Entrepreneur creates green bed bug spray
Fred Feldman likes to show how safe his bed bug treatment, Bed Bug Magic, is by spraying it on his hand and then licking it off.
“Most people go ‘eww,’ but I do it 90 percent of the time,” said Feldman, who sells the bug treatment as part of a line of environmentally-friendly cleaning products offered by his company Green Blaster. “(It shows that) it’s non-toxic, you can drink it and not have to have your stomach pumped.”
Feldman realized during the development of his other cleaning products that bed bugs are an epidemic and a solution was needed that was safe for kids (he has five grandchildren) and pets.
Bed bugs are an increasingly common problem found everywhere from retail stores to condos. The bugs are often brought in through furniture and clothing and like to hang out in places such as mattresses and couches. Pesticides are commonly recommended as part of treatment in getting rid of the bugs.
But accordingly to Tom Morley, a consultant to Green Blaster, the problem with pesticides is they contain neurotoxins.
”They’re designed to adversely affect the nervous system of the insect,” said Morley. “Unfortunately it’s hard to separate adverse effects on a human nervous system and an insect’s nervous system.”
Bed Bug Magic uses a proprietary formula based on naturally-brewed enzymes, salts and surfactants (soaps) to break down the exoskeleton of bed bugs.
“With one exception, all the ingredients are food grade,” said Morley. “Everything is biodegradable.”
The treatment can be sprayed on any infested area and is effective for 30 days. Travelers worried about getting bed bugs can spray their luggage before their trip and spray the luggage rack in their hotel room.
Feldman’s company is so confident of the product’s ability to kill bed bugs in 4.7 seconds that it offered to send bed bugs to Talus Corporation, a distributor of Bed Bug Magic to retailers, so that Talus could test the product.
“We politely declined,” David McClees, president of Talus, said with a laugh.
The company decide to carry the bed bug treatment after hearing about an urgent need for it from their customers. Talus chose Bed Bug Magic over a competing environmentally-friendly spray because it’s effective for a longer period. It has been selling a 2-ounce bottle of the treatment for $9.99 since December.
Despite it being too soon to gauge how well sales are doing, McClees doesn’t see the demand for Bed Bug Magic going away anytime soon.
“We don’t like to jump into things that are only six-months.”