Bedbugs: Freeze 'em, bake 'em, get rid of them

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Bedbugs: Freeze 'em, bake 'em, get rid of them

 

BY ABBOTT KOLOFF • GANNETT NEW JERSEY • NOVEMBER 22, 2009

MORRISTOWN — Mayor Donald Cresitello, in his waning days in office, says he's looking into ways to kill bedbugs infesting a Morristown Housing Authority building by either cooking them or freezing them. Cresitello said last week that two companies have contacted him about ways to eradicate bedbugs at 31 Early St., a 100-unit senior housing building operated by the housing authority.

He said one company, On Site Energy of Long Island, N.Y., proposes heating the inside of the building to 130 degrees for hours to melt the insects' protective skin. The other, Bell Environmental Services of Parsippany, would use dry ice to freeze the bugs and destroy their cellular structure.

"They just need to commit the dollars to get it done," Cresitello said of the housing authority, adding that either of the methods involved could cost between $80,000 and $100,000 to treat the entire building.

Cresitello said he also contacted U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which funds the housing authority, in an effort to procure additional money, if needed, to eradicate the bedbugs.

Marion Sally, executive director of the Morristown Housing Authority, responded last week by saying Cresitello's characterization of the situation was "overblown," with just eight of 100 housing units affected. And while the mayor talked last week about alternative methods of killing bedbugs, she said he hadn't made those suggestions to her.

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