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Bed bug product insights

|  August 5, 2020
PHOTO: DBLIGHT/E+/GETTY IMAGES

PHOTO: DBLIGHT/E+/GETTY IMAGES

Product manufacturers share what’s new — and their five-year forecasts

We asked 16 industry suppliers to share the bed bug control products they developed for pest management professionals (PMPs). Read on for their insights and announcements. We also want to know about the bed bug control methods you’re implementing, and what you hope to add in the near future. Drop us a line at pmpeditor@northcoastmedia.net.

ALLERGY TECHNOLOGIES

Joseph Latino
President

Headshot: Joseph Latino

Joseph Latino

RECENT INNOVATION: This year, we at Allergy Technologies continue to focus on our “Bed Bug Prevention is Good Business” campaign. PMPs who use ActiveGuard Mattress Liners are finding more opportunities in the hospitality sector because of the product’s success, helping them grow their businesses. For example, in one large convention hotel, ActiveGuard was installed on more than 3,000 box springs; it was successful in preventing more than 90 percent of bed bug infestations over a two-year period.

PHOTO: ALLERGY TECHNOLOGIES

PHOTO: ALLERGY TECHNOLOGIES

The affordable housing industry is another segment where prevention is invaluable. We are currently executing our Allergy Technologies Affordable Housing Control and Prevention (ATAHC) program in Philadelphia, Pa., to prevent bed bugs in this environment. We hope to expand to other metro areas in the near future.

PREDICTIONS: It’s going to continue to be about prevention, prevention, prevention. PMPs will build their businesses in the hospitality industry if they drive the message that bed bug incidents cost more than just the PMP’s fee for treatment. Whether it is lost room revenue, guest compensation, discarded soft goods or damaged reputations, there are additional cost factors hoteliers must consider. PMPs who offer a solution will win the day — implementing a facility-wide bed bug prevention program with ActiveGuard installed on mattresses or box springs.

BASF PROFESSIONAL & SPECIALTY SOLUTIONS

Dr. Jason Meyers, Technical Services Representative, BASF

Dr. Jason Meyers

Dr. Jason Meyers
Technical Services Representative

RECENT INNOVATION: Our latest bed bug innovation is PT Fendona Pressurized Insecticide. Alpha-cypermethrin is a new active ingredient for our market. It is not only ideal for spot and crack-and-crevice applications in the battle against bed bugs; it has a 30-day residual on unpainted wood. PT Fendona attains this increased activity by utilizing the two most active isomers, thereby eliminating wasted product and instead creating a more sustainable and effective product. In other words, less can be more.

IMAGE: BASF

IMAGE: BASF

PREDICTIONS: Significant changes in travel patterns, with reduced hotel occupancy, as well as people delaying home maintenance projects over the last several months, could lead to a resurgence in bed bug populations and activity. While there is a downturn in some of the pest control market right now, when those infestations become intolerable (and they will), PMPs will heed the call. As hotels and other businesses reopen, as vacation homes are used again, and as the economy generally recovers, we foresee more difficult control situations that will lead to numerous market opportunities for PMPs.

 

BAYER

Dr. Alexander Ko, Product Development Manager, Bayer

Dr. Alexander Ko

Dr. Alexander Ko
Product Development Manager

RECENT INNOVATION: Temprid FX combines a flexible label with a powerful, co-milled, dual-active formula for long-lasting control of bed bugs and more than 50 other hard-to-kill pests. The dual mode of action brings even resistant bed bug populations under control, and also kills bed bug eggs. The flexible label allows application directly to mattresses.

PHOTO: BASF

PHOTO: BASF

PREDICTIONS: Our predictions for bed bug control over the next five
years include:

⦁ A greater emphasis on bed bug detection and reporting. Bed bug detection tools are constantly evolving, and the pest control industry is always in need of tools that can inform them of the areas that have active infestations.

⦁ Continued chemical innovation. Industry manufacturers are constantly innovating their chemical products, improving their efficacy against field strains of bed bugs.

⦁ Continued non-chemical innovation. Improved non-chemical control methods, such as heat treatments, will aid PMPs in the control of bed bug infestations, and will serve as an additional tool in their toolboxes.

CATCHMASTER

Chris Ernst

Chris Ernst

Chris Ernst
Brand Strategy Director

RECENT INNOVATION: The Catchmaster Slider Bed Bug Monitor is a useful tool for helping monitor the presence of bed bugs and develop your integrated pest management (IPM) plan. The monitor is specially designed with a textured base on all four sides. Bed bugs will explore the textured base, and then get trapped on the adhesive. Bed bugs are then easily detected through the clear plastic design.

