If you’re plagued by tiny nigh-invisible nightly visitors that leave your arms and legs dotted with itchy welts, you may have stopped short of dousing your mattress in kerosene and cathartically (if unwisely) lighting a match by first giving spray-on products that promise to kill bedbugs a shot.
Maybe you’ve heard of Best Yet!, an organic bedbug repellent spray that uses “natural cedar oil” to fend off bedbugs as well as “mosquitoes, chigger, ticks, no-see-ums, flies and more.” Sounds like any other exotic oil-based bug repellant claim, right? But its maker, Chemical Free Solutions LLC, was accused of deceptively advertising the product, which it claimed would in fact “get rid of lice and bed bugs,” reports Reuters; it’s a considerable leap from “[works] to keep nuisance insects and pests away from you” to gets rid of entirely.
Thus the U.S. Federal Trade Commission got involved, culminating in charges over those claims as well as others, like that Best Yet!’s products were originally created to service the U.S. Army — not true, says the FTC.
Chemical Free Solutions just agreed to settle the charges, which henceforth bar it from promoting its Best Yet! products’ efficacy until it can prove, scientifically, that they work as claimed. In addition, Chemical Free Solutions has to pay $185,206 in fines, while the company’s previous owner, Dave Glassel, has to come up with a whopping $4.6 million.
The FTC isn’t mincing words here, calling companies that prey on the public’s alarm about pestilent critters like bedbugs “creepy little blood suckers” and referring to them as “self-proclaimed pest control professionals” who want “to take a bite out of your wallet.”