Hey everyone! I just heard that the North American Bed Bug Summit is going on right now here in the Chicago area. I couldn't be happier to hear that such a thing exists. Bed bugs are becoming a major problem in the U.S. today and I believe that we need to begin seeing this as an issue of social justice and compassion that the Church -- yes, the Church -- ought to take seriously. The fact of the matter is that while the bed bugs resurgence likely didn't originate as a problem of the poor and immigrant, it is they who are most vulnerable. Eradication is extremely expensive and this grows more difficult in older and more communal living spaces such as those often used by the poor, immigrants and refugees. A middle class person who gets bed bugs can spend hundreds of dollars on an exterminator. A refugee from Burma or Nepal cannot.
I for one hope that the legalization of DDT and other similar chemicals will be on the table. I understand that there are environmental concerns with these kind of chemicals, but I am frankly much more concerned with people that I am with plants and animals. Don't get me wrong. I love God's creation and feel we have a critical mandate of stewardship of it. But paramount in this must be our concern for those who are made in God's image. The Church must muscle past our cringe factor and stand up for the poor on this issue through advocacy, education, and practical help. In the process, we will undoubtedly get the bugs in our own homes. That's okay. It is called solidarity.
I want to point you to a website for more information. It is Bed Bug Central. Probably the best place to go for A-Z on bed bugs.