Skip to main content

Q&A: How consumers can fight the bedbug epidemic with KiltronX


Since a resurgence in the late 1990s, bedbugs persist as a problem across the United States. According to recent surveys by the National Pest Management Association, 99.6% of pest professionals surveyed treated for bedbugs in 2015 and one out of five Americans has had a bedbug infestation in their home or knows someone who has encountered bedbugs at home or in a hotel. As these infestations continue to rise across North America, DSN talked to Gary Beutler, COO of KiltronX Enviro Systems, about the problem and the remedies required to combat it.

DSN: How widespread is the bedbug problem in the United States?

Gary Beutler: About 85% of the U.S. population is now looking to avoid bedbugs and looking into steps needed to prevent them. Close to 200 million in the United States have had, know someone who has and are looking to avoid bedbugs. The real problem is that the majority of Americans can’t afford professional pest control and have nowhere to turn because pesticides, heat and poisons can’t stop them. KiltronX Live Free Pesticide Alternative is a mechanical killer and not a poison. Bedbugs are everywhere and on the move, hiking their way into our homes, movie theaters, automobiles, schools, institutions, workplace and all spaces that humans and pets share.

DSN: What can retailers expect from bedbug pandemic this year?

​Beutler: The bedbug epidemic has become a life-and-death threat and public health risk that is underreported, underdiagnosed and has no cure or vaccine. 

Complaints and possible civil liability have occurred as bedbugs have become resistant to popular pesticides and can't stop them. Pesticide pushback on products currently found on shelves links to cancer and terrible illnesses. An estimated 12 million people in the United States are infected with tropical diseases and most don't know it. Increased cases of deadly diseases, such as Chagas disease and MRSA, are transmitted by bedbugs and is the greatest insect threat to Americans, even greater than Zika.

DSN: How is KiltronX delivering value within the pest control space to its retailer customers?

​Beutler: KiltronX’s mission and purpose is the marketing of our products with our company's commitment to "HelpingUHelpsMe," so when a consumer buys one, we gift one and our company is socially responsible to helping those who can’t help themselves. So with every purchase made, we verifiably gift bedbug products. KiltronX products are made in America and sold by veterans through our Veteran Foxhole Program. Our Live Free Pesticide Alternative Bedbug products are the most affordable, carry the longest guarantee DIY products available. Once installed, they create a live free "wall" between the consumer and bedbugs. Live Free Textile products work 365/24/7 and (by far) carry the longest unconditional replacement guarantee of any product.

DSN: Which consumer segments do you see as key to your growth strategy? What is KiltronX doing to reach these desired segments?

Beutler: We have a reciprocal partnership with the 200-year-old WestPoint Home textile company. Their value proposition to us is their tradition, size, quality textiles and worldwide distribution, and we bring the innovation and market expansion. WestPoint Home’s partnership with KiltronX is further validation of the scale and eminence of solving this world problem.

Our ultimate corporate goal is to completely eliminate bedbugs from the planet. With that in mind, we have selective specialization for prioritizing the highest potential markets. Once we receive large market adoption, we can expand into all other segments to completely squash this pest. In a recent survey of all pest control professionals in the country, 95% reported treating bedbugs in apartments/condominiums, 93% in single family homes and 75% in hotels/motels. Bedbugs live where we live, which is why we are so focused on partnering with local neighborhood pharmacies and drugs stores. Because our products are an entirely new method for solving this human dilemma, we have two main categories we are focusing our efforts [on].

Treatment of bedbug infestation is an existing market that has been traditionally served with pesticide chemicals with little positive evidence of success. This psychographic segment is being served with our product with great success, and we are targeting "innovators," "thinkers" and "makers" within this segment because they are attracted to safe alternatives, simple functionality of our product, potential DIY application and our commitment to making our product in America. The hurdle in this segment is the legacy belief that it has to be a "nasty" pesticide to kill a "nasty" bug, but our customers continue to be amazed that our product is significantly more effective and safe.

The second major category is prevention, which is not served by any other comparable product. This behavioral segment is best defined by occasions. Bedbugs must hitchhike to move from location to location, and we've designed our product line to take advantage of this inherent trait. I define this consumer segment in my own words as "movers and shakers." The major link between these consumers is travel or moving. Any person who travels for business, vacation, grand kid visit, wedding, funeral, reunion, public transportation, including trains, buses, automobiles, RVs, taxis; and permanent movers like college kids, apartment renters or new home buyers. These consumers want to "live free" from bedbugs and protect their loved ones when they come back home. The hurdle of this segment is educating the consumer that there is a safe product available for prevention. Because historically, no one would have purposely exposed their loved ones to pesticides if they didn’t already have an infestation — we have to change the consumer mindset. The best way to effect this change is with trusted influencers such as pharmacists, local drug store owners, corporate human resource officers and employees that live in the same community. We have also partnered with Tony Bongiovi and Radd.Org in delivering music in our efforts to empower children.



This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds