SCHENECTADY, NY -- The old saying, (Don't let the bed bugs bite), has become relevant once again as bed bugs have made a big comeback in America, but a new line of skin sprays promises to deter bed bugs using the power of hot peppers. Greensations capsaicin skin sprays relieve a variety of skin and scalp irritations including bug bites, but it appears they also repel bed bugs.
While capsaicin is already used as an organic repellent against a wide variety of insects in outdoor gardens, the potency of those products is too strong for indoor use or topical application. Greensations skin sprays are specifically designed for topical use, so the potency is just right. Although the products contain capsaicin, the amount is so low that there's no topical burning sensation for humans or animals, but insects are another story.
According to Niles Porter, Director of Sales for Greensations, these capsaicin based skin care formulas also deter many small insects.
"It sounds a little crazy, but it actually makes sense. Capsaicin affects the nerve endings topically in humans and large animals, but it takes a whole lot more to cause burning in large creatures than it does for a tiny insect. Insects are especially vulnerable to the effects of capsaicin because of their small size and the make-up of their bodies. We didn't design our products to repel bugs, but in most cases...they do," says Porter.
Capsaicin is known as a powerful anti-microbial that kills a wide range of germs and it's proven to repel insects, but most companies haven't researched the minimum levels at which capsaicin deters bugs. The Greensations team decided to test their products against bed bugs after an incident with their sales director.
"I was attending a trade show earlier this year. The hotel was nice, but I noticed I started itching after my first night's stay. I used my ThermaSkin immediately and it stopped my itching as always. I figured the itching had something to do with the change in climate, or maybe the material in the bed-sheets, but that evening I noticed what I thought were bites. Then I saw a tiny bug jumping from the bed. I cornered the bug by my suitcase, but it was too small to grab. I tried stepping on it, but it kept jumping around. Then I grabbed my ThermaSkin and sprayed the bug. It stopped jumping right away and became incapacitated. I found a few more bugs moving around the pillow and I sprayed them too. They couldn't get away fast enough. I checked the internet and found out they were bed bugs. I complained to the hotel and they gave me another room, but I sprayed down the bed and my body before I went to sleep, and I didn't have any new bites the next morning," adds Porter.
When Porter returned home, he asked the research team at Greensations to check out his findings. They gathered bed bugs through a scientific research supplier and tested each of their capsaicin skin sprays against them. The results were immediate. According to the manufacturer, the bed bugs were deterred from congregating on linens that had been sprayed.
"I knew it would work, but I had to see the sprays in action for myself. The capsaicin deterred the bed bugs even with the tiny amounts we have in our sprays. From now on when I travel, I'll be spraying everything down with my ThermaSkin as soon as I get in the hotel room," says Porter.