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Did the bedbugs bite? Remedies' claims may be bogus

After shooting down ad claims for bedbug and lice treatments, the FTC settles 2 cases for more than $4.6 million. Plus: Where to find information you can trust.

By Mitch Lipka Jul 18, 2013 10:58AM

Couple Entering a Hotel Room © Fuse/Getty ImagesThe idea of using natural ingredients to fend off bedbugs and head lice might sound appealing, particularly to those who would prefer to avoid toxic chemicals in their battle against icky things that feast on people.

So, when consumers saw ads that the nontoxic concoction was created for the Army, recognized by Department of Agriculture as the top bio-based pesticide, and noted that the Environmental Protection Agency recommended that people avoid chemicals to fight bedbugs, you could see how the claims could make the product quite alluring.

Unfortunately, though, the claims by the marketers of the Best Yet cedar-oil treatments weren't true, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC last year sued those behind the Best Yet brand as well as those behind the Rest Easy brand, which was sold at Bed Bath & Beyond, Walgreens, and Big Lots. Rest Easy's principals settled their case last year.

However, some of those behind Best Yet, which cost nearly $30 for a quart of its potion and more than $3,000 for a hotel-sized package, just settled, the FTC said.

The FTC said the claims about the product could not be supported, claims about scientific studies were false, claims that the natural treatments were more effective than chemical ones were false, the claims about the EPA were false, and so were those about the Army and the Department of Agriculture.

Bottom line: The government said pretty much everything in the ads was made up.

Under the settlement, a judge imposed a $4.6 million judgment against the company owner Dave Glassel, who apparently is bankrupt. And the company, Chemical Free Solutions,  was ordered to pay more than $185,000, but can't, the FTC said.
But it is forbidden to claim all that it previously did about its products unless it has "competent and scientific evidence to make the claims."

Additional defendants in the case are still facing FTC charges, including Springtech 77376, Cedar Oil Technologies, and Cedarcide Industries.

The FTC has a page of tips for those who are concerned about bedbugs or are dealing with an infestation.

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