Stephen Scian, owner of Marlton, N.J.-based Stephen's Exterminating, was tasked with eliminating a home that was heavily infested with cockroaches.
MARLTON, N.J. — In 15-plus years of doing pest control work, Stephen Scian, owner of Marlton, N.J.-based Stephen's Exterminating, has witnessed almost every type of pest infestation possible, but nothing could have prepared him for the cockroach infestation he encountered as part of the March 19 “Hoarding: Buried Alive” episode.
“This was the absolute worst I had seen,” Scian told PCT. “The best way I could ‘ballpark a figure’ is that in any 10-foot by 10-foot area there were hundreds of thousands of roaches. Every time I lifted a can or small box I would see 100 or 200 roaches, and there were countless items in this house.”
As explained on the show, the home's owner, identified only as Seymour, is a retired orthopedic surgeon who developed a roach infestation because of his extreme hoarding issues. The problem was so severe that he carried bugs with him on his clothing wherever he went, leaving them behind at supermarkets and stores.
Scian and service professional Bill McQuoid were called in to inspect and assess the situation, consult with Seymour and — once the cleanup was done — service the home for roaches, which included the use of IGRs, pyrethroid foggers and baits, and many crack and crevice treatments. “I explained to the homeowner that the best shot we had [at eliminating the infestation] was for him to get rid of [a lot of] stuff,” Scian said.
Once the majority of the items were removed, Scian and McQuoid went to work. He said they were able to get 75 percent of the infestation under control in the first visit; they also did a follow-up service. (Scian said that Seymour has since decided to move out of the house, so that has been the extent of Stephen's Exterminating’s involvement.)
How did the TV opportunity come about for Stephen's Exterminating? Scian is friends with Harry Allcroft, president of PuroClean Emergency Recovery Services, the company called in to do the cleanup. Allcroft recommended Scian to the TV program’s producers, and they shot the segment in December.
Scian founded Stephen's Exterminating in July 2000 after working for his brother’s landscaping business. He said Dow AgroSciences’ introduction of the Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination System in the mid-1990s piqued his interest in structural pest control. He employs two other technicians and an office assistant and the company has developed a stellar reputation providing services in the Marlton, N.J. area.