PHOTO: CATCHMASTER

PHOTO: CATCHMASTER

The strong plastic allows for multiple placement options, including under mattresses. Like all our traps and monitors, it is powered by the Catchmaster glue PMPs know and trust. Slider is ideal for accounts like apartment complexes, hotels, hospitals, offices and schools. The monitor will provide tons of clues to perfect your IPM plan — location, direction of travel, life stage and more. And monitoring after treatment will give you feedback on effectiveness.

PREDICTIONS: In the short term, it is hard not to imagine the bed bug market being affected by the macroeconomic trends in the travel industry. Simply put, fewer people traveling means less luggage to aid in the transportation of bed bugs from location to location. Likewise, less travel may mean fewer treatments for large facilities like hotels.

On the other hand, with more people staying at home in recent months, they may be more likely to notice bed bugs and request treatment. For these customers, we anticipate that treatment plans using IPM principles will continue to provide value, and allow PMPs to differentiate their services.

CONIDIOTEC

Don McCandless, CEO, ConidioTec

Don McCandless

Don McCandless
CEO

RECENT INNOVATION: Aprehend 6-packs are the ideal tool for PMPs who are implementing proactive services in association with public housing directors, rental property owners and hospitality professionals. The long-lasting residual action of Aprehend remains active for up to three months, and ensures that any bed bugs introduced will pick up the spores and die before establishing an infestation. A quarterly proactive contract provides property managers with peace of mind, and costs less in the long run than attempting reactive treatments once bed bugs have become firmly established in a property. Aprehend is registered for use in all 50 states and Canada, and there are more than 100,000 treatments in the field.

IMAGE: CONIDIOTEC

IMAGE: CONIDIOTEC

PREDICTIONS: With an ever-present do-it-yourself (DIY) market for bed bug treatments, there is continued risk of resistance in many bed bug populations. More PMPs need to approach each bed bug job as a unique scenario, adjusting the treatment protocol based on the level of infestation and considering what has (or hasn’t) already been tried. An integrated approach that may include vacuuming, monitors, encasements, chemical treatments, heat and of course, Aprehend, will become the norm. This will require high levels of training and allowing technicians to make the assessments and changes in protocol based on what is found at a specific site. This may be an uncomfortable thought for some managers, but we see this approach already being used by our most successful PMP clients.

CONTROL SOLUTIONS INC.

Dr. Janis Reed, BCE, Technical Services Manager, Product Development Team, Control Solutions Inc.

Dr. Janis Reed, BCE

Dr. Janis Reed, BCE
Technical Service Manager, Product Development Team

RECENT INNOVATION: Late last year, we launched our multi-mode of action aerosol, D-Fense NXT, for bed bug management. As part of a complete line of aerosol solutions, D-Fense NXT is an easy-to-use product featuring Combination Chemistry. Containing two insect growth regulators (IGRs) plus an adulticide, D-Fense NXT features powerful active ingredients to solve even the toughest bed bug problems.

D-Fense NXT is an excellent choice for bed bug infestations thanks to its flexible label and long-lasting active ingredients, but mostly because its combination of IGRs help stop bed bugs from crawling, climbing and ultimately feeding upon your customers. Its actuator allows 360° applications, and its label language allows broadcast application onto mattresses.

PHOTO: CSI

PHOTO: CSI

Our product team is always hard at work looking for “Innovation You Can Apply,” especially for tough-to-control pests like bed bugs. We hope to bring PMPs two new products within the next few months that will assist with that fight.

PREDICTIONS: Bed bugs will continue to be a problem that causes the phone to ring. But PMPs constantly face new challenges. New this year, PMPs must contend with health-related concerns, providing services indoors in the era of COVID-19. In addition, our clients may be less likely to freely invite us into their businesses and homes without additional precautions. This means more PPE and being more diligent about handwashing and general safety measures while working indoors.

New and novel pest management products will continue to be developed and launched, but beware of bumps in the road. There always will be concerns about applying pesticides and other products in and around where people live and sleep. Applicators may choose alternative active ingredients, biological products or non-chemical strategies where appropriate to manage bed bugs. Overall, our industry must band together to manage pests in the best way possible for PMPs and their clients.

ENSYSTEX

Ed Hernandez

Ed Hernandez

Ed Hernandez
Western U.S. Director of Technical Training

RECENT INNOVATIONS: Pest control customers often look for the most comprehensive and efficacious treatment for bed bug infestations. As we see it, there are two solid approaches to bed bug control:

1. Fumigation. When executed properly — with products such as Ensystex’s own Zythor Gas Fumigant — fumigation will eradicate all bed bugs in a given structure. All harborage areas are treated, which prevents the possibility of a missed area and bed bugs left behind. Keep in mind, however, that because there is no residual with fumigation, the occupant could possibly reinfest the account.

IMAGE: ENSYSTEX

IMAGE: ENSYSTEX

2. Liquid treatment. Sometimes, fumigation for bed bugs is not economical or feasible. At that point, the second approach is more appropriate. Understanding the biology of the insect and the chemistry is important to give effective and economical control. The chemical industry stepped up to the plate when “dual-active” products — specifically, a combination of pyrethroids and neonicotinoids, like Ensystex’s Bithor — were introduced into the market. These treatments offer immediate knockdown and a long residual, up to six months, and have proven to have a very long residual life.

PREDICTIONS: Even in today’s market, bed bug treatments are still a valuable service for pest management companies. As we continue to rebound from the impact of COVID-19, we also are seeing an increase in the need for bed bug treatments.

GREENTECH HEAT

Dr. Michael Linford

Dr. Michael Linford

Dr. Michael Linford
Founder

RECENT INNOVATION: The mobile ePro Thermal Pest Eradication package is a complete, turnkey, standalone heat treatment system that sanitizes and kills bed bugs and other insects. We also feature a choice of two direct-fired heaters. Made in the USA and easy for one person to set up and use, the Titan 450 offers an output of more than 550,000 BTU, with more than 2,000 square feet covered in an eight-hour treatment area. The heavy-duty Titan 800, meanwhile, offers an output of more than 990,000 BTU, with more than 4,000 square feet covered in an eight-hour treatment area. Both models include a two-year warranty.

Photo: GreenTech Heat

Photo: GreenTech Heat

Our team has recently established guidelines for using GreenTech Heat equipment to sanitize surfaces and eradicate bed bugs and other pests in aircraft, exceeding guidelines set by the Federal Aviation Administration. Everything on a plane can be treated in hours, not weeks — including cabin linings, cockpit, galley, air circulatory systems and cargo areas. Heat also minimizes or eliminates odors from food, smoking, animals, urine and bacteria in the aircraft.

PREDICTIONS: Our world has changed for the foreseeable future. COVID-19 has brought us masks, social distancing, and plenty of hand washing. Unfortunately, bed bugs continue to pester us right along with this new virus. But every living organism has a thermal death point, and an increasing number of customers are looking for a green, non-chemical solution. Academic and field studies show that bed bugs die at 140˚F in as little as an hour, and most viruses are deactivated at about the same exposure. Heat allows PMPs to provide a single-treatment solution to kill all stages of bed bugs. Heat also sanitizes, freshens the air, reduces allergens, attacks molds and, in most cases, reduces the amount of bacteria and viruses in the environment.

MATTRESS SAFE

Andrea Hancock

Andrea Hancock

Andrea Hancock
VP, Mattress Safe, and Founder, P.E.S.T. Relief International

RECENT INNOVATIONS: Mattress Safe has always made a bed bug-certified mattress encasement for the Sleep Number bed; however, many in the industry don’t know about this luxury. These can be special-ordered through most distributors. In recent months, we are finding an increased crossover need for pillow protectors, as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) in the area of inspection suits and breathable, washable face masks. Not only are BodySafe Suits helpful for bed bug protection, both they and the masks also aid in public health protection for the consumer and the PMP.

IMAGE: MATTRESS SAFE

IMAGE: MATTRESS SAFE

PREDICTIONS: Our team foresees products such as mattress and pillow protectors continuing to become more prevalent in the industry, as PMPs are increasingly concerned about providing the highest level of public health services for their customers. Bed bug infestations affect the sanitation and quality of cleanliness of mattresses and pillows. Encasements offer a better way to provide protection in both sanitation and bed bug detection/treatment for those who are looking to the industry for best practices and recommendations for a healthy environment. To that end, Mattress Safe recently received certification in viral penetration from Vartest Laboratories (Test #ASTM F1671).

MGK

Dr. Cassie Krejci

Dr. Cassie Krejci

Dr. Cassie Krejci
Animal Health Technical Field Specialist

RECENT INNOVATIONS: MGK’s CrossFire Bed Bug Concentrate and CrossFire Aerosol have become two of the industry’s leading products since their launch for use in residential and commercial areas. But what happens when a traditionally urban pest becomes a poultry producer’s problem? Instances of bed bugs in poultry facilities are on the rise in the United States, causing reduced efficiency in birds, among other problems. Many poultry producers have been left with few options for control — and even fewer opportunities for information about management.

