Bed bugs can get from place to place very easily.  It is extremely likely that they are in every state in the U.S., too.  This story below is of an experience a mother and son had in a hotel in Odessa with the unwanted pests.  Unfortunately these stories come about all too often.  But that is why extermination companies like us exist to help rid of the problems.  Read about the mother and son’s experience below.

Exterminators Say Bed Bugs Are Rampant in West Texas

Anum Valliani
NewsWest 9

WEST TEXAS – A mother and son had just arrived to Odessa from New Mexico to get some sleep and save some money, they decided to stay at a bargain motel. That’s when they claim they found bed bugs and all their troubles started.

“She was like do you see anything, do you see anything, and I looked and there was nothing,” Joseph Lopez said.

“A little while later, I got up and down and up and down and looked in the mirror and I was getting bites all in my shoulders,” Sandra Swann said.
Soon the welts spread everywhere but the Ector County Health Department said the Sahara Motel checked out clean.
“Yeah, I wanna let them sleep in that bed for a night and tell us there’s no bugs in that room,” Lopez said.
Then we received surveillance videos of their arrival, in which you can see the bed of their truck had an exposed mattress. Also in it, Lopez is seen lightly scratching his head and hands. But the two are sure they didn’t bring the bugs in.
“I didn’t have anywhere near a scratch when I got there than I did as I left,” Lopez said.
But “The Buginator,” Trey Buesher says that it’s not unlikely if they had brought them in.

“They’re hitch hiking insects,” Buesher said.

He said bed bug cases have been reported in 48 of the 50 states. And in Texas, there’s not a city without the infestation. Plus, the little bugs can get anywhere. They might be small, but they move fast, reproduce quickly and pack a big punch or bite.
“You’ll scratch till you bleed,” Lopez said.
“You have to take the wall plugs off because they’ll penetrate through the wall and go from room to room that way,” Buesher said.
But more than anything, Buesher said it’s the paranoia that accompanies the bites, that has people itching.
“They’ve heard their stories all their life. Don’t let the bed bugs bite,” he said.
“I got the “heeby jeebies” or the “creepy crawlies” and everything you feel, you’re just paranoid. Paranoid,” Swann said.

He also said that four years ago his company used to get five to six calls a year to kill those vermin, now it’s five to six a week. Cleanliness is not associated with them, while places with high turnover, like hotels are.

“One of the smartest things you can do when you travel is to put your luggage and everything in black plastic bags, wrap them up tight and do not unpack, do not put them in the drawers, in the dressers that are in the motel rooms,” Buesher said.
If that fails companies like Bushwhackers are experts at killing them off with heat and other nifty tools, like slippery disks that serve as, “a pitfall type trap that they’ll fall into,” Buescher said.
“The Buginator” says heat is the best remedy for bed bugs. If you think you have them, just take off your clothes, sheets, and anything else and stick them in the drier on high heat for 30 minutes. Anything above 120 degrees Fahrenheit will kill them, although you need higher temperatures for the eggs.
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If you are worried you might be prone to picking up bed bugs, you can get specific mattress covers to put on your bed.  Of course, there are other prevention methods you can use, too, that we have discussed before, but not much is mentioned about a simple mattress cover.  Learn about why bed bugs love mattresses and which covers to use in the article below.


Bed Bug Mattress Covers

Most of us sleep on our mattresses without knowing what is lurks within. This topic is rarely discussed because ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ If people knew the kinds of parasites that reside in an unprotected mattress, there is no doubt they would make a beeline to purchase a mattress protector for all the mattresses in their household.

Some people think that because they practice turning their mattress over a couple times a year and put their mattress in the sun that this is sufficient. Others vacuum their mattresses in hopes they will remove dust mites or other bugs if they are present.

When we think about bed bugs, our skin begins to crawl. Just the thought of tiny blood-sucking insects crawling all over our body while we are asleep causes many of us to double check our bed before we get comfortable.

A Fearless Solution to a Pesky Problem

These bugs are definitely pests. They can be very difficult to eliminate once they have made our home, their home. They hide during the daytime in the small, dark cracks in our homes. They are nearly impossible to remove.

