Local News

Fuquay-Varina pays to fumigate home

Posted August 23, 2010 2:16 p.m. EDT
Updated August 23, 2010 6:18 p.m. EDT

A tent covers the home at 506 Longfellow Street in Fuquay-Varina.

— The roach problem was so bad at a Fuquay-Varina property that the entire home was covered with a tent Monday to allow fumigation.

The town took control of 506 Longfellow Street after more than a year of negotiations with the owner about various code violations, including a roach infestation and holes in the floor, a spokeswoman said.

Town inspectors identified unsafe living conditions at the home in March 2009 and asked the owner to bring the property into compliance. When he did not, the town took over.

The owner, Wade McIver, lives in New Jersey.

"We have worked with owner of the home for the last 18 months and we haven't gotten anywhere, so the town of Fuquay-Varina has taken it upon themselves to try and make the property safe," said Susan Weiss, public information officer for the town.

Next-door neighbor Johnette Hunter said she she called town officials after she noticed thousands of cockroaches from the rental home swarming homes and cars and crawling down the street.

"The people's living conditions were bad. I thought that as human beings they deserved a better chance of living," she said.

Town staff moved the two people living at the home to a safer, more sanitary location and began treating the property for insects on Monday, Weiss said.

Mel Shaffer's pest control team sealed the house inside a white tent to allow for intense fumigation and to prevent the spread of the infestation to neighboring properties.

"I'll introduce the gas into the house, then it just sits for 24 hours. At the end of the 24 hours, anything left under that tarp is dead," Shaffer said.

The enterprise is expected to take about five days and cost Fuquay-Varina about $5,000. After the treatment is complete, the town will place a lien on the property to try to recoup some of those costs, Weiss said.