Fumigating a 110-unit apartment complex to remove a massive bed bug infestation is a big undertaking, one that requires months of planning. The Stockton, CA branch of Clark Pest Control just completed such a fumigation job at downtown Stockton’s five-story Franco Center, which currently houses 99 residents, primarily low-income seniors.
It took 28 workers several hours on Tuesday, September 1 to assemble the 38 blue-and-yellow 45’x60’ tarps into an enclosure large enough to contain the Franco Center, its unwanted population of bed bugs and cockroaches, and the 1.6 million cubic feet of fumigant gas (sulfuryl fluoride) needed to kill them. Once the tenting was in place, the fumigant was introduced, and two days later, giant fans were turned on to air the building out (the fumigant Clark Pest Control uses to control pests is odorless and leaves no residue) and the tenting was removed.
By the weekend, residents – housed elsewhere at the expense of the building’s new owners, WNC Inc. and Community Preservation Partners – were able to move back in, and two weeks after the tents came down, service dogs, trained to sniff out bed bugs, inspected the Franco Center room by room, no bed bug activity was detected.
Fumigating any building takes pre-planning, and when it’s one as large as Franco Center, that planning will take several months. The work was subcontracted to Murrieta, CA-based Your Way Fumigation with Clark Stockton branch’s WDO Service Manager Larry Bragg supervising, but Clark Pest Control staffers handled the logistics, which included partnering with the Franco Center’s owners to make sure that every resident understood what was happening, and what those residents’ part was in making the fumigation a success along with how to keep bed bugs from being reintroduced to the building.
“A lot of the residents thanked Clark for what we did,” Bragg said, “and some were in tears, stating it’s the first time in a long time that they could get a good night’s rest.”
As Bragg and Clark Pest Control Corporate Technical Director Darren Van Steenwyk both stated later, it was a job with a lot of moving parts, one that required a lot of hands-on detail work and expertise. The residents had been complaining about bed bugs and cockroaches and were clamoring for relief for some time. When the Franco Center’s new owners took over the building, they knew who to call.
“Clark, We Need You” is more than an advertising tagline – it’s a call to take care of business with pests.