A fire alarm rang out in an historic apartment building in Portland, Maine on Wednesday. Firefighters rushed to the scene and the building was evacuated.
Turns out there was no actual smoke — someone was just setting off a bomb for bed bugs.
According to BDN Maine:
Portland firefighters responded to a fire alarm and evacuated a historic apartment building late Wednesday afternoon, but it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity: The alarm was apparently pulled when somebody at the site mistook the cloud of a bedbug bomb as smoke from a fire.
Three Portland Fire Department trucks could be seen at or near the 1867 North School at 248 Congress St. until just after 5 p.m. Wednesday, but after clearing the structure, which about 30 years ago was converted for use as an apartment building for the elderly, firefighters reportedly determined there was no fire at the site.
What’s really interesting here, from our perspective, is that the BDN writer, Seth Koenig, mentions the recent study by Susan Jones and Joshua Bryant of Ohio State University (described in this post) that showed bug bombs were not really effective in treating bed bugs (something bed bug experts have of course been telling us for many years — see our 2007 FAQ on bombs and foggers).
The good news is, word is getting around.
But not quite fast enough.
Hopefully someone has warned the residents who set off the bomb that they likely still have bed bugs, and need to try more effective treatment methods.
Do you tell everyone you know that bug bombs/foggers should not be used for bed bugs — even if the label states the product is for treating bed bugs?
Until we somehow get these products off the shelf, we have to work on spreading knowledge.