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Bedbugs in Ohio

Ah, the bedbug – a nasty little creature to be sure.  Almost wiped out in the U.S. in the middle of the last century, it made a tremendous comeback over the past decade or so.  Between the dramatic increases in international travel among Americans (and the military, in particular) and the amount of tourists we receive annually, bedbugs are again thriving in our country.  While the government has stopped just short of calling it an “epidemic”, many areas have experienced major surges in reports of bedbug activity.  Probably not surprisingly, New York is considered the “most infested” city in the U.S. according Terminix.  What is surprising, however, is that the state they’ve found to be the most infested is none other than Ohio.

While having bedbugs in one’s home often carries a stigma, having the problem has nothing to do with the cleanliness of one’s home.  It has everything to do with the fact that these “hitchhikers” find us so darn tasty.  Wherever we go – they go.  Beyond the health impacts of bedbugs, trying to deal with them in your home could cost you several hundred, if not thousands, of dollars – and there’s usually no guarantee from a pest control vendor that they’ll be entirely eradicated by treatment.

Given their name, it should come as no surprise that bedbugs typically reside within a 5-10 foot radius of most beds.  What some might find surprising is the fact that the box spring – and not the mattress – is their most preferred hiding place.  (Although statistically, the mattress is their #2 choice.)  In 2010, Protect-A-Bed launched our Ultimate kits – a single unit that includes a zippered mattress encasement, box spring encasement and two pillow encasements.  For individuals with bedbug concerns, these products can go a long way toward helping deal with bedbugs – as either a proactive (I don’t have a problem that I’m aware of, but I want to try to get out in front of any potential problems) or reactive (I already have a problem) measure. 

From a retailer’s perspective, these kits offer tremendous margins – typically twice (or more) that of a standard fitted sheet style mattress protector.  Given that your customers in your markets are either thinking (or asking) about these products, it might make good business sense to for you to look into offering them in your stores.

Chris Taylor

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