Bed bug prevention


Our startup Totem, from Helsinki, Finland is developing an autonomous bed bug control system. We have just built our product and would like to learn whether it would be useful for Airbnb hosts.

Bed bugs are a growing concern for travelers around the world. The Totem system was designed for hotels to prevent bed bugs and making travel safer, but Airbnb hosts might find this product also helpful. It helps taking care of your home and your guests, and gives assurance and control over a nasty problem.

Totem bed legs attract, trap and detect bed bugs before they cause you any harm, while fitting seamlessly in your interior.

I hope you find this interesting. What do you think?


This would be very good for the hostel market as well

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And this would not fit any of my 9 beds

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Looks great, would love to try. Does it come to Norway anytime soon?

Hi Jan, good to hear! If you are interested, please leave us your email at so we can keep you updated.

We are still trying to figure out how Airbnb hosts view the bed bug problem. How do you see the situation in Norway? Are hosts and travelers discussing the risk of getting bed bugs?

I think this is a good idea.It will benefit the hosts.

I tried to get to this link but it did not work.
I just got the scary notice below from one of the insurance agents I checked out for my insurance but did not use – informative and scary. It says a bed-bug infestation can last more than a year and cost more than $5,000.
I just contacted my insurance agent to see if I am covered. (Wow, this is a LONG link.

I got an immediate answer from my insurance agent, he said that this item was written by an insurance agent (his competitor) trying to drum up business. Said there was a threat but that this article exaggerates it.

My agent said that there are bed-bug endorsements available, but that they were very expensive and would add 24 to 40 percent more premium to my insurance policy.

He said he has not had any claims for bedbugs and to just make sure to clean well after each guest.

The best way to manage bedbugs is to assume you have them and govern yourself accordingly.

Hmm…if I assumed we had them I’d be having the heat treatment service out and freaking out. I don’t assume we have them. I just clean well and check for them regularly. We actually had bedbugs once in a long term tenant’s unit. It was a very expensive and stressful experience but the tenant let us know (they brought them home from somewhere) so we split the costs (they were actually moving out so we were just thankful they had let us know) and luckily they never got into any other units. Something I’d like to not repeat, that’s for sure.

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The link did not work I’d love to see more about this bed bug product Im in Vancouver BC Canada come visit &bring a few
English Bluff Beach …
South Delta BC !

Are you wanting someone to come visit and bring a few bedbugs?

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My program includes heat treatment. From my POV it’s a business expense. Zaps mice, bugs, you name it.

What is heat treatment? How hot does it need to be to kill a mouse? Sounds like arson to me! lol


It’s for bed bugs but I bet anything in the room dies.

How do they heat the room so hot? How hot? I must now use the Google machine and figure this out.


To answer my own question…

Heat penetrates into small crevices that cannot be inspected. Lethal temperatures for bed bugs range from 117 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 F. The walls of hot boxes reach a higher temperature than the suggested lethal range in order to permeate belongings placed within, killing all bed bugs in all their stages.

And the heater:

The Elite 8 is a 26,000 BTU bed bug heater that is capable of treating up to 400 square feet with 8′ ceilings. The heater has 8 elements drawing 8 amps per element, for a total of 64 amps at 120 volts. The heater can plug into standard wall outlets, or can be equipped with a 600v PTAC splitter, which will plug into higher-voltage through-the-wall heating and air-conditioning units, and convert into usable power for the heater. The optional splitter will power 4 of the 8 outlets on the heater. The Elite 8 is by far our most popular heater for standard hotel rooms.



You mean you just regularly do heat treatments?

Hi Arlene, The Greater Toronto Area has been under siege by bedbugs. Even public buildings doctors offices etc. So it’s war.

To prepare, every mattress and pillow is bedbug proof covered. The beds are steel frame. We put an adhesive strip under the post too. There may be dust, but no critters.

Each rotation we bomb with industrial bedbug zapper. We have no carpets or plush. Everything is washed on high, often with bleach, and dried 30 min. Bedding is stored separately in plastic.

Heat treatment requires that each room is heated to 140f and held for 10 min. It’s a small house so it’s easier. We do it at the end of the heavy season.

@justMandi Wow!! That is crazy. I had no idea Toronto was so bad for bedbugs.