COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 11 (UPI) — An Ohio official said his state has asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for permission to use a pesticide to kill an invasion of bedbugs.
Matt Beal, assistant chief at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, said the severity of the bedbug infestation led to state officials wanting to use the pesticide Propoxur in residences, the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch said Wednesday.
“We are in dire straits, and we need help,” Beal said.
Ohio would need an emergency exemption from EPA officials for the residential use of the pesticide, primarily designed for use on crops and in commercial buildings. Beal said EPA officials will spend months reviewing the request to determine all potential risks in the pesticide’s use.
The Dispatch said the request from Ohio officials comes as state and county officials outlined the bedbug threat facing the state at the second Central Ohio Bed Bug Summit Tuesday.
“We are rapidly becoming overwhelmed,” said Paul Wenning, the Franklin County Board of Health’s special projects coordinator, said
“Bedbugs are crowding out other issues for us, and it’s only going to get worse,” he added.
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