Haha! Megan McArdle found a funny quote!
Quote of the Day
"When the people who built this country got bitten by bedbugs, they didn't go whining the the nanny state for a chemical fix. They scratched." ~ Mark Kleiman
Coincidentally, I recently read several houskeeping books from the early 1900s. They recommended fighting bedbugs by soaking the mattress in naphtha or fumigating the room with--I kid you not--cyanide. McArdle might like her ancestors' ways of fighting bugs but I prefer non-lethal methods, even if they are--gasp!--government-approved.
DVD BONUS MATERIAL;
Their descendants used pyrethrum, and then invented DDT.
...and then the descendants of the bedbugs sprayed with DDT developed resistance to DDT.
Natural selection in action, but don't tell Ken Ham.
They're not DDT resistant. They're resistant to DDT's successors.
Are you sure about that, Megan?
To quote a Texas A&M entymologist from 2008:
"While screening multiple populations of bed bugs against various insecticides we have found virtually all populations were 100% resistant to DDT. This is not a surprise given that the first observances of DDT resistance were noted almost 50 years ago. It is a little surprising that they continue to be so completely resistant to DDT."
Some of the quotes they include suggest that in the pre-DDT ban days, research was indicating that bedbugs were particularly able to develop resistance -- that bedbugs were becoming DDT resistant much faster than bugs like mosquitos and ants.
Source, including many other research links: http://newyorkvsbedbugs.org/2008/05/15/ddt-resistance-once-more-with-tables-and-sources/
Apparently I stand corrected; the articles I read implied non-DDT resistance. I'd be interested in knowing what form that resistance takes; my understanding is that in the case of malaria mosquitos, it often consists of DDT aversion (staying away from DDT treated places) rather than ability to survive contact.
The right has a very bad habit of passing around bad information in the service of their corporate masters, to the point that they start believing their own lies. McArdle could start questioning her sources but her gullibility is her most marketable asset.