Bed bugs, despite being small in size, have become very big news. And they’re starting to affect home furnishings.
According to the makers of Hot Shot bed-bug insecticides, bed-bug infestations have increased by 71 percent in the U.S. since 2001. In recent months, bed bugs have been discovered assaulting houses, apartments, college dorms, offices, retailers and hotels. A bed-bug summit was held in Toronto last month.
Various media have latched onto the story with reports of bed-bug infestations throughout North America. An Associated Press story nailed New York City as the “epicenter” of the bed-bug outbreak. Bed bugs have infested buildings throughout the city—including the office and limousine of radio shock jock Howard Stern, who was not amused.
The home-textiles industry can be slow to react to major trends. But on this one, vendors—especially those in basic bedding, were quick to action.
London Luxury and Protect-A-Bed have already been taking aim at health hazards such as bed bugs in developing pillows, pillow protectors and mattress protectors. During the September New York Home Fashions Market, here in New York, Perfect Fit introduced a mattress pad that has bed bug-deterring properties.
My prediction: It won’t be long before other utility-bedding suppliers join the queue. And look for the mattress folks to begin offering products with ticks that don’t let the bed bugs bite.—David Gill