Congress

Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite Act of 2008

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Now under consideration in Congress:  a bill appropriating $50 million per year through 2012 to fight . . . bed bugs.

And yes, that's the actual name of the bill.

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  1. This should prove the benevolent authority of Congress to all. They really care!

  2. Damn, I laughed out loud at work.

  3. Bed bugs are evil and need to be destroyed. Which is why I want the feds to have nothing to do with the war on bedbugs. Knowing their track record, a helicopter would have to land on the roof of my apartment to evacuate me.

  4. I will now solve the bedbug problem for 1/100th of the appropriation Congress is considering.

    DDT

    Please send $2M via same bank routing as my recent “rebate”

  5. Maybe somehow we will find a miracle cure for bed bugs, but then the gov’t will say that they are an endangered species so we won’t be able to use the stuff or you won’t be able to ever clean your sheets again.

  6. Tbone hits it.
    A little judicious use of DDT or similar will solve the problem.
    No, we don’t need mass outdoor spraying.

    Bedbugs. Ugh!

    PS – Indoor DDT in houses in mosquito ridden parts of Africa would save lots of lives currently lost to malaria.

  7. Bed bugs are a serious problem here in Manhattan. I’d prefer the spending was done on a state level, but the feds are in line by spending to protect my life, liberty, and/or property – bed bugs are a serious public health problem.

  8. Bed bugs are a serious problem here in Manhattan. I’d prefer the spending was done on a state level, but the feds are in line by spending to protect my life, liberty, and/or property – bed bugs are a serious public health problem.

    OK, will you fund cockroach extermination in Houston then?

    (Ever had a cockroach fly out of your refrigerator and onto your face?)

  9. fly?

    (mentally crosses texas off of list of places to live, ever.)

    jesus.

  10. (Ever had a cockroach fly out of your refrigerator and onto your face?)

    No, Nigel, but down here in northern Galveston County I had one of the little fuckers scamper over my foot last night as I was seated at my desk. Almost triggered a cardiac event.

    Roaches alone don’t bug me. But they do freak the shit out of me when they land on my person in some fashion. Especially the 2+ inch or longer bastards.

    Surely we could use some federal largesse to get rid of them.

  11. Guys in my high school used to fight bed bugs all the time. It was no big deal.

  12. There’s a researcher somewhere (receiving 14 million of this funding), tapping out a message right now, about how important this research is. Wait for it.

  13. Please. Until federal funds are used to protect Floridians from bugs, I don’t want to hear about it. You people don’t know bugs.

  14. Please. Until federal funds are used to protect Floridians from bugs, I don’t want to hear about it. You people don’t know bugs.

    I call bullshit. Michigan bugs survive brutally cold winters that would eradicate those wussy Florida arthropods.

  15. If the feds really wanted to do something about the bedbug epidemic, they would overturn the EPA’s ban of Dursban and Diazinon. The EPA banned these two safe and effective insecticides in the waning days of the Clinton administration as a sop the environmental left (and because of statisically dubious studies showing that injecting massive amounts of insecticide into pregnant mice caused an increase in birth defects– what a suprise).

    So called “more natural” alternatives such as pyrethrin just don’t get the job done. The result: after a 50 year hiatus, bedbugs are making a massive comeback.

    I suspect it will take some U.S. Senator’s grandkid being bit by a black widow to bring about any common sense on this issue.

  16. J sub D,

    You na?ve fool.

  17. J sub D,

    Roaches from Texas to Florida can get up to 6 inches long.

    Dhex,

    Also they fly so they are tough to kill without a ladder or a great throwing arm.

  18. Pro Libertate

    You parochial ignoramus.

  19. J sub D, you ignorant slut.

  20. J sub D,

    Roaches from Texas to Florida can get up to 6 inches long.

    And yet they refuse to migrate north. Detroit cockroaches would dine on their slow, dimwitted southern cousins.

  21. Pro Libertate,
    Fucking commie bastard!

  22. My Dad used to put me to sleep with “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.” What would my childhood have been like with bills like this?

    Let it be known:

    Sponsor:
    G. K. Butterfield (D-NC)

    Cosponsors:
    Steve Cohen (D-TN)
    William J. Jefferson (D-LA)
    Doris O. Matsui (D-CA)
    Donald M. Payne (D-NJ)
    Edolphus Towns (D-NY)
    Don Young (R-AK)

    By the way, I really want to know how you approach a member of the US House of Representatives and ask them to cosponsor your bed bug bill. How does something like this play out?

