Bugs eradicated from building

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BRATTLEBORO -- Tenants of 125 Canal St. received the OK today to move back into their apartments after an exterminator eradicated bed bugs in their building.

The building, owned by Ron Gaida, had been infested with bed bugs for the past year. He recently received a $3,000 loan from the town to help pay for the eradication of the bugs.

On Monday and Tuesday, Abatem Exterminating, from Vernon, treated the building and all the soft furniture owned by the tenants.

It was first feared that the tenants' sofas, beds and easy chairs would have to be tossed in the Dumpster, but Abatem had a solution that didn't require their disposal.

Those items were put into a specially designed truck where they were heat treated at 140 degrees for about an hour, said Assistant Fire Chief Peter Lynch, who is also the town's health officer. The heat treatment killed the bed bugs, he said.

Clothes and linens were laundered in hot water and dried at temperatures around 160 degrees to guarantee they were free of the pests, said Lynch, who insisted every precaution was taken to insure the bed bugs didn't survive the treatment.

"We were confident all the laundry was clean when it came back," he said.

Technology such as heat treatment has changed the way Abatem's owner, Daniel Dente, does business.

"Years ago if you saw a bug, you just stepped on it," said Dente, who has been an exterminator for the past 20 years

The heated truck used to be an old moving truck, said Dente, which he and his team retrofitted for just this purpose. This was the fourth time it had been used to eliminate pests, he said.

The building was treated with chemicals approved by the Environmental Protection Agency to kill bed bugs, said Dente.

Lynch thanked Melinda Bussino, director of the Brattleboro Area Drop In Center, for her help in relocating the tenants while the building was being treated.

He also thanked Brian Bannon, the town's assistant health officer, and Byron Stookey, of the Brattleboro Area Affordable Housing Committee, for all their hard work.

Bob Audette can be reached at raudette@reformer.com, or at 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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