Allergy Technologies LLC, manufacturer of ActiveGuard Mattress Liners for use against bed bugs and dust mites, is funding a second year of bed bug research at The Ohio State University (OSU) with a grant of more than $100,000. Dr. Susan Jones, principal investigator on the project, leads the initiative and will put the grant money to use on a second year of research — an extension of the bed bug research that began last year.
“The core rationale of this research is to improve pest management and protocols relating to the proper control of bed bugs,” Dr. Jones explains.
“There are very few grants out there for bed bug research that aren’t federal grants,” said Joseph Latino, COO of Allergy Technologies. “We’re fortunate to have the means to fund the kind of research that is not modulated by a sponsor.”
Latino explains that, despite Allergy Technologies funding the grant, it remains independent research.
“We went to OSU [to fund research] because of Dr. Jones’ track record and because we wanted unimpeachable data. In other words, we don’t control the research,” Latino says. “We never say to Dr. Jones: ‘publish these results or ‘don’t publish these results’ to advance any agenda.”
Jones says she appreciates the doors to research and study that have been opened by Allergy Technologies’ funding.
“The funding of this research allows us to continue and complete some very valuable studies and trials relating to bed bug behavior, control strategies, resistance, repellency and more,” says Jones. “Year Two funding gives us the opportunity to apply the results from the important lab studies we completed the first year and transition them into field studies while continuing to expand our fundamental behavioral research.”
“The lab research in Year One helped to reinforce the type and scope of the field studies being conducted in the second year,” Latino explains. “The data from this research will be available to everyone, and while it helps us in developing future products, we believe it will be well received by the industry because it levels the playing field by offering everyone new information to utilize.
“Everyone benefits from the research Dr. Jones is conducting,” Latino continues. “The layperson who looks at a product label and isn’t sure what it means will understand that the product they’re purchasing is driven by science — not one company’s commercial needs.”
As part of the second year of the grant, Jones and her team of urban entomologists will continue to examine behavioral and feeding characteristics of bed bugs, including their response to existing and novel products related to bed bug management, she says.
“Bed bug infestations have dramatically increased over the course of the last decade, making this research so much more valuable to the pest control community,” Latino says. “This grant directly underscores Allergy Technologies principal business paradigm of continuing to focus on supporting both the pest control industry and inner-city communities through our philanthropic efforts.”
Gus Carey, managing director and CEO of Allergy Technologies, acknowledged the strong affiliation that his company has with Jones and the OSU team.
“We have been continuously impressed with the knowledge and dedication of Dr. Jones and her group of urban entomologists,” Carey says. “Her work over the past year has greatly enhanced our understanding of how bed bugs behave in the field and we look forward to continuing that research to help us find working solutions to eliminate these pests.”
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