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Yesterday, Ohio electrified the nation’s growing legion of bed bug sufferers: The state asked feds for emergency permission to battle the bugs with an insecticide said to be 100 percent effective against the blood suckers but not approved for home use.
A dozen states joined Ohio’s petition, but BrickUnderground has learned that New York was not among them.
"The Department of Environmental Conservation has not requested that exemption,” says Gil Bloom, a BrickTank expert and an entomologist who is also the president of Standard Pest Management in Queens and a member of Mayor Bloomberg’s nascent Bedbug Advisory Board. “I can only conjecture they’re probably taking a wait and see approach.”
Bloom says New York is quite conservative about pesticides.
“Some of the current political powers that be are busy trying to ban more things, so they’re certainly not going to extend themselves here,” says Bloom. “They will probably wait to see what happens in other states—see whether they get the exemption from the EPA and whether environmental groups file suit.”
So is Propoxur, the insecticide at issue, the holy grail of bed bug extermination?
“It will definitely be an addition to the arsenal as a restricted-use material,” says Bloom. “It is more effective and more problematic and probably should not be applied around a bed area because of odor and possibly inhalation issues.”
He believes Propoxur may be ideal in moving trucks to prevent cross-contamination.
Though it doesn’t look like New Yorkers will get their hands on Propoxur anytime soon, Bloom notes that the feds have been in discussion with chemical companies for some time about bringing back old products that have fallen out of use.