After months of staying at home, Americans are catching the travel bug.
There is pent-up demand to hit the road. Skift Research’s monthly travel tracker survey reveals about a third of the U.S. population will be packing their bags within three months after restrictions are lifted. As the vaccine becomes more available, that desire is closer to becoming a reality.
A New Jersey couple pioneered a product to prevent travelers from catching a different bug—bed bugs.
Jennifer and Joe Gere of Freehold, N.J., know just about everything there is about how to shield against nasty bed bugs thanks to their innovation called CimexiShield, commonly known as “No Bed Bug Bites.”
America’s wanderlust can’t come soon enough for their business, which has been impacted—like so many—by COVID-19.
It has been a one, two punch for the entrepreneurs.
CimexiShield, their personal bed bug repellant for use in homes or hotels, has been pinched by the lack of travel. The product was gaining retail traction as the pandemic hit.
Joe Gere also owns BedBug Chasers, a business that uses special heaters to rid homes and businesses of insect intruders. That has been affected by people working at home rather than in offices on the one hand and people’s reluctance to let people in their homes.
The potential for CimexiShield, as travel resumes, is sizeable. One out of five Americans has had a bed bug infestation or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel, according to Pest World.
Eighty percent of U.S. hotels have had to treat for bed bugs.
Bed bugs are a particular nuisance since they have anesthesia in their saliva, preventing people from realizing they are being bitten.
It was a personal experience when the Gere family was vacationing in Florida and was awakened by screams from a nearby hotel room where people were covered in bed bugs that promoted them to research a remedy.
“Until that trip, we had never heard of a bed bug other than the adage ‘Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!’ Who knew that was real? From that trip, I was on a mission to find an effective personal bed bug repellent, but there were none, I mean zero, nada, not one-bed bug repellent existed,” recalled Jennifer Gere.
“They make 100’s of repellents for mosquitoes, and they bite, why not one for bed bugs – that is what put me on my journey to make the World’s First On Skin Bed Bug Repellent.”
The goal was to create a DEET-free, all-natural, bio-organic on-skin repellant to prevent beg bugs. The result was CimexiShield, a spray-on skin repellent designed to prevent bed bug bites. It can also be used as a bed bug blocker to reduce the chances of getting unwanted bed bugs as hitchhikers when sleeping away from home. Finally, the spray can stop additional bed bug bites and soothe and relieve the itch, pain, swelling, and discomfort with existing bites.
After a decade of working on it, the Geres took their final formula to a third-party lab to be certified with blind testing. There is no product like it on the market—there is no competition.
The product is simple to use—shake well and spray. It is 100% natural and leaves skin feeling softer. The 2-ounce bottle retails for $19.95. It is TSA approved and perfect for travel—especially for hotel protection.
How did a small business husband & wife team create something big businesses could not master? It was a team effort pulling from the expertise behind BedBug Chasers and research gleaned from clients who battled the pests.
“That is what separates RxBioLabs from other companies trying to research a cure—the ability to have tens of millions of dollars’ worth of bottomless real-life data collected over many years from a diverse population of bugs, people, places, reasons, and just a pure passion for finding an answer,” said Joe Gere.
Through their work, they dispelled myths about bed bugs. For example, they are not slow. “Bed bugs are hunters; they need to feed on your blood and travel about 4 feet per minute. So in under 10 minutes, they can travel across the average bedroom, feed on your blood, and return to their hiding spots undetected,” said Joe Gere. It is also impossible to find, see and kill all bed bugs with the sprays on the market.
“Research shows that for everyone bed bug you can see by eye, there are up to 13 more hiding that you cannot see. Miss one bug you are still getting bitten and maybe bringing them home with you,” he cautioned.
They also offered the following tips to prevent bed bugs (and, of course, using CimexiShield!)
- If you check into a room and bed bugs are crawling around, leave!
- Keep your luggage off the ground, use the shiny metal racks to store your suitcases on; bed bugs cannot climb up the smooth rails.
- You can hang luggage in the closet, anything to get it off the ground.
- Do not spray a product on your luggage that will “kill bed bugs” before they come home with you; it simply does not work in real life.
- Soiled clothing should be put in a plastic bag and hung in the closet or from the shower curtain bar – never let the bag touch the floor or walls. It has been proven bed bugs travel to people’s homes via their luggage.
- Bed bugs can be hiding or maybe in the next room. They can travel under the door.
Using CimexiShield’s “No Bed Bug Bites” can accomplish four things in the war against bed bugs. It is the first line of defense to prevent additional bug bites if you discover you have them. It then prevents immature bed bugs from reaching maturity and reproducing. Using it after an attack also relieves the itch, pain, swelling, and discomfort of bites.
Fighting bed bugs is just the beginning of innovation the Geres hope to unleash when their business gets healthy again, including a natural mosquito repellant. Stay tuned.