There is no need to fear: the solution is to avoid an infestation to begin with. A special mattress cover designed to avoid an infestation of these bloodsucking insects. Even if you are already dealing with an infestation, a cover for your mattress will still help alleviate the problem.

A protective cover is the initial step in ridding yourself of these tiny blood sucking insects or preventing them altogether. At this point in time, with the increasing rate of serious infestations, literally everyone is at risk.

The best mattress cover is a zippered encasement that is designed specifically to assist with the control of these pests. A zippered encasement will help make the process much easier for the extermination. If you aren’t infested, it can assist you in keeping your home free of them.

Infestations are Continuing to Grow and Everyone is Vulnerable

Predictions are that infestations will continue to increase through the year 2016. It has been said that the yearly infestation peak will be in the month of August.

It has been a common belief that they only reside in unkempt and dirty homes. This is not true. They have the fortitude to survive and flourish anywhere as long as they have a food source. This includes even the tidiest homes.

In the past few years, the infestations have reached levels that are considered to be an epidemic in the United States. The infestation rate is anticipated to double every year!

Why are They on the Rise?

Experts believe that the increased incidences of infestations are due to several things. Some believe that it is due to the ease of foreign travel, decreases in the countermeasures that homeowners are taking to prevent an invasion, and an increase in the use of second-hand furniture and clothing.

These uninvited guests’ find it very easy to enter your home. They will travel by attaching themselves to your clothes and body, in your luggage, or from the apartment next door. If you don’t notice them right away and they are given time to actually infest your home, getting rid of them is not an easy task.

The Longer the Infestation Goes On, the More Difficult it is to Eradicate

The worst part is that the longer your infestation continues the more expensive and difficult the process of extermination becomes. That is why preventing the infestation to begin with is the best answer to this potential problem. The way to assist in doing that is to get a mattress cover for all the beds in your home.

Without a mattress cover, it will usually take 3 to 6 months for homeowners to realize they have a bug problem that needs attention. This will make the extermination process quicker and easier. When the infestation is realized early on, it is much easier to terminate the problem.

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As you hear more and more stories of bed bugs popping up it is important to know of prevention and removal tips.  People of all ages should be aware of these things.  That is where the article below comes in.  Schools have begun teaching bed bug prevention to children in efforts to keep bed bugs out of the schools.  Read about this in the article from Entomology Today.

Teaching Curriculum for Bed Bug Prevention Proves Its Worth

When the big yellow bus arrives at school in the morning, it could be unloading more than just kids. In communities where bed bugs (Cimex lectularius Linnaeus) are present, children’s book bags are one of their favorite places to hitch a ride to a new home.

Preventing this kind of spread is a core element of integrated pest management (IPM) practices, but it requires education that changes people’s behavior. Bed Bugs and Book Bags, an experiential-learning curriculum available for free from the Jacksonville Bed Bug Task Force and the University of Florida, meets students at their level to instill awareness and knowledge about bed bug prevention.

As reported in a two-part series in 2016 in American Entomologist (read Part I and Part II), the curriculum was developed in response to a call to action from the Environmental Protection Agency in 2009. In some cases, schools that have resorted to pesticides to manage bed bug introductions have experienced further problems such as pesticide-related illness, and thus developing a curriculum was a “teachable moment to educate the public about the potential for IPM to reduce the incidence of transferring bed bugs from homes to schools,” according to authors Corraine A. McNeill of the Division of Science and Mathematics at Union College; Erin Harlow of the University of Florida Duval County Extension; and Rebecca Baldwin, Roberto M. Pereira, T. Grady Roberts, and Philip G. Koehler of the UF Department of Entomology.

Between 2011 and 2014, a collaborative group of insect scientists, educators, pest management professionals, public health officials, and social service agencies built and tested the curriculum on the principles of the 4-H experiential learning model and standards set by the Florida Department of Education.

It’s more than just a pamphlet or flyer; the third- through fifth-grade curriculum is a 103-page document that comprises a teacher’s guide and three learning topics with 10 lesson plans. Learning concepts include hygiene and health, critical thinking and understanding, environmental understanding, and more. Hands-on activities include crosswords, word searches, scavenger hunts, and card games.

Pilot testing of the curriculum showed positive learning outcomes across a variety of audiences. Teachers and fifth-graders showed the strongest knowledge gains between pre- and post-curriculum tests, but 4-H agents, master gardeners, and even pest management professionals in the pilot study showed knowledge gains via the bed bug curriculum.

That points to the curriculum’s value beyond its original young target audience. “Nearly half of the educators (47 percent) who downloaded the curriculum do not teach in typical classrooms. Their focus is on the general adult population,” the authors note. “Based on observations from delivering the curriculum across Florida, information from the curriculum will be incorporated into programs in shelters, churches, and a wide range of community facilities.”


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This year, a tropical species of bed bug reemerged in Florida after not being seen in the United States in over 60 years.  Now that there are two species of bed bugs residing in the country, research is being done comparing and contrasting them.  Read the article below by Brittany Campbell of Pest Control Technology to learn of those similarities and differences.


The New (Old) Bed Bugs: Tropical Bed Bugs

Bed Bug Supplement – Bed Bug Supplement

Tropical bed bugs are appearing again in Florida after a 70-year absence.

December 13, 2016
Brittany Campbell

Brittany Campbell

There are two species of bed bugs that have been resurging worldwide in the past two decades: tropical bed bugs (Cimex hemipterus) and common bed bugs (Cimex lectularius). Both species feed predominantly on humans and have similar behaviors; they both hide and aggregate in cracks and crevices; they both suck blood; and they both have the same life cycle — starting as eggs, developing into five different instars and finally molting to an adult.

Both of these species also are important from a public health perspective because their bites can cause itchy, rash-like reactions and many people who experience bed bugs often suffer from psychological distress. This distress has been reported as ranging from loss of sleep, anxiety, to even depression. Although tropical bed bugs and common bed bugs are similar, these species do have some marked differences.

First, both species seem to dominate in different areas of the world. The tropical bed bug, as the name suggests, lives in more tropical regions. This species dominates in areas of Asia, Africa and South America. The common bed bug dominates in more temperate climates and is the species we are the most familiar with in the United States. Thus far, the common bed bug has spread to all 50 states. A recent survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association with the University of Kentucky showed that two out of three pest management professionals in the United States believe that bed bug infestations are still increasing in number.

Bed bugs, regardless of the species, are moved around by people. The resurgence of bed bugs has been attributed to travel, increased insecticide resistance and changes in pesticide practices. Undoubtedly, the introduction of one species is similar to the other; they are both moved around the world in people’s luggage, backpacks, purses and other belongings. Therefore, tropical bed bugs certainly have been brought into the United States periodically, but have yet to either skyrocket in number like the common bed bug or they may have just been overlooked.

The common bed bug is on the left with the U-shaped pronotum, The tropical bed bug is on the right with a less U-shaped pronounced pronotum.

HOW THEY’RE DIFFERENT. A tropical bed bug infestation would look just like a common bed bug infestation. You would see live bugs potentially, depending on the level of infestation, and these live bugs would look just like a common bed bug to the untrained eye/without a microscope. You may even see the dark black fecal spots as well as the exuvia, or shed skins — remember both species are similar. However, once you get the bed bugs under a microscope — or maybe even a good hand lens — then you would see the tell-tale difference. The tropical bed bug’s “neck” or pronotum, just behind the head, is a different shape than the common bed bug. The common bed bug has a more excavated, or u-shaped pronotum.

The tropical bed bug has often been said to be in the United States, but no recent publications or documents have reported this since the 1940s until recently. After a 70-year absence, we (University of Florida researchers) received a sample of bed bugs that didn’t look quite like we were accustomed to seeing. After careful examination, we realized we had tropical bed bugs and then contacted the homeowners. According to the homeowners, no one in the house had traveled out of the United States or Florida. Thus, it seems like the tropical bed bug had established elsewhere in Florida and the homeowners had unknowingly brought them into their home.

Identification can be accomplished when the bed bugs are magnified. However, the differences are not pronounced, so it would be best to send samples to an extension office associated with a university. Many of the identification keys are not very straightforward and require the pronotum to be measured to ensure positive identification, especially in specimens where the pronotum shape cannot be easily differentiated between the two species.

