Bell Environmental takes our customers’ and the public’s safety very seriously.  We want to make the people aware that they should not try dangerous do it yourself solutions to eliminate pests, and that “over the counter” chemicals can be quite hazardous.

How serious are the problems that do it yourself treatments with consumer products can cause?  Last week in New York City a building caught fire and partially collapsed when over 20 bug bombs (as well as spray cans of pesticides) exploded. The person trying to get rid of the insect problem apparently set off 24 bug bombs (when one bomb is powerful enough for 800 square feet, and there’s no way a small apartment was 32,000 square feet) and the following day set off another 24, this time in proximity to a pilot light from her stove.  It’s unclear (or unknown) what the target pest was, but we do point out that foggers are ineffective for and not recommended for use against bed bugs, or most other insects.  These bombs are dangerous!  The University of Kentucky points out “there have been a number of house fires involving insect foggers when homeowners neglected to extinguish pilot lights, cigarettes, etc.

As a result of these actions, there was a blast and fire that injured 12 people, 3 critically.  The whole building was evacuated and the residents are now without homes. The New York Times detailed:

An explosion caused by the improper use of an insecticide ripped through a beauty parlor in Chinatown on Thursday afternoon, causing a partial collapse of the building and a fire, and injuring eight occupants, three of them critically, the authorities said. The blast, which was powerful enough to blow out windows on the first three floors of the five-story tenement building at 17 Pike Street, was set off by aerosol insecticide foggers commonly referred to as bug bombs, according a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation. The foggers, which release all of their contents at once, are often used to kill major infestations of cockroaches and other insects in homes and businesses. But they are highly flammable.  Please click here to continue reading the article.

This is a big story that was reported on television including News 4 New York, WABC 7 Eyewitness News, and NY1; in other major newspapers such as The NY Daily News and New York Post; on national newswires; on NYC websites such as DNAinfo, and on news radio 1010 WINS and WCBS 880.

We send our condolences to the victms and their families. We wish the victims a speedy recovery and hope they can resume normal lives as quickly as possible.  We recently warned that unsafe pest control practices, even those performed by professionals, can burn homes down and risk people’s lives.  We reiterate our hope that people stop taking chances on their pest control and use only professionals that offer safe and effective solutions.