Bed Bug Public Policy & Laws
With respect to public policy, bed bugs have been a pest that has been "out of sight, out of mind" for many years. In fact, the U.S. Government ceased publishing its "How to Control Bed Bugs" publication in 1984. However, over the past several years as bed bug populations have increased, effective control of these challenging pests has been a societal wide problem - one that has caught the attention of regulatory and legislative officials at the federal, state and local levels.
By way of example, legislative bodies in Alabama, Arizona, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania have considered bed bug legislation over the last two years. Illinois, Maine and New York all adopted bed bug laws in 2010. Municipalities across the country are looking at the issue. Examples of such proactive local jurisdictions include Jersey City, San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Yonkers, NY and Ocean City, MD. And of course, numerous agencies of the Federal Government are working on bed bug control. Federal legislation has recently been introduced on bed bugs.
The National Pest Management Association has been working with government officials as part of a national strategy on bed bug eradication. Samples of the association's position papers on key issues regarding bed bug policy and bed bug laws can be found here:
- White Paper on Bed Bug Related Policy Issues
- Formation of State/Municipal Bed Bug Task Force/Working Group/Advisory Committee
- Government Funded Bed Bug Research
- Registering New/Existing/Legacy Pesticides for the Professional Market for the Control of Bed Bugs
- Assigning of Specific Responsibilities to Landlords, Tenants & Pest Management Professionals in the Management & Prevention of Bed Bug Infestations in Multi-Family Housing
- Including Bed Bugs in the Legal Definition of "Vermin" or "Pest"