Vikane fumigation for bed bugs successful in New Jersey

by jessinchicago on May 21, 2007 · 12 comments

in bed bug treatment, bed bugs, pesticides, usa, vikane

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.

For more about Vikane, see our FAQ.

1 nightshirt May 21, 2007 at 12:48 pm

just wondering what the cost was for that whole process and how large a building it is? how many apartments?

2 BBsBlow May 21, 2007 at 2:29 pm

I wish I knew the town where the apartment building was, or am I missing something and it’s mentioned. “North Jersey” is a very broad area.

3 nobugsonme May 21, 2007 at 4:07 pm

Hi Anonymous,
I know it is an expensive process, but it would be interested to know how much.

Jess, thanks for the article and commentary!

I hate to say it, but whenever I’ve heard of these situations before, where tenants must spend at least a few nights in other accommodation (in this case a week), I wonder if the alternate accommodation is also treated somehow. In this case it isn’t specified, but often reports of Vikane treatments mention the tenants spending several nights in a local hotel. This may not be the situation here, but I do worry about those hotels and their future guests.

4 Winston O. Buggy May 21, 2007 at 7:26 pm

Oh man I hate to say this but while Vikane is certainly a usefull tool, it can not be used in a number of cases and after all the expense their is no residual life. So you have to
practice eternal vigilance which I would think after an experience like this most
of the occupants would.

5 nobugsonme May 21, 2007 at 7:38 pm

… except that one new tenant can move in and, boom!

It starts again.

6 jessinchicago May 21, 2007 at 8:15 pm

I know. Scary, right?

I swear, every time I find something positive, you guys KILL IT!!!!!!

*kidding, of course*


7 nyjammin May 21, 2007 at 8:44 pm

Also, what if someone has a guest that brings them in and then that apartment gets bbs. The landlord should be willing to do followups with the tenants and educate the tenants for future infestation control.

8 jessinchicago May 21, 2007 at 9:52 pm

Hey Anon-

Yes, the smartest thing for this property owner to do is educate tenants and work with a PCO to form a prevention/treatment plan for the future. He may have done that already, considering the large amount of money he probably invested in the Vikane treatment. We don’t know what his future plans are, or what he’s chosen to do. All we have is the information in the article.

I think this was probably an unmanageable infestation. We rarely hear PCOs use the term “heavily infested.” It seems they like to keep a good perspective, and when they say “heavy,” it’s probably of proportions we can only imagine (or have nightmares about). I have a feeling it was along the lines of either Vikane or burn the building to the ground, if you know what I mean. Now that the building is bug-free, the property manager and tenants can start from scratch- hopefully with a plan.

9 bugbasher February 5, 2008 at 8:14 am

Hats off to that LL ! He or she deserves a big handshake.You don’t see many that care for their tenants at all,much less going to such a financial extreme as this. I would vote for this person for president, if they ran.I know that building will only have a vacancy if someone passes away,I know I’d never leave. LL , you should be very proud of yourself.

10 chrissyalvarez February 27, 2008 at 8:14 pm

That sounds like a dream come true, NO BEDBUGS!!!!!! These bugs are demons sent from HELL!!!!!!!

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