Update on the bed bug battle at 125 Canal St., Brattleboro, Vermont

by nobugsonme on October 22, 2009

in bed bug treatment, bed bugs, landlords and tenants, money

More on the multi-unit building in Brattleboro, Vermont where landlord Ron Gaida took out a $3000 loan from the town to help pay for bed bug treatment.

The Brattleboro Reformer cites Daniel Dente, owner of Vernon, Vermont PCO firm Abatem as saying 125 Canal Street has now been “treated with chemicals approved by the Environmental Protection Agency to kill bed bugs.”

Tenants have returned home.

It is not clear from the article whether there will be any follow-up treatments or inspections. I hope there will be — of course, the chemicals are approved by the EPA for use on bed bugs, but it does not mean they normally kill all the bed bugs in one application.

Dealing with bed bugs living in furniture may help speed the process of treatment. In addition to chemical treatment of the building, The Reformer also reports that the tenants had sofas, beds, and easy chairs treated in Abatem’s heat truck:

Those items were put into a specially designed truck where they were heat treated at 140 degrees for about an hour, said Assistant Fire Chief Peter Lynch, who is also the town’s health officer. The heat treatment killed the bed bugs, he said.

Clothes and linens were laundered in hot water and dried at temperatures around 160 degrees to guarantee they were free of the pests, said Lynch, who insisted every precaution was taken to insure the bed bugs didn’t survive the treatment.

“We were confident all the laundry was clean when it came back,” he said.

The way things are going elsewhere, Peter Lynch may yet have to deal with bed bugs in both his capacity as Fire Chief and as health officer. Let’s hope not!

Though thermal trucks are not a novel idea (Adams Pest in MN has a thermal trailer pictured here), Abatem’s truck was retrofitted by the company:

The heated truck used to be an old moving truck, said Dente, which he and his team retrofitted for just this purpose. This was the fourth time it had been used to eliminate pests, he said.

Until every home has a bed bug sauna, thermal trucks are something we’d like to see a lot more of.

Good luck to Ron Gaida, his tenants, and the team that did their treatment. I truly hope the problem there is solved — or at least close to being solved.


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