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Bed Bug Pesticides Can Cause More Harm than Bites

EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides testing for both bed bugs and pesticides


Bed bug infestations have surged over recent years, thriving after the pesticide DDT was banned and spread by increased world travel. The pests have incited panic in thousands of Americans, particularly those living in urban areas where infestations easily proliferate.
However, researchers say that people’s fear of bed bugs may be more dangerous than the bites. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded at least 111 people in seven states—64 in New York City alone—who have been sickened by the overuse or misuse of common pesticides in the last eight years. One person’s application of pesticides led to her death. Bed bugs, however, are not known to transmit disease or cause other life-threatening conditions.
Lilah Gray died of respiratory failure on May 26, 2010 after applying pesticides directly to her chest and hair. Her husband had previously sprayed their trailer home with numerous kinds of pesticide, but she still felt as though bed bugs were crawling on her skin, her daughter explained to the New York Times. Federal investigators believe that Ms. Gray died of “pesticide exposure in conjunction with chronic medical problems,” including heart, lung, and kidney disease.
“Due the size and nature of bed bugs, identifying them can pose a challenge,” stated Joseph Frasca, Senior VP of EMSL Analytical, Inc. “To determine the presence of the pests, our laboratory utilizes DNA testing, which gives the most accurate and inexpensive results. Furthermore, we can analyze the samples and deliver the results within the same day, so people can begin fighting them as soon as possible.”
“In addition, EMSL offers concerned consumers chemical testing services for the pesticides,” he continued.
For more information on EMSL’s testing services, please contact EMSL at (800) 220-3675, visit or email
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 39 locations throughout the United States and Canada.  EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in consumer product, environmental, industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, microbiology, radon, food and materials testing services to professionals and the general public. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.


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