]ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Now that Extermipest’s Fumigation has serviced Touched by an Angel Ministries’ Morning Star Shelter, residents are free to say, “Good night, Don’t let the bed bugs bite” without worry. The 44-room facility on 62nd Avenue North (off of US 19) that provides transitional and emergency housing for 60 needy people became infested with bed bugs from some of the used furniture donated to the charity.
It became necessary to seek help when guests complained of skin irritation. “We try to provide a safe place for people and help them get a job so they can pay their own way,” says Pastor Jeffery Polhill, President of Touched by an Angel Ministry. “It’s hard for them to be productive when they wake up with welts and itching from bed bug bites,” adds Pastor Polhill.
Extermipest got involved when they learned of the failed attempts with traditional treatments. “We have tried bug spray and bug bombs with no success. The bed bugs kept coming back,” says George Jackson, Case Manager and Resident at the shelter. Extermipest Owner and Certified Operator Brian Hawkins says, “This building is too large to get 100% coverage without the use of fumigation.”
“We know our fumigation products are effective in these situations, so we thought helping this ministry would be a good use of our resources,” adds Larry Riggs, Director of Training and Stewardship for Ensystex's Zythor Gas Fumigant. Ensystex provided the gas used for this fumigation.
Crews from Extermipest and Bingham’s Professional Pest Management placed 375,000 cubic feet of tarps on the two-story apartment complex turned shelter Friday, making it look like a giant multi-colored tent that could be seen from US 19 a few blocks away.
Extermipest’s Brian Hawkins, along with Ensystex's Larry Riggs, administered two cylinders of the gas. Brian remained on property throughout the night to monitor gas levels, inspect for envelope integrity, and protect the building from intruders.
The residents were able to return to their pest-free homes Saturday evening after the tarps had been removed and all the gas had been exhausted. “The good thing about exterminating pests this way is there is no residue,” says Brian Hawkins. “While spray application can also be effective, it does leave a residue which with residents can come in contact. Plus, it’s impossible to find the location of all infestation in a building this size. The gas gets everywhere, and once it’s done its job and replaced with fresh air, it’s gone – along with the bed bugs.”