Traditionally, Vikane gas (sulfuryl fluoride) has been used in two ways in the war against bed bugs: to treat a full structure (from a single-family house to a massive hotel), or to treat belongings and furniture in an enclosed space, otherwise known as commodity fumigation. It can be used to treat all kinds of belongings including electronics, vinyl records, art objects, computers, musical instruments, and so on, without leaving a residue on the items.
Commodity fumigation is often used by people who are moving (to avoid moving bed bugs to the new home). And in many cases, it is employed on the contents of an apartment while the structure itself is treated with traditional sprays, dusts, steam, etc.
Using existing services, a consumer typically has to independently arrange for the commodity fumigation, a moving service with a truck (to get items to and from the fumigator), a pest control firm to treat the home (if resident is not moving), and (in many cases) a canine scent detection team.
A new service from Bed Bug Fumigation Specialists is designed to be more affordable and more practical than off-site fumigation.
Gary Geiger, founder and CEO of Bed Bug Fumigation Specialists (BBFS), has now developed the Fume Cube (SM, patent pending) for on-site fumigation, an idea which will be be unveiled to 800 building managers at the Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums (CNYC) Housing Conference today (11/14). The Fume Cube sits on a building’s roof or in the courtyard behind the building, so that belongings and furniture do not need to be moved off-site for fumigation.
I spoke to Gary about the package the firm is offering. It will bring together the following features:
- On-site, year-round commodity fumigation in the Fume Cube, currently performed by one of seven licensed and experienced fumigators (each with 1000+ fumigations under their belt);
- Canine scent detection to screen the building, identify harborages in the residence, clear the treated contents after they have been gassed with Vikane, and to again search the unit 30 days after treatment (note: we are told that all BBFS canine handlers attempt to visually verify dog alerts, as we strongly recommend in Bedbugger.com’s FAQ about canine scent detection);
- Treatment of infested units by PCOs, with retreatment after 7 days;
- Movers who have received 6 hours of training by BBFS in how to deal with infested items (optional, if residents can’t or do not want to move their own contents to the Fume Cube);
- Contractor to do repairs and caulking (to minimize spread of bed bugs within the building) and painting (optional);
- 90 day warranty.
The fumigation structure is leased to the building; the prototype is 8’x12′ with an 8′ ceiling, but larger and smaller sizes are an option. An 8’x12′ Fume Cube would hold the contents of a 1000 square foot apartment. Heaters keep the chamber in the 70-80 F range, allowing for year-round treatment.
This set-up may be especially appealing to building owners and cooperative and condominium managers aiming to detect and get rid of bed bugs in all infested units. The Fume Cube can even be used to treat the belongings of anyone newly moving into a building, to prevent infestations.
Ideally, multi-unit buildings should be inspected and treated as a whole, but as we know, this is a hard sell in many cases. If individual consumers approach BBFS about this service, the firm will then contact the building manager, ideally arranging to search the whole building and bring the Fume Cube on-site. If the management does not allow for this, individuals may still arrange for treatment and to have their belongings fumigated off-site by BBFS (at a higher cost).
This service may also appeal to those who operate stores, shelters, libraries, and other locations where infestations are detected.
The cost for treating a single apartment with a few bedrooms in New York City is $1575, which includes Vikane fumigation of an 8’x12′ Fume Cube, pest control treatment of the unit, the canine inspection and follow-up inspection, and the 90-day warranty. (Movers, caulking, and other extras are not included.)
The Fume Cube service is available in New York City, New Jersey (and much of the northeast), Washington D.C., Cincinnati, Indiana, and Florida. It will be available in Chicago next year.