this is only a recommended list and according to the many ‘workshops‘ I found, getting the recognizing of the bed bug as a public health pest is the all important trigger for action. So apparently that hasn’t happened yet. #2 on the governments mind is the standardization of bed bug treatments across the board. This ranges from only already licensed pros doing the work to a mandated special certification for anyone who will perform bed bug work. One goal is to eliminate DIY bed bug treatments and even bed bug free certification for houses or apartments when people move in or out. The other view point is to narrow down a method which everyone certified will use but this seems to be a sticking point. IPM is big favorite from many of the groups studies and they want to use web sites and PCO’s as the front line for peoples education. Other groups also asked to study the problem clearly state this is a losing proposition and that PCO’s are already fighting an impossible battle in their efforts. Treatment approaches are all over the map as well and it looks as if they can’t decide on what is to be the method of choice. At least two groups I found want to revisit traditional methods as they have seen evidence that this works but I can already see that as a losing recommendation. #3 and the most glaring problem is the constant cry for an all agencies in approach. EPA, Dept.’s of Agriculture, Dept. of Health, Natural Resources and dare I say it? Our Senators and our Congress. In a poll, 90% of the people asked were dead set against this and I happen to agree with them. The bureaucracy alone for our elected officials to do anything positive will assure this project a FAILURE but beyond that the people cited thought this was a waste of tax payers money.
So Who Will Pay & Who Will Receive?
Of the suggestions bandied about it seems the groups will tap into grant money that the EPA currently has in store. Other ideas are giving special consideration for the exclusive use to chemical companies for certain products (can’t find who). Private companies or those with that extra special bed bug certificate might just receive a monthly check but with all this I doubt the EPA has even a fraction of the money needed in their cookie jar. One town in London-Middlesex already subsidizes pest control and have seen their costs go from $20,000 per year to over $200,000 when they added bed bug control and plan to add another $186,000 just to keep up.
The WHO will pay is painfully obvious to me if this thing goes through and could run into the billions of dollars. (what’s another billion right?) The pest control industry has already set a precedence for bed bug treatment costs- $700 to $3000 for standard jobs so I would think the base line would be somewhere in the middle.
As to who will receive is equally obvious and a point of contention for most of Americas taxpayers. It will be those who cannot afford treatment costs themselves. Those who already do not pay for housing, food or contribute in paying taxes. While I’m sure this offends some who read this and stirs up others, it is a reality. While we all need a helping hand in some fashion at one time or two in our lives the bed bug subsidy conversation taking place today is not about them. It is largely about people in our society that are helped every single day and for whatever reason this is just fine for them. Sure there are hard luck stories but I think I just covered that-Bed bugs don’t care whether you’re rich or poor. They don’t discern if you have money or not, they simply thrive in the conditions afforded to them. Bed bugs were all but extinct at one time and it’s NOT the fault of anyone rich or poor who gets them. On the same wise, in my opinion, it’s NOT everybody else’s problem to pay for.
What Say You?