ThermalStrike is a small Chicago-based company, dedicated to empowering people in the fight against bed bugs. We provide advanced heat treatment containers that are effective, but also affordable.
In December 2008, Mike, an electrical engineer, took his wife and children on a weekend holiday to Mexico. It was over 5 months later, in May 2009, that Mike discovered he had brought bed bugs home. Like many people who have been victims of a bed bug infestation, Mike and his family went through a long and terrible process of eradicating bed bugs. They spent a lot of time waiting between professional treatments. Mike looked for products that could help make things faster, or easier, but soon grew frustrated with the lack of consumer options on the market. It took months before Mike and his family were finally bed bug free. Mike realized that he wouldn't find the type of product he wanted, because nobody had made one yet.
In 2010, Mike would leave his engineering management position to found a startup called Bed Bug Boxes. Several patents later, they started selling their first product: the ThermalStrike Commuter. In 2011, the company would be established as ThermalStrike.
From a one-man startup, ThermalStrike has grown to a dedicated team, with national distribution to both consumers and industry.
Our products are proudly assembled in South Haven, Michigan, USA.
by Mike Lindsey, Founder and Chief Engineer of ThermalStrike
You might not understand this statement if you haven’t experienced it, but an infestation can change your life in many ways. The hardships of bed bugs take on many forms at different level including mental, physical, and financial distress.
In our case the infestation started just after Christmas 2008 – a time when most American’s didn’t even believe bed bugs were real. One of the creeper things about bed bugs is the fact that you don't always know that you have them. Since only half the population reacts to the bite and the bugs ability to stay hidden, our bed bugs went unnoticed for almost six months. We had dismissed my wife’s bites as spider bites, but they seemed to be coming more frequent. On Memorial Day, however, we returned from camping and found them.
Bed bugs eat every 7-10 days, since we were gone for a week, they were hungry. We had driven home 12 hours and just got the kids to bed. Already exhausted, we started flicking through channels when the first bug came crawling over the sheets. I killed it, but moments later a second one was coming. Stripping back the sheets and looking closely at the box spring, we found not one, but a full blown infestation.
Once I caught one, I compared it to the images on the internet. The next day we called exterminators to find out that it would be almost two weeks before we could get treatment - and another four to six week until we'd likely be bug free.When you have bed bugs, there's not much you can do besides lie as bait. You wake up swearing something is crawling on you, but usually it's nothing. Generally family and friends are supportive, but distance themselves.
Like many others, we received our list of how to prep our house for treatment. There were over 21 full size garbage bags full of clothes, linens, and towels that needed to be treated. Our mattress was encased and we were warned to be cautious of ripping or taking off the cover until over a year had passed or the nightmare could begin again. Going to sleep on plastic became a daily reminder of what we had gone through.
By 2010 people were beginning to become aware of bed bugs as the US infestation was growing. On a flight out to my grandfather’s funeral, I sat next to a couple who casually asked me what I do for a living.
The first thing that came to mind was, “I was on the front-line in the war against bed bugs."
Within the next two months, I would graduate with my MBA and leave my engineering job. Combining my personal experiences with bed bugs as well as the engineering and business aptitudes, I studied how people got bed bugs and what they needed. I worked with bed bug treatments in low income housing. I developed prototypes. ThermalStrike luggage was the first step – enabling myself and others to begin traveling again.
ThermalStrike has been the first job where people have thanked me for changing their lives.