“The West Wing” episode looked at how termites could be eradicated from the White House. It also included multiple discussions on the threat of termite infestations, destruction that termites can cause, and concern about structural damage and disturbances that liquid termiticides may cause. Like the Clinton administration’s decision in 1998, “The West Wing” chose to eliminate the termites by selecting the Sentricon System.
In February 1998, termites were found to have entered the White House through a small crack in the foundation and an area with damaged wood. Washington, D.C.-based American Pest Management, in conjunction with General Services Administration, the National Park Service and Dow AgroSciences, installed the Sentricon System in April 1998 at the White House to eliminate swarming termites and protect the structure.
“We knew that protecting the White House has made a positive impact, but we never considered it ‘Hollywood material’,” said Jay Nixon, president of American Pest Management. Nixon is also a board certified entomologist and past president of the National Pest Management Association. “We’re pleased with how well the episode seemed to convey the real life scenario.” With 80 years of pest management success, Nixon and American Pest Management have played a prominent role in Washington, D.C. and are the oldest pest management company in the area. In addition, American Pest Management is responsible for the pest control training of U.S. embassy personnel worldwide.
The Sentricon System was mentioned by name several times throughout the episode, including dialogue on its effectiveness and use of RecruitTM termite bait to eliminate termite colonies. “We’re honored that NBC viewed the protection of one of our nation’s most famous structures to be worthy of a plot line in a hit television show,” said John Kalthoff, marketing manager for the Sentricon System. “It is both with pride and pleasure that the Sentricon System was selected for use at the White House, and we’re pleased that some of the process to protect it was carried through in this episode.”
The Sentricon System protects other national treasures, including the Statue of Liberty, Mount Vernon and The Alamo. American Pest Management is upgrading the White House property to ESPTM technology to monitor for termite activity electronically.