FINAL THOUGHTS. There is still little known about tropical bed bugs. Much less research has been performed with this species compared to the common bed bug. It has been suggested that tropical bed bugs lay fewer eggs but develop faster than common bed bugs, potentially explaining their distribution differences world-wide. However, bed bug development times can vary when temperatures fluctuate or fluctuate even when bed bugs have been exposed to different insecticides. For instance, bed bugs with high levels of pyrethroid resistance have been shown to lay fewer eggs than their less-resistant relatives.

A tropical bed bug.

For now, until more research has been conducted, the same control measures that are are used against common bed bugs should potentially work against tropical bed bugs. Their similar biology should still allow many of the tools that we have found to work previously to be effective, including heat treatments, fumigation and chemicals. Of course, resistance is still an issue with tropical bed bugs, so rotating products may be necessary to gain control.

While tropical bed bugs have been documented in Florida, they have the potential to spread to other areas of the United States. Subtropical areas in other southern states could harbor this species, and homes with temperature-controlled climates inside also could help this species spread beyond its normal tropical distribution. Proper identification and awareness will help researchers and the industry alike determine whether this species will continue to spread and to determine if it is currently prevalent in other areas and potentially has been overlooked.

The author, Brittany Campbell, is a UF/IFAS doctoral student in entomology.

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Oklahoma residents in Comanche County are unfortunately dealing with unwanted guests in the area.  Those unwanted guests are, as you probably guessed, bed bugs.  This story goes to show that an infestation or outbreak can occur anywhere at any time.  We hope residents are taking the right steps for containment and removal so this group of pests don’t make their way into Texas.  Read more about the outbreak in the story below.

Health officials in southwest Oklahoma warning residents of bed bug outbreak

LAWTON, Okla. – The Comanche County Health Department is warning residents of a bed bug outbreak in the area.

The health department said they are receiving at least two to three calls per day about bed bugs in Comanche County, KSWO reports.

Due to the increase, the health department wants residents to know how to prevent bed bugs from spreading.

The small, flat, bugs are reddish-brown bugs are the size of an apple seed.

The insects can hide almost anywhere inside your home.

“They can get into your electrical sockets, they can get into lamp shades, they can get into your curtains,” Health Specialist Zachary Foley told KSWO.

Experts expect the bed bug problem to get worse as the holiday travel season approaches.

The tiny bugs can get inside your luggage, purse, or coat.

“It’s a good idea to have a flash light when you go into a hotel room so you can check all the nooks and crannies, check behind the mattresses,” said Foley.

Health experts told KSWO that the tiny critters crave blood, but can go almost nine months without feeding on anyone.

Once a bed bug bites you, it may cause itching and loss of sleep.

If your home does become infested, heat will kill them.

There are professionals who will treat your home, but it can take 8 to 12 hours to work.


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As most of us are preparing to travel to a friend’s or family member’s house for Thanksgiving weekend, we are probably not thinking about picking up unwanted guests.  Not just any unwanted guest, but bed bugs.  Whether you are traveling down the street or across the country you should be aware of where the pests can hide and how they might come back to your house with you.  Read the article below to remind yourself of tips for prevention.


Thanksgiving travel can increase bed bug exposure

The tiny pests can lurk in hotel rooms and even grandma’s guest room

 By Mark Huffman

Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year. According to AAA, more than 48 million Americans are going to travel at least 50 miles from home.


At the risk of intruding on the warm family feelings of the holiday, or increasing your paranoia, we nonetheless are passing on this warning from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA): Thanksgiving can increase bed bug risks.

That’s because bed bugs tend to get around by attaching themselves to clothing or bedding in homes and hotels. Travelers who stay the night in one of these places run the risk of taking the tiny pests home in their suitcases.

Look for evidence

“The best advice I can give to those traveling over the holidays is to be on the lookout for evidence of bed bug activity at all times,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for NPMA.

The bugs are so small you probably aren’t going to be able to see them. Mannes says what you will see are signs of their presence, such as pepper-like stains on fabric-covered items, and molted bed bug skins.

In some cases you may see the actual bugs at various stages in their lifecycle – things like white eggs and empty egg casings.


