Cedarcide Industries manufactures and sells a line of organic pesticides all over the country.
One product, "Best Yet", is a cedar oil-based liquid, purported to treat and prevent bed bug and head lice infestations.
The Federal Trade Commission filed suit against the Spring, Texas company, accusing them of deceptive advertising. Matthew Jones, a part of Cedarcide's new management team, said he was surprised.
"It's something that we're taking very seriously and looking forward to resolving and working very closely with the FTC to comply with what they've asked of us," Jones said.
The FTC said Cedarcide made unsupported and false claims that scientific studies prove "Best Yet" is more effective at stopping and preventing bed bug infestations than synthetic pesticides. Jones admitted he knows of no scientific studies that can back that claim up.
"I haven't seen anything that directly compares synthetic to organic or natural," he said.
According to the FTC, Cedarcide said "Best Yet" was invented for the US Army at the request of the US Department of Agriculture.
"I don't know that it was invented for the Army," Jones said. "I do know that it's being used by multiple branches of the service right now."
Jones said the company does have test results from various sources showing "Best Yet" is effective at treating bed bugs and head lice.
"We don't have, to my knowledge, any consumer complaints," Jones said.
Not so, according to the Better Business Bureau.
"Cedarcide has an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston," BBB's Monica Russo said.
"I did not know that," Jones said about the bureau's "F" rating. "If it's from three years ago, that's beyond my scope of management so I did not know that."
Most of the BBB complaints deal with consumers who are unhappy with the product and have problems returning it for a refund.
"A lot of them are saying it doesn't work. It made them sick; their family members sick; their pets sick," Russo said. "Those were the majority of the complaints we saw."
Jones said new quality control measures are now in place.
"Anybody that's willing to come in and try it out and we're happy to return your money if you don't like the product," he said.