NJDEP orders cleanup of banned pesticides used by Newark firm to treat bed bugs

by nobugsonme on July 14, 2010 · 7 comments

in bed bug treatment, bed bugs, new jersey, pesticides

Remember Josimar Ferreira, the owner of TVF Pest Control in Massachusetts who was charged with using banned pesticides to treat bed bugs and other pests?

Ferreira, who was said to be unlicensed and not ceritifed to apply pesticides in Massachusetts also owned firms in New York and New Jersey.

(It’s unclear to me whether he is licensed in New Jersey or New York.)

Now, the branch of TVF Pest Control based in Newark, NJ has been ordered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to carry out cleanup of the more than 70 NJ residences where the illegal pesticides were applied (most were in Essex, Hudson, and Union counties).

According to NJDEP – News Release 10/P65:

The public is advised to contact local or state health officials or the DEP if TVF has applied a liquid spray to control insects in your residence or building.

[Emphasis added.]

IMPORTANT: if you have had your home treated with a liquid spray by TVF, you should call the NJDEP at DEP at (609) 984-6568 (English) or (609) 984-6914 (Spanish/Español).

The news release continues:

An administrative order has been issued by the DEP directing Josimar Ferreira, owner and operator of TVF, based at 514 Market Street in Newark, and Javier Godoy, who made the pesticide in question, to immediately cease all applications using the two chemicals. It ordered the company to promptly begin a cleanup of all affected residences. That cleanup work has begun.

Sampling will be conducted by an independent contractor or the DEP to ensure proper cleaning.

A DEP investigation has determined residences in Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Harrison, Kearny, Perth Amboy and Linden, South River and Avenel were treated by TVF since October. The DEP is still working to determine if any other buildings or residences were serviced by that company with an improper pesticide mix.

Chemicals used by TVF not appropriate for indoor use are Malathion and Carbaryl. A third substance, Cypermethrin, also was used but can be legitimately applied indoors if done properly. The DEP is examining use of that substance by TVF.

It is somewhat disturbing to think that the company which already broke the law and applied illegal pesticides without regard for human safety is the same firm being asked to remove the potentially harmful pesticide residues.

I am somewhat — but not entirely — comforted by the statement from the NJDEP that

Sampling will be conducted by an independent contractor or the DEP to ensure proper cleaning.

The NJDEP warns consumers that

Malathion and Carbaryl are readily absorbed through the skin. Symptoms of exposure range from headaches and nausea and dizziness to muscle twitching and vomiting. If you experience any of those symptoms, you are advised to see a doctor immediately, according to the state Department of Health and Senior Services.

The NJDEP is also reaching out to the residents whose homes were (mis)treated by Ferreira’s firm; they are attempting to visit each of the known treatment sites, and notify the residents. Pamphlets are being provided in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

(Note: that they are only attempting to visit each residence to notify them of the dangers implies they won’t also be visiting all of the sites for sampling purposes after the hazardous materials are removed.)

Specific cleanup directions have been issued to TVF. Included is a directive that any mattresses or childrens’ toys that have been sprayed with the inappropriate pesticides must be thrown away and not reused. If you have questions, please call the DEP at (609) 984-6568, or Spanish-speaking persons should call (609) 984-6914; the state Department of Health at 609-826-4920; or the N.J. Poison Information and Education System at 1-800-222-1222.

This raises the question of who pays to replace mattresses and childrens’ toys which were sprayed.

The investigation began after Massachusetts officials notified the NJDEP of an EPA investigation of the company’s operations there.

It’s not clear if Ferreira will face fines in New Jersey.

I hope to hear soon about a comparable investigation in New York.

1 CiLecto July 14, 2010 at 2:55 pm

To add to the complexity, how many of this PCO’s clients will not come forward because:
– they don’t trust that the state will do right by them
– they are too busy to deal with this.
– they’ve moved away
– they are actually satisfied that they were able to be treated with something “special”. How many times have we heard people pining for certain products and damn the risks? Well, I’m sure someone out there is offering them. (Do a search of news archives and you’ll learn that during WWII, there was a home brew black market for a “desirable” insecticide. No doubt there is one now.)

2 paradigm July 14, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Did you see page 14 of the newest bed bath and beyond mailer that features dorm related anti bed bug products?

3 nobugsonme July 15, 2010 at 10:44 am

Good points, Ci!

4 CiLecto July 18, 2010 at 7:20 am

A little Googling reveals that “TVF” stands for ‘The Valentin Family”. The Valenting Family Incorporation [sic] bills itself as offering “Construction, Janitorial, Painting and Pest Control”. I wonder how good the rest of their services are.

5 destinyday July 21, 2010 at 3:08 pm

i went to bed and woke up with millios of bites down one side of my body but my husband has not gotten a singal one. are bed bugs picky on the kind of blood they get, or is it the heat that can get them, or could it be the fact that i am pregnant that is making them bite be and not him.

6 Malcolm July 23, 2010 at 3:53 am

@destinyday They often like females more, then males, and if they can’t get humans, then pets, then rodents, then whatever, then like wood or something (I’m not sure), then.. you get the picture.

7 nobugsonme July 23, 2010 at 11:56 pm

@destinyday and @Malcolm,

If someone does not have itchy bite marks, it does not mean bed bugs are not biting them. One study showed 30% of people do not react to bed bug bites. Often in a couple, only one person reacts.

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