Chemical propoxur the answer for bedbugs?

Fox19 (OH)
Thursday, April 7, 2011

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - This week, the Ohio House Health Committee approved a resolution urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to let the state use the chemical propoxur to fight bedbugs in homes.

But according to some health officials, that chemical may be dangerous and could cause cancer.

"It is in fact an epidemic, they're everywhere," said Jesse VonStein, owner of VonStein & Co. "I don't see them going away any time soon."

Vonstein said he gets dozens of calls into his office from people reporting bed bugs. He said there are a lot of chemical products out there to fight bed bugs, including propoxur. But is that the answer?

"This is not a band aid, you can't put a band aid on it and say, 'ok we're good,'" said VonStein. "It just doesn't work that way."

He said there are many chemicals that work well, but there is much more to fighting bed bugs. Families must monitor box springs, mattresses and couches at their home.

"We look for them a lot especially if the kids go somewhere overnight or if we're out for a weekend or something," said Chris Shehy, parent of three. "We live in an apartment and with people coming in and out of apartments, we just look for them the best we can."

Shehy said he's not leery about using chemicals for health reasons but hasn't used them because of their expense.

"You do the sprays and all of the other bedbug type of products out there and you have to get rid of clothing and it cost especially in an economy like it is right now," said Shehy.

According to the Associated Press, a recent survey found 92 percent of Ohio's local health agencies have received bed bug reports.