Links and other minor updates 7/8/2013
Hopelessnomo was kind enough to point me to the article “Royal Fumigation Tackles Challenging Bed Bug Infestation” from Pest Control Technology online (8 May 2007), which highlights the successful sulfuryl fluoride fumigation of an apartment building in Northern New Jersey which was “highly infested” with bed bugs. This article gives some insight into Vikane fumigation procedures:
The team of professional technicians spent approximately 12 hours sealing the building. Then the area was cordoned off and the gas was shot in for an exposure period of 24 hours. At the end of the exposure period, [the fumigation company] completed a nine-hour aeration with fans.
After a two days, the building was turned back over to the property manager, who brought in professional cleaners to clean before allowing tenants entrance to the property. So, that’s a grand total of less than a week to rid an entire building of a heavy bedbug infestation. Nice.
Two things amaze me about this fumigation. First is the level of caution taken by a multitude of interested parties, including Royal Fumigation, the company hired to tackle the task; representatives of Dow Agrosciences, the company which manufactures Vikane; the State of New Jersey EPA; and of course, the tenants and property manager of the building:
“Planning is critical,” noted John Achzet, Royal’s Vice President of Operations. During the preparation process, the company communicated with local police, fire departments, emergency aid workers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. “Marty Morgan of Dow Agrosciences was right there with us, providing [us] with the kind of experience and knowledge about the fumigant that made this a precision operation.”
Sounds like Vikane fumigation is a little more complicated and involved than I had imagined. It’s comforting to know that so many groups were able to collaborate to orchestrate a successful extermination. They’re paving the path for the future.
The second thing that amazes (and inspires!) me is the attitude of the property owner, who, apparently, showed incredible compassion and concern not only for those involved in the sulfuryl fluoride fumigation process, but for his tenants who were dealing with bed bugs:
“Getting all the components together to make this work was a challenge,” said George Milyo, manager, Royal Fumigation. “A great help to us was the property owner’s cooperation. The property manager went out of his way to take care of the tenants and support us, from arranging for tenant housing to educating them on how to prepare their apartment units for the building fumigation.”
It’s so important that property managers, building owners and landlords get educated about bed bugs and actively involved in treatment efforts. And it’s high time to get over the “blame game,” folks. At this point, it doesn’t matter WHERE the bedbugs came from or WHO brought them in. It sounds to me like this building owner sucked it up and took responsibility for his property, which is probably the smartest and most financially sound decision he could have made. While others are refusing to pay for relatively cheap PCO treatments (and allowing bedbugs to spread throughout their buildings), this guy played it smart: Vikane the building, solve the problem, game over. Good for him, and good for his (lucky) tenants.