  23. My Dad used to put me to sleep with “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

    Mom did the same for me.

  24. J sub D,

    You fool!!! Roaches are a tropical species. The ones in Detroit were obviously exiled for being to weak or retarded!

  25. Naga Sadow,

    Detroit roaches have obviously adapted to a harsher, less forgiving environment. They are more evolved than those lackadaisical roaches resinding amid the gentle climes of the gulf coast states.

    I suggest you read the Origin of Species before you embarrass yourself further.

  26. Damn!!! I’m not use to battling opponents that actually read . . . you win this round!

    *shakes fist*

  27. J sub D,

    Also, due to the harsher climate they may well be weaker. Their need for warm, moist surroundings causes them to seek out the only substitute for their original enviroment. Human dwellings. Due to the exodus of humans from Detroit that is underway, the population will undoubtly shrink and be forever at the mercy of humans who wish to live in an inhospitable climate.

  28. Not that Detroit is inhospitable . . . well actually you would know better than me. Why do you continue to live there? Everything I’ve ever read about Detroit is that it is more or less being abandoned.

  29. Please. Until federal funds are used to protect Floridians from bugs, I don’t want to hear about it. You people don’t know bugs.

    Hear hear!

  30. I would say this is a textbook example of government spending money and extending its power to solve a problem it created in the first place.

    All one really needs to do is ask why, now in the early 21st century, after being virtually extinct in America for over 50 years, have bed bugs returned? Why are giant hotel chains and middle-class homes being attacked again? What changed.

    Clearly, the banning of effective pesticides on exaggerated health concerns led to this. To bad people bitten cannot sue environmental groups.

  31. Please rise for the national anthem:

    Oh, Say can you see
    Any bedbugs on me?
    If you do take a few
    ‘Cause I got them from you

    Oh, Say do those blood sucking bastards still bite.
    In the home of the brave as we sleep
    through-ooo the night

  32. Not that Detroit is inhospitable . . . well actually you would know better than me. Why do you continue to live there? Everything I’ve ever read about Detroit is that it is more or less being abandoned.

    Seriously? It’s home. It has it’s charms. On the abandonement front, since I was born (1955) the population has decreased by ~1,000,000 people. That is more than 50%. The population of metro Detroit has increased. People moved to the ‘burbs for more room and to get away from an incompetent government.

    We’re still kicking though. It’s a fun place to expound libertarian thinking.

  33. It has it’s charms.

    Like it’s excellent public school system, obviously.

    SDNWTR.

  34. Guys and gals, take it from someone who’s battled these bastards. I’d take cockroaches any day over these pieces of crap. Bed bugs are impossibly hard to get rid of. They can survive extreme climates and insecticides. They can go a year without feeding. They can hide anywhere. Thirty percent of people aren’t initially allergic to the bites, allowing infestations to grow undetected. And they don’t discriminate based on your neighborhood or cleanliness. They are a fucking nightmare. I hope none of you ever has to fight them – and I’m glad it’s finally being addressed in congress. We’ll see what happens…

  35. 1) Most bed bug populations are now resistant to DDT. I think the figure was close to 99%. So re-introducing DDT will have no effect.

    2) Bed bugs aren’t “no big deal”. They’re a huge deal to people who have to live with them. You should hear the horror stories of the mothers whose children have to go to school in the morning covered in bites, that can’t visit their friends houses or have friends over in case they spread the bugs.

    Now think of when a kid at school has head lice. They isolate the whole school and do a check of the kids to stop the problem before it gets out of control. That’s what we need for bed bugs.

    You should also read the stories from families who have spent thousands on their credit cards replacing furniture and hiring pest controllers, living out of plastic zip-lock bags and plastic boxes with plastic furniture for the past 12 months while trying to get rid of the damn things and all the eggs they lay everywhere.

    (I’m not one of them, though I did go through many of those things myself).

    I haven’t read the text of this bill, but bed bugs are an extremely important issue, both for people who have them, people who know people who have them, and landlords and businesses who are often legally liable for the devastation they cause (and yes, it is devastating to have them – to normal people who care about being able to sleep at night).

    Federal funding is important to set up a central agency for reporting of cases, seeing as it’s an issue in which all states (and in fact, all countries) are affected.