PHOTO: MGK

PHOTO: MGK

In response, the MGK Technical Services team has launched “Bed Bug Basics,” an informative, hands-on course for poultry producers to receive education about biology, best practices, and control measures. The goal of MGK’s Bed Bug Basics program has been to connect poultry producers with PMPs. You have shown how effective you are at eradicating bed bugs in urban settings; let the MGK Technical Services team connect you to an industry that needs assistance with bed bug management.

PREDICTIONS: Over the next several years, our goal is to bridge the
gap between the professional pest control and animal production markets with proven products, technical specialists, and the PMP’s knowledge. One result will be the utilization of CrossFire and PMPs’ bed bug management in poultry facilities, employee housing, and bird transportation equipment. Let the MGK team help get you ready.

NEOGEN

Casey Prewitt, Neogen

Casey Prewitt

Casey Prewitt
Sales Manager, Professional Pest Management Division

RECENT INNOVATION: Neogen’s SureKill Liquid Pro applicator has become one of the most versatile tools within our industry, from bed bugs to fly control. The exclusive design allows for hands-free carry and discreet applications, while providing the convenience of a non-pressurized system. The SureKill Liquid Pro features the atomizer tip, which provides an 80-micron particle size for large coverage and aerosolized applications; the pinstream tip for precision accuracy; and the crack-and-crevice tips for wall void applications. When used for bed bug accounts, applicators report they appreciate the compact design and freedom of having the unit at their side instead of holding it to treat and inspect. The SureKill Liquid Pro applicator provides a low-cost solution for liquid applications — and with the atomizer tip, allows for chemical savings with concentrate products instead of purchasing aerosol products.

PHOTO: NEOGEN

PHOTO: NEOGEN

PREDICTIONS: The Neogen team continues to see a trend of “less is more” in chemical applications for bed bug control. With skin contact areas being the focused application sites, manufacturers will continue to develop products with longer residuals, creating more single applications instead of multiple applications for control. This type of product will create the demand for proactive treatments in high-risk sites. We also predict that the development of more products exempted from section 25(b) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act will continue to be a large focus.

NISUS CORP.

Dr. Reid Ipser, Director of Technical Services, Nisus Corp.

Dr. Reid Ipser

Dr. Reid Ipser
Director of Technical Services

RECENT INNOVATION: With the mixed active ingredients of pyrethrins, piperonyl butoxide (PBO) and permethrin, Fireback Bed Bug & Insect Spray & Jet aerosol is an excellent tool to use against bed bugs as well as many other listed pests, including cockroaches, crickets, fleas, ticks, silverfish, spiders, wasps and more. The pyrethrins kill on contact, and the permethrin delivers up to three months of residual protection.

PHOTO: NISUS CORP.

PHOTO: NISUS CORP.

Furthermore, Fireback’s water-based formula does not exhibit the common odor(s) associated with most 100 percent petroleum-based formula aerosols. Applying Fireback is simple and direct: Its actuator allows PMPs to switch between a space-spray or a direct stream spray for applying into tight crack-and-crevice areas. For bed bugs, spray mattresses, particularly around tufts and seams. Take beds apart and spray into all joints. Treat baseboards, moldings and floors. Repeat treatment as necessary.

PREDICTIONS: We foresee state regulations and regulators setting higher standards for industry management practices regarding bed bugs. This will include a necessary demand for homeowners to also comply to a set standard of preparedness to help facilitate the control program conducted by the PMP. It should be a team effort.

POLTI USA

Tommaso Garavaglia

Tommaso Garavaglia

Tommaso Garavaglia
Sales and Business Development Manager

RECENT INNOVATION: Designed specifically for pest control, the Polti Cimex Eradicator’s boiler and patented nozzle combine to heat and reheat a powerful flow of superheated dry steam that reaches up to 356°F. The superheated steam guarantees low moisture, and kills bed bugs and eggs on contact.

IMAGE: POLTI USA

IMAGE: POLTI USA

With reduced travel, bed bug cases have dropped somewhat, but sanitization and disinfection is on the rise. This provides PMPs with an opportunity to offer a new service with existing equipment: The Polti Cimex Eradicator’s superheated dry steam reaches a high-enough temperature to disinfect surfaces and kill coronaviruses.

PREDICTIONS: People are starting to travel again, which means bed bugs are rebounding and hungrier than ever. We expect the previous year’s dramatic increase in bed bug cases to rise again.

