Home Cleaning & Maintenance Two Suppliers Offer Bed Bug Applications with Staying Power

Two Suppliers Offer Bed Bug Applications with Staying Power

Glenn Hasek

Articles about bed bugs are among the most read on the Green Lodging News website and for good reason. As tiny as the creatures are, they can become a dinosaur-size problem for you—in many ways. As mentioned in an article just posted on Green Lodging News, a year ago, a California family was awarded $1.6 million as a result of a lawsuit filed against their former landlords for not properly addressing a bed bug infestation. The lawyer representing the family said the award was the largest he had seen given to a single family. While the $1.6 million settlement was unusually high, hotel bed bug settlements in the six figures are not uncommon.

Bed bugs can do much more than expose you to legal action. They can soil and destroy physical property, reduce room availability, cost you thousands for pest management, and dirty your hotel’s reputation for years. A quick internet search produced two sites that allow guests to post evidence of their hotel bed bug encounters. (See http://bedbugregistry.com/ and http://www.bedbugreports.com/.) Of course, comments on bed bugs can also show up in online reviews and in social media. Your hotel could even make the evening news.

Over the years I have written about the effectiveness of heat treatments, steam, freezing, mattress encasements, powders and sprays, traps, and even dogs for sniffing out bed bugs. Anyone who has dealt with bed bugs knows that no one solution will conquer all the little critters. They are elusive, can go months without eating, and hatch eggs that can easily be missed by treatments.

Topical Solutions with Staying Power

In my article this week I highlight two companies that have developed topical solutions that have been proven to kill bed bugs over several months and even up to a year—Applied Science Labs and ConidioTec.

Applied Science Labs offers VA88, an EPA exempt, bioengineered liquid that emulsifies the waxy outer layer of the bed bug upon contact. Wherever the droplets land on the bed bug’s outer layer, “Swiss cheese” like holes are formed and through these holes its body fluids evaporate. Bed bugs die of dehydration in about 25 seconds. The effective ingredient in VA88 is polypeptide molecules—from soybean oil.

“With VA88, the initial spray kills them,” says Rodger Williams, Manager, Applied Science Labs. “Within VA88 there is a time release mechanism—particles that adhere to the surface where it is applied. It is an immediate kill, but the solid particles persist. Those tiny particles become effective for one year.”

Solution Developed at Penn State

Last November, researchers at Penn State University, unveiled Aprehend, an EPA registered mycoinsecticide now sold by a company called ConidioTec. According to one of ConidioTec’s founders and Chief Technology Officer, Nina Jenkins, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate in Entomology, College of Agricultural Sciences, Penn State University, Aprehend technology is based on the use of a fungal biopesticide, which is highly effective against bed bugs. It works as a long-lasting barrier spray.

“As bed bugs crawl across the sprayed surface, they pick up the fungal spores, and can transfer them to other bed bugs in their harborage, targeting those that don’t cross the spore barrier themselves,” Jenkins says. “It is not relying on a toxic mode of action. It is like walking in sand in wet feet. Aprehend controls infestations with a single application. The spores love to stick to the waxy layer on the bedbug. They are triggered to germinate and penetrate the insect’s body. They use up the nutrients in the blood. It takes 20 to 24 hours. The bed bug can die as quickly as three days to seven to 10 days. In four to five days most die.”

Jenkins says bed bugs go through five stages of growth and must feed after each stage, so applying a three-month preventive Aprehend barrier provides the optimal eradication results. Bed bugs that cross the barrier acquire fungal spores and go on to spread these among insects that remain in their harborages, resulting in greater than 95 percent population reduction in two weeks.

Solutions such as VA88 and Aprehend can be part of an arsenal of systems that you can implement to eliminate bed bugs and prevent them from ever touching your guests.

What have you found to work best against bed bugs? I would love to know. I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Green Lodging News Welcomes Moss Walls to Product & Service Directory

Green Lodging News welcomes Moss Walls to its Green Product & Service Directory in the “Well/Green Wall Systems” category. Moss Walls is the first and only company to offer a self-contained LIVE Moss Wellness Wall System for beautifying and improving air quality for indoor spaces. The Verdure Wellness Wall is biomimicry, simulating the health benefits associated with pristine eco-systems where moss and mist are prevalent, and bringing these natural air cleansing and visually soothing elements into indoor spaces. Verdure systems are solid stainless steel, and come pre-assembled with all lights, pumps, water purification, misters, moss and a water feature. Total set-up time is less than one hour. Maintenance is minimal. Sizes can be customized. Lifetime warranties. For more information, call (866) GET-MOSS, or e-mail info@mosswalls.com.

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Who is Your Sustainability Champion?

Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

An All-New Advertising Opportunity!

Green Lodging News, lodging’s leading environmental news source, announces the launch of Green Suppliers Spotlight, an e-blast to more than 20,000 subscribers that features the lodging industry’s leading green products and services. The e-blast will feature multiple vendors—unlike the current Green Supplier Spotlight that allows one supplier to “own” the Green Lodging News subscriber list for one e-blast. (Click here for a Green Suppliers Spotlight sample.)

Green Suppliers Spotlight will be published weekly on Thursdays beginning March 7 to general managers, owners, management companies, directors of sustainability, directors of engineering, facilities managers and many others who are either in purchasing positions or who influence purchasing decisions. Suppliers of green products and services throughout North America and beyond are invited to participate in the e-blast. (Minimum two suppliers per e-blast.) Green Suppliers Spotlight was created to give vendors an opportunity to reach a high number of industry purchasers at a very low cost—as low as $200 per e-mail. (Click here for rate sheet.)

Those advertising in Green Suppliers Spotlight can include up to 100 words, one image, contact information and multiple links to their website in their ad. At the end of each month, a report will be sent to each supplier with information on delivered e-mails, opens and click-throughs. The Green Suppliers Spotlight e-blast will also be available in the Suppliers Spotlight Archive section of the Green Lodging News website.

Planning Advertising for 2019?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2019. Many excellent spots are available on our new website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2019 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com. A media kit can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

Newsletter & Green Supplier Spotlight Circulation

The circulation of our weekly e-newsletter and Green Supplier Spotlight currently stands at 20,305. Thank you to our new subscribers for signing up. Be sure to encourage your colleagues to do the same. There are “subscribe” links on the Green Lodging News home page. You may also e-mail editor@greenlodgingnews.com to be added to our list.

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As always, I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.


  1. We had a bed bug problem at our house after one hitchhiked home in his luggage after he stayed at a nicer Marriott Hotel. They can be anywhere. This is a very informative article. Thanks for sharing this info.