Bedbug Treatment, Prevention Gets EPA Boost

April 13, 2011 Updated: April 13, 2011

Bedbugs, those pesky critters that have been the bane of numerous clothing stores and homes, may be difficult to eradicate but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking to boost education, prevention, and treatment measures.

In several news releases last week, the EPA said they are handing out $550,000 to five organizations for prevention and education measures against bedbugs.

“These grants will be used in states and communities where bed bug pressures are significant but resources to address the problems are limited,” read the statement. The agency wants to identify the least harmful yet effective ways to combat the vermin.

State institutions in Maryland, Michigan, Texas, Missouri, and New Jersey will use the money over the next 24 months to come up with prevention and education plans against bedbug infestations.

The University of Missouri, Texas A&M University, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Rutgers University in New Jersey, and the Michigan Department of Community Health got the grants.

The Maryland Department of Health will give various kinds of support to residents and business owners in the 12 poorest zip codes in the city of Baltimore and in the rest of the state. The agency will try to reach migrant agricultural workers, and will try to “promote reduced-risk and non-chemical methods of control that residents can use in their own homes,” according to the EPA news release.

Meanwhile in New Jersey, the Rutgers grant will enable a statewide “program for low-income communities.”

The Michigan Department of Community Health will target “the most vulnerable of Detroit’s communities for outreach and education efforts.”

The University of Missouri will use the funds to operate “within communities of high poverty, minorities, and immigrants.”