Moreover, as studies have shown that bed bugs can develop resistance to certain chemicals over time, we stand by the notion that there is no resistance to 356°F of superheated dry steam.

ROCKWELL LABS

Headshot: Dr. Cisse Spragins

Dr. Cisse Spragins, CEO/founder of Rockwell Labs

Dr. Cisse Spragins
Founder and CEO

CimeXa Insecticide Dust continues to be a premier weapon in PMPs’ bed bug control arsenals. It is comprised of food-grade amorphous (non-crystalline) silica that works by causing rapid dehydration and death when bugs contact the non-repellent dust. Research has shown that even brief encounters with the dust, such as walking once through a narrow treated band of carpet, are highly effective.

The very long residual activity also makes CimeXa ideal for proactive preventive treatment in accounts where reinfestation is highly likely. When applied correctly, the dust is barely visible on surfaces. It can be dusted into cracks, crevices and voids, and also lightly brushed with a paintbrush along the edges of mattresses, box springs, upholstered furniture and other seams and edges where bed bugs congregate.

PHOTO: ROCKWELL LABS

PHOTO: ROCKWELL LABS

With its extremely low toxicity to people and pets, the mineral-derived dust is ideal as part of a green service program. And heat only makes CimeXa more effective, so it’s an ideal application to provide a long-lasting residual component to heat treatments.

PREDICTIONS: Bed bugs are elusive, and translocate easily in human belongings. Much greater awareness, vs. a decade ago, in accounts with high potential for infestation has contributed to a reduction in the number of very heavy infestations. It is more common now for staff in hotels and similar susceptible accounts to be on the lookout and address problems early on.

With that in mind, the Rockwell team predicts that there will continue to be a trend toward proactive preventive treatment in accounts subject to constant potential for reinfestation. Liability concerns and the potential cost of infestations, along with effective preventive products, make the economics of such treatments viable in certain accounts. In addition, there likely will be continued innovation outside the conventional insecticide realm.

STERIFAB

Spencer Goldrich, Marketing Administrator, Sterifab

Spencer Goldrich

Spencer Goldrich
Marketing Administrator

RECENT INNOVATION: Sterifab is versatile and easy to use, and offers a number of benefits in the battle against bed bugs. It is non-residual and dries very quickly, and can be used on almost any surface —including porous surfaces like mattresses, upholstered furniture and chairs. It does not stain, and contains no perfumes or dyes. Additionally, it works as a disinfectant, which is particularly important for today’s consumers.

STERIFAB PHOTO: NOBILE PINE

PHOTO: NOBILE PINE

In the coming months, Sterifab will be adding a number of new claims, pending approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These additional claims also will add new targets that aren’t currently listed on the label.

PREDICTIONS: With or without the presence of coronavirus, bed bugs are still a very real, widespread problem. In fact, all of the available information seems to be portending a very bad bed bug season as various markets continue to reopen and travel begins to slowly resume. As a disinfectant, viricide and bed bug killer in one, Sterifab is a particularly smart choice for today’s PMP — especially those who are now offering disinfecting services. Check out our coronavirus-
related news and announcements at Sterifab.com/coronavirus-disinfectant.

ZOËCON PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTS

Tony Schultz, Business Manager, Zoëcon Professional Products

Tony Schultz

Tony Schultz
Business Manager

RECENT INNOVATION: As travel begins to resume, hotels, airplane seats, and cars are common bed bug hot spots that may require attention in the upcoming months. We designed Gentrol IGR Concentrate to accommodate these diverse application needs. The insect growth regulator (IGR) product provides broad-spectrum control and breaks the life cycle of bed bugs for up to 120 days with a translocating active ingredient. On top of controlling bed bugs, Gentrol IGR Concentrate also controls cockroaches, drain and fruit flies, and stored product pests.

PHOTO: CENTRAL LIFE SCIENCES

PHOTO: CENTRAL LIFE SCIENCES

In addition, we are focused on the development of additional products that can be tank-mixed and applied in multiple ways to meet the demand for combination products. By exploring the chemistries between our IGRs and other active ingredients, our goal is to make it even easier for PMPs to control pests through multiple modes of action. This will give PMPs the ability to mix appropriate products with the equipment of their choice.

PREDICTIONS: We expect to see more inconspicuous, user-friendly bed bug treatments coming to the market. Depending on the severity of the infestation, inconspicuous products can provide a light treatment to knock down bed bugs.

Bed bug prevention and detection also continue to play key roles in bed bug control. It is important for PMPs to educate clients on what to look out for to prevent, as well as locate a bed bug infestation.

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