In recent years, there has been a movement of “green pest management,” focused on the use of natural and low-toxicity materials instead of conventional synthetic insecticides. The resurgence of bed bugs further bolstered enthusiasm for natural products. In particular, essential oil-based pesticides, referred to in this article as biopesticides, flourished in the consumer market.
Many natural pesticides qualify for exemption under section 25(b) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), where manufacturers are not required to provide efficacy data for registration. With lax regulation and a low cost of development, manufacturers can roll out new products quickly, making bold claims such as, “the best bed bug treatment you can get on the market today,” or that a consumer can “create a barrier against bed bugs.” One product promises “the same results delivered by pest control service without evacuation.”
These products are rarely adopted by PMPs because until present, there has been no scientific data supporting such claims. Meanwhile, the public often falls victim to the lure of such grand claims coupled with other attractive claims, such as “safe for children and pets.”
Recently, the Federal Trade Commission filed deceptive advertising charges against two companies marketing allegedly unproven natural bed bug treatment products (http://1.usa.gov/XehBAk). Yet, many similar products remain on the market. Some of these products cost $50 to $100 per gallon. Do these products work? To answer this question, we tested nine commonly available biopesticides and two detergents against a field strain of bed bugs. (read the full article here…)