As pest control professionals, we already know that the do-it-yourself “bombs” or “foggers” that target bedbugs by filling entire rooms with aerosol insecticide are ineffective. Although these products are indeed cheap, retailing at hardware stores for around $10, you’re likely to get what you pay for. We also know that the liquid solutions and all natural oils are equally ineffective in treating bedbugs. Now the Federal Trade Commission is taking action against some of the companies marketing them.
The Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them.
They have charged the marketing companies RMB Group and Cedarcide, as well as the individuals behind them, with deceptive advertising for claiming that their products can eliminate and prevent future bedbug infestations. The Cedarcide defendants are also charged with making deceiving claims that the federal government endorses and is affiliated with their products.
RMB Group Charges
Rest Easy, marketed by RMB Group, is a liquid solution containing all natural ingredients like peppermint, cinnamon, lemongrass, and clove. It can be bought at retailers like: Walgreens, Big Lots, and Bed Bath & Beyond. The FTC complaint charges that the RMB Group defendants make unsupported claims that Rest Easy kills and repels bedbugs, and that a consumer can create a barrier against them by spraying the product around a bed.
The FTC has fined the makers of Rest Easy almost $265,000, and has banned the company from making claims that its product kills or repels bedbugs, and creates a barrier against them. The FTC has further banned them from making any claims about the performance of their products unless they have been backed by proficient scientific evidence.
Best Yet, marketed by Cedarcide Industries, is a cedar oil-based liquid that claims it will treat and prevent bedbug infestations. Their product is sold nation-wide, including commercially. A bottle costs around $30, but they also offer a hotel bedbug eradication kit for $3,400.
- The FTC has charged Cedarcide with making the following false claims:
- That Best Yet will prevent bedbug infestations, and that it’s more effective than synthetic pesticides
- That scientific studies confirm Best Yet is effective at stopping and preventing bed bug infestations, and that it is more effective than synthetic pesticides at doing so
- The Environmental Protection Agency has warned consumers to avoid all synthetic pesticides for treating bed bug infestations
- Best Yet was invented for the U.S. Army at the request of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and that the USDA has acknowledged the product as the number one choice of bio-based pesticides.
What This Means for Pest Control Companies
The actions by the Federal Trade Commission are clearly good news for both the consumer and for pest control operators. During this recent bedbug epidemic, consumers have been looking for the lowest cost solutions to their bedbug infestations. They have been turning to these ineffective products as a solution, instead of calling a local pest control professional to get the job done.
These FTC actions go a long way in educating consumers about ineffective pest control products, but we need to continue educating the consumer as well–Professional exterminators are your most effective option when it comes to effective eliminating bedbugs in your home.