Crookston — Unfortunately, bed bugs are in the headlines these days more than they have been for many years. But for one couple, the pesky critters gave birth to an entrepreneurial idea that has since spurred not only a growing business venture, but an award-winning one.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar saw the idea in action firsthand over the weekend when she met with Corey and Sue Westrum to hear about their experience with the IDEA Competition and with their business, Insect Inferno (, the bed-bug infestation remedy.  The Westrums were a previous IDEA Competition winner, meaning they were awarded $10,000 to invest in efforts to further their business. The University of Minnesota, Crookston has been a sponsor of the IDEA Competition ( initiative since it first launched more than three years ago. When the Westrums were named one of the previous winners, they were presented their award by UMC Chancellor Chuck Casey.

Michelle Landsverk, IDEA Competition project coordinator, extended an invitation to all of the IDEA partners to be part of the Saturday meeting, which was at the Robert Johnson farm shop just outside of Clearbrook.  Corey Westrum had one of the Insect Inferno trailers inside the shop, and he and Sue were able to show Klobuchar what Insect Inferno is all about.