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Southerland says it has first anti-bedbug mattress set

Claims system also eliminates dust mites, allergens

Loreen Epp, David Perry -- Furniture Today, April 25, 2011

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Independent bedding producer Southerland is introducing what it says is the first mattress and foundation system designed to eliminate bedbugs, dust mites and their allergens.

 SoutherlandSoutherland’s David Corbin, left, and Joseph Latino and Gus Carey of Allergy Technologies show demonstration units for the bedding company’s new Total Protection Sleep System, which is said to eliminate bedbugs.

The producer, based here, has teamed with Allergy Technologies, the maker of ActiveGuard Mattress Liners, on the new patent-pending Southerland Total Protection Sleep System. It will be available to retailers in late spring.

The system uses proprietary, patented ActiveGuard technology, which includes a widely used insecticide to kill bedbugs and dust mites on contact. This active approach to the growing bedbug problem gives the company an edge in the market, Southerland officials said.

The new product represents one of Southerland's moves to aggressively grow its business, according to David Corbin, co-president. Another part of that strategy was revealed recently when Southerland was named the mattress licensee for the Sharper Image.

Corbin said both ventures demonstrate that Southerland, which became an Employee Stock Ownership Plan-owned company a year ago, is executing on its vision to develop a stable of brands with consumer-driven product development programs.

He said the Total Protection System is the first mattress and box spring system in the country to proactively address bedbug and dust mite issues. The system, available through Southerland's contract sales channel and its retail store channel, is made from the same fabric used in ActiveGuard, the only EPA-registered and proven effective bedding product that kills new bedbug infestations and continues to provide protection against them, according to Corbin.

"Bedbugs and dust mites provide serious concerns and health issues," he said, "and our increasingly mobile lifestyles have made the threat of infestation greater than ever. The Southerland Total Protection Sleep System is one of the most proactive and effective steps consumers can take to conveniently prevent the infestation of bedbugs or dust mites in their bedding."

Added Gus Carey, the founder of Allergy Technologies: "Never before has there been a sleep system that offers the peace of mind like Total Protection. Southerland has taken the power of ActiveGuard, along with years of our testing, and developed a consumer bedding product that should be welcomed with open arms, especially with the current state of bedbugs in our country."

He said ActiveGuard has been extensively tested on a number of bedbug strains by research entomologists, and is one of the few bedbug products with both published lab and field data.

Three products are offered as part of the Total Protection Sleep System. The "good" solution features a fabric impregnated with the insecticide that is used as the dust cover on the foundation. The "better" product adds the fabric to the bottom of the mattress. The "best" product is the ActiveGuard Mattress Liner, an odorless, breathable fitted sheet.

Consumers can assemble the bedbug protection system they need with those three products, Corbin said. Retail pricing is yet to be determined, the company said.

"The option to select a Total Protection Sleep System will allow consumers to choose the quality Southerland bedding solution that's right for them," he said. "Total Protection mattresses and foundations provide a proactive and effective way to continuously eliminate bedbugs, delivering a new and unparalleled level of protection against bedbugs, dust mites and their allergens, which may be particularly appealing to consumers with asthma, eczema or respiratory allergies."

The Southerland Total Protection Sleep System with ActiveGuard fabric is soft, breathable and odorless, providing a comfortable and restful night of sleep, officials said.

"Southerland's new Total Protection Sleep System with ActiveGuard makes an exceptional preventive tool in the battle against bedbugs," said Joseph Latino, director of sales and marketing for Allergy Technologies. "Coupling the Total Protection Sleep System with ActiveGuard mattress liners represents the most formidable proactive bedbug product offering available in the industry."

Allergy Technologies is a national sponsor of the National Pest Management Assn.'s 2011 Bedbug Workshop Series, being held in 15 U.S. cities. Allergy Technologies will introduce the new Southerland Total Protection Sleep System on the tour, and also will present it to universities, hotels, shelters and pest management professionals.

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