Bedbugs are a difficult pest to get rid of, but Elizabeth Knote believes she has the key to their end with her bedbug baker.
“People may have them for several months and not know it. They start in the box springs, and then they’ll go to the mattress,” Knote said. “Typically, 90 percent of them are within five feet of the bed, but they’ll get into desks, behind mirrors, in your curtains and in corners. They get into computers. When they get into computers, that’s a big issue because you can’t really heat computers very well. They’re taking them and putting them in the freezer.”
Knote said Cape-Kil gets at least one call a week to treat bedbugs in local apartments or homes.
She started a new company, Bedbug Battalion, to market the Bedbug Baker and kits for college students to detect and control bedbugs.
The Bedbug Baker has two layers of insulated tenting covered in a flame-resistant material she worked with local company RM Coco to produce. Several sizes are available depending on whether customers want to treat an entire room or just a few suitcases. She created four prototypes before finalizing the models she’s now marketing to other pest management companies, hotels, schools and offices. While displaying her invention at the second annual Bedbug Summit in Chicago last month, it was featured in a Reuters article about entrepreneurs capitalizing on exterminating bedbugs.
Photo by Medill DC