Whether you’re staying in a hotel or a relative’s guest room, Mannes suggests carefully inspecting the room for bed bug evidence before settling in. It’s a good idea to pull back the bed sheets to examine the mattress seams, checking behind the headboard and looking in furniture crevices. If you are staying in a relative’s home, you no doubt want to do this discretely.

A small flashlight can come in handy during your investigation. If you find evidence of bed bug infestation in a hotel, you should, by all means, notify management and request a different room. If you find bed bugs in a private home, the response is a little trickier. However, you’ll need to find a way to bring it to the homeowner’s attention.

Vacuum and wash

As a final precaution, Mannes suggests travelers vacuum their luggage and wash and dry all clothes – even those that have not been worn – on high heat when returning home.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers travelers some additional bed bug tips. For example, the agency suggests emptying suitcases directly into the washing machine upon returning home. It says drying on high heat will usually kill them.

Store suitcases in the basement or garage. Keep them out of bedrooms and never store them under a bed.


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As you know, heat is the best way to effectively remove bed bugs from a house and/or your belongings.  However, bed bugs can also be fought with certain insecticides at certain stages of their life cycle.  In the article below, a study is discussed that used insecticides on bed bug eggs.  Read on to learn what worked and what did not.  Rely on professionals for insecticide and heat use, however, if you have a bed bug infestation.

Which Insecticide Spray Should You Use For Bed Bug Eggs?


Well, it depends. The efficacy of different insecticide sprays depends on a few different factors, such as which strain of bed bug is being treated, how resistant the strain is to the insecticide being used, and the permeability of the chemicals in relation to the egg shell composition, reports a recent study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology.
In the study, researchers from Clemson University tested four insecticide sprays against bed bug eggs and recorded how many eggs ended up hatching. For the eggs that did hatch, the researchers also recorded how many of those nymphs survived a week, as the bugs came into contact with residuals of the insecticides after they hatched.

Two different bed bug strains were used for the study. One was from a colony of bed bugs kept by Harold Harlan for more than 40 years without any exposure to insecticides. The second strain was a Jersey City strain, which is resistant to a class of insecticides known as pyrethroids and recently showed moderate resistance to neonicotinoids. The Jersey City strain is closer to what would be found in the field or to what people would find in their homes than the Harold Harlan strain is.

During the test, all insecticides fared well against the Harold Harlan strain. A pyrethroid and a neonicotinoid/pyrethroid mix both resulted in no eggs hatching, while a pyrethroid/pyrethroid synergist mix and a halogenated pyrrole both killed all nymphs.

However, for the Jersey City strain, results got a bit more muddled. The pyrethroid/pyrethroid synergist mix allowed 84% of eggs to hatch, and 99% of hatched nymphs survived. The pyrethroid and halogenated pyrrole both allowed over 90% of eggs to hatch, but killed nearly all nymphs after hatching. The neonicotinoid/pyrethroid mix only allowed 13% of eggs to hatch, and killed 38% of nymphs after hatching.

What do these results mean for the person trying to kill bed bug eggs?

The most effective insecticide overall was the neonicotinoid/pyrethroid mix, suggesting that having the dual active ingredients might give the best chance for success.

The study also shows that reading labels is important. For example, the pyrethroid and halogenated pyrrole both allowed nearly all eggs to hatch, but then killed nearly all nymphs. This result makes sense because neither product was labeled for bed bug eggs specifically.

The pyrethroid/pyrethroid synergist mix performed poorly both in terms of preventing egg hatch and killing nymphs. The label recommended spraying eggs for 13 seconds or until damp. The researchers sprayed the pyrethroid/pyrethroid synergist until damp to ensure that the application rate was similar to other products used in the study while applying the product at a rate that still followed the manufacturer’s recommendations.  If this insecticide was sprayed for 13 seconds, results might have shown it to be more effective.

In short, finding the right insecticide isn’t always easy. Make sure to read the labels to find the right product for your needs. If that product doesn’t work, you might be dealing with a resistant population and may need to find an insecticide with a different or additional active ingredient or seek the help of a pest control professional to identify an effective treatment plan.

Photo caption: Adult bed bug (Cimex lectularius) taking a blood meal from a human. Not yet fully engorged. Photo courtesy of Gary Alpert, Harvard University, Available at


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The information in this article applies to hotels and homes.  It is about how certain textiles and pieces of furniture can hide bed bugs better than others.  If you are an employee of a hotel or are just simply redesigning your bedroom at home consider the information this piece offers.  The less hiding places there are for bed bugs the less likely they will exist in an area.

Seeking Bed Bug Prevention? Allergy Technologies Offers Options

Tuesday November 15th, 2016 – 9:09AM


Just think! The design choices you are considering for room refurbishing may also be creating a welcoming environment for bed bugs. Bed bugs are elusive pests and an intrusive guest no hotel wants.

They can easily be introduced into a hotel room by anyone that walks through its doors, from hotel guests to service staff or even a shipment. Their small size, ability to reproduce rapidly, withstand long periods between meals, and nocturnal tendencies make them difficult to detect. The effects of an infestation can be devastating to a business. Hotel reputations can be irrevocably tarnished if reports land on travel websites, treatment costs are high and profits lost when rooms have to go unrented. That’s not to mention reimbursements to guests affected and the potential negative impact on stakeholder equity if a guest chooses to pursue an aggressive legal course of action.

So what does hotel room design have to do with infestations? It could mean the difference between a full-blown infestation being uncovered at 2 a.m. by an irate guest and minimizing the likelihood that a single bed bug introduced into a room ever transitions into an infestation.

Given our experience in handling the bed bug scourge that is canvassing our nation, we provide the following suggestions for hotel room design consideration. Making tweaks to current hotel room configurations, considering these changes in future design plans or implementing a preventive bed bug measure can certainly assist in lowering the incidence of bed bug infestations in hotel rooms.

Headboard Design

Upwards of 85% of bed bugs are found within a five ft. radius of the bed, with headboards being known for egg deposition. Removing upholstery in its design would be a marked step forward in reducing harborage, given the folds and tufts—similar to a mattress and box spring—routinely found in this furniture.

Also, straight design with little to no textured woodwork reduces areas susceptible to egg deposits. In addition, attention should be drawn to the backside of the headboard that affixes to the wall, as this area is routinely a hot spot for bed bug activity.

Box Spring Dust Ruffles

Dust ruffles that cascade onto the floor are an easy entrance ramp for bed bugs to crawl onto bedding. These ruffles are often highly pleated and cinched making it a favorite hiding place for bed bug egg repositories.

Highly suggested are the new decorative fabric covers available that fit snuggly onto the box spring (foundation).

Box Spring Platforms

Typical railed box spring frames are replete with nooks and crannies that are commonly strewn with bed bug eggs when an infestation occurs. In contrast, the use of metal box spring platforms is far less conducive toward bed bug harborage in the event that a room is challenged.

Active Liners

Unlike an encasement that simply protects the bed, an active liner protects not only the mattress and box spring but also the guest that is sleeping in the bed. As easy to install as a fitted sheet, an active liner such as ActiveGuard Mattress Liners can prevent a bed bug infestation as they kill bed bugs that come into contact with the liner continuously for two years. Installation of this simple preventive measure can stop bed bugs introduced into the room from turning into a full-fledged infestation.

About Allergy Technologies

ActiveGuard Mattress Liners kill bed bugs. Easily installed on mattresses or box springs, these liners’ offer two-year continual prevention and control against any adult bed bugs, nymphs or eggs. ActiveGuard has no cautionary signal words or use restrictions on its label. Only four sizes—single/twin, double/full, queen and king—fit almost every available mattress or box spring, and accommodate up to extra-large in length and 17-in. in depth. Underlying is ActiveGuard’s formulation; a unique and proprietary delivery system that offers sustained bioavailability of permethrin for two years. Newest research supports that after short exposure to ActiveGuard of only 10 minutes, bed bugs regardless of their level of resistance, begin to show significant reductions in feeding (biting) and a dramatic inability to lay eggs. This results in discontinuation of population growth thereby halting progression of an incident to an infestation. If you are seeking a pro-active preventative approach, ActiveGuard should be considered as the centerpiece of your long-term solution to keep bedding from being infested. ActiveGuard Mattress Liners are covered under U.S. Patents 5,916,580, 6,214,365, 6,440,438 and pending patents.

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