  36. I blame Big Pesticide for this

  37. I really want to know how you approach a member of the US House of Representatives and ask them to cosponsor your bed bug bill.

    “Hey, want to slip into my bed bug bill?”

    “I implore you to join in my crusade to rid American beds of filthy little creatures.”

    “Didn’t you hear, politics makes strange bedfellows (not that there’s anything wrong with that).”

  38. Eradication and control of disease carrying vermin is one of those limited functions of government that used to work quite well.

    By 2050 we can expect a bed bug bureaucracy dealing with all sorts of unrelated issues resulting in further abridgment of personal autonomy and property rights with a budget of at least $50 billion a year.We’ll still have bed bugs though. See the CDC,FDA,USDA etc for precedents.

  39. make that 2015…..optimistically:)

  40. JPSC: I call bullshit. Michigan bugs survive brutally cold winters that would eradicate those wussy Florida arthropods.

    Dude, you have no idea. I’m not just talking about the fingerling American Cockroaches that people often mistakenly call Palmetto Bugs around here (it’s an understandable mistake if you are used to the smaller German cockroach, but Palmetto bugs are not usually interested in living in your house).

    The property I live on is overrun with Brown Widows. They are comparable to the Black Widow in venom, but less aggressive. The toilet in the barn, my retreat of choice, my fountainhead, if you will, has been plagued by a large female who had a bad tendency to get scared by intruders and run up and hide right under the lip of the bowl.

    It’s hard to properly concentrate on one’s bathroom duties, let alone to quietly await the o so fickle muse, if one is constantly worrying that a venomous spider is going to bite one’s naked ass betwixt or bestride the proceedings.

    I finally killed her today- I try to take a live and let live attitude toward animals that don’t taste good, but this was an arachnid too far. The house bathroom is on the blink, so female members of the household have been debating a variety of improbable execution techniques. It was time to take charge.

    Of course this was nothing compared to the coral snake (ok- might have been a king snake, but I think it wasn’t) I bare-footedly stepped on in the dark down there last year, and subsequently beheaded with a garden implement.

    I’ve been to Michigan and I don’t recall a lot of vermin there that can actually kill you- well, at least not many not eligible for a driver’s license. I will admit that once you get over the yuck factor big American cockroaches are better than the German cockroach- you can kill them faster than they breed, if you’re vigilant.

  41. DDT is not being proposed as a solution in the U.S., although its judicious use in sub-Saharan Africa would dramatically reduce the incidence of malaria.

    The problem in the U.S. has been the “Ban on Dursban” and Diazinon, which went into effect circa 2000. Which just so happens to be when we first start seeing reports of a resurgence in bedbug infestations. Coincidence?

    P.S. Reason Magazine should really do some in depth reporting on this issue; when Dursban was banned in 2000, the online version of Reason Magazine predicted it would have negative public health consequences. Why no follow-up?

  42. J sub D,

    You lousy traitor. Michigan as a bug hellhole–ha! We have more insect species than Michigan has bugs.

  43. In Fresno, we had cockroaches the size of volkswagon beetles. Used to tether them up and ride them around, but only at night, and somebody had to flip the lights on and off.

  44. Aren’t the Democrats the ones pledging to get government out of our bedrooms?

  45. Bedbugs are no laughing matter. Up until two months ago, I never had an insect in my home. I woke up one morning with a rash on my back and thought that it was the new medication that my doctor prescribed for me. Lo and behold, it was bedbug bites. I threw my bed out and purchased a new mattress and boxspring and had to purchase a new living room set. I had to buy about $1000 dollars worth of pesticides online. Prior to that I had a pro. Pest control come in and treat my home to no avail. So far my expenses are at $7000 dollars.

  46. Nigel and Tom pretty much unwittingly nailed why bed bugs are much worse than roaches. Roaches don’t feed on you and usually don’t crawl on you. Bed bugs crawl on you and suck your blood every night, and infest your furniture and clothing. No big deal, eh?

  47. Humans have died over the years because of diseases carried by insects. The number is not small either as millions have perished from these diseases over time. Man struggles to overcome these diseases but it is a long, expensive and hard fight especially in areas of extreme poverty. Some insects infect man directly and some indirectly. Animals infested with insects are among the worse as humans ingest food from these animals and are infected with disease. Scientists are working all the time to find ways to prevent insects from carrying disease to humans. One method is to destroy the insect vector, by using drugs to kill or by immunization making the human host immune to the insect bites.

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