Bernadette Waller and Rick Conroy have found their American dream on the lice-infested heads of Northeast Ohioans. The couple runs four locations of Bernadette’s Lice Removal Center, which they founded two years ago with one shop in Willoughby.
But a whole new frontier just opened up when they heard from a customer who runs a public housing facility in southern Ohio. Rumor has it that Bernadette’s enzyme-based Absolute Clear Head Treatment also gagged a roomful of bedbugs.
A persistent problem at hotels and public housing around the country, bedbugs bite humans in their quest for blood, leaving behind painful welts, much like politicians who campaign door-to-door.
Hoping to put the new theory to the test, Waller and Conroy placed an ad on Craigslist offering to pay for live bedbugs for research and testing. They found them at a West Side hotel, the name of which Bernadette’s has declined to disclose.
“We caught them by hand,” Conroy says. Back at they shop, they commenced their testing, wherein the object of the game was to get the bedbugs to eat their magic treats. These, in turn, eat the bugs from the inside. And did it work?
“It killed every one in the sample,” Conroy says.
Bernadette’s is now set to bottle Absolute Clear Professional Bed Bug Killer, which will hit the market this month. Additional applications are still being tested to aid the fight against sports-talk hosts.