US Grapples With Bedbugs, Misuse of Pesticides

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - With bedbugs on the rise, the U.S. finds itself with another problem -- people who resort to dangerous outdoor pesticides and fly-by-night exterminators.

The problem is so bad that the Environmental Protection Agency is warning against using chemicals indoors that were meant for use outside.

Bedbugs, which had been a common household pest for centuries, all but vanished 60 years ago with the widespread use of DDT. But DDT was banned in 1972 as too toxic to wildlife, and bedbugs are resistant to other chemicals.

Ohio authorities, which are struggling with widespread infestations, are pleading with the EPA to allow the indoor use of the pesticide propoxur. The agency, however, considers the chemical a probable carcinogen and banned it for in-home use in 2007.

It rejected Ohio's request in June, saying it will find other new, potent chemicals.


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