Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler is calling on the federal Environmental Protection Agency to fast-track pesticides for use against the creatures.
“Currently, there is no really effective treatment for bedbugs,” Troxler said in a statement. “I’ve heard reports of people dangerously misusing household bug sprays to try and get rid of these blood-suckers.”
DDT nearly wiped out the pests 50 years ago but is no longer used in the U.S. Other pesticides have been less effective.
James Burnette Jr., director of the Structural Pest Control and Pesticides Division of the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said heat treatments and fumigation performed by licensed pest management professionals may provide relief but are generally expensive and give no residual control of the insects.
Last year, Ohio officials asked for the approval of a new kind of pesticide for use in homes against bedbugs, but the EPA has not yet given its permission.
In the last two months, bedbug infestations have been found on three university campuses in North Carolina and in a barracks room at Camp Lejeune.
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