Riverview West Apartments in Millville Gets Bed Bug Extermination
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
MILLVILLE - Residents of Riverview West apartments are speaking
out against negative rumors that their building is infested with
bedbugs and are spreading outside the facility.
The Millville Housing Authority-run housing had reports of bedbugs
in the past, and though the bugs were not discovered in all of the
apartments, the housing authority has mobilized its efforts to
exterminated bedbugs in the entire building.
An extensive "room packaging" and extermination of each unit was
led by housing authority staff and the Corbett Exterminating
company weeks ago, and residents will be living out of a few bags
until later this month.
But despite their rooms and belongings being literally sealed in
plastic wrap, they're willing to live out of a few plastic bags in
their room for a little while longer, instead of living among the
"We basically had everything in our apartments bagged up - books,
curtains, clothes - and have to live out of one or two bags for
about 30 days," said Lois Lerner, a resident who has lived in a
Riverview West apartment for six years. "I never had any bedbugs,
but I'm glad we went through the extermination process."
Lerner, along with five other residents, gathered in the main
activity room Tuesday for a roundtable discussion with The News to
express their sentiments of support for the housing authority's
detailed - albiet, invasive - method of exterminating
"Riverview West is a very nice place to live," said Dee Pierce, who
has lived there for almost 11 years. "I've never had any problems
with bedbugs on my floor, but there's always the fear that they
could quickly spread to our area. It's not just here, but it's all
across our county."
Pierce said she was relieved to have the thorough procedure
followed throughout the entire facility.
The rumor the residents wished to dispel derived from an anonymous
message posted in the BEN Column, The News' daily column that
contains user-submitted material, that suggested a CATS bus
driver's home was infested by bedbugs via residents transported on
"The driver picked them up from people there and found them on his
bus," read the post on Sunday, April 28. "The driver now has them
at his house and has to pay an exterminator."
Pierce and the other residents unanimously refuted the
"Clearly the person has no experience with bedbugs," said Regina
Green, a two-year resident. "They could come from anywhere. We
resent what was posted."
Chuck Cerbini, vice president of Corbett Exterminating, which was
given the task of eliminating the bedbugs, applauded the residents'
"Exterminating a facility like this has to be well coordinating
between the housing authority, us and the residents," Cerbini said.
"We had many meetings with the staff and residents on how to
execute our plan."
Cerbini also applauded the Millville Housing Authority (MHA) for
teaming their staff together to wrap and pack all belongings in
"The housing authority went to extremes to train their staff,"
Cerbini said. "When you do that, there's success."
He called the extermination "one of the most invasive processes in
"But the residents are now empowered to move forward with their
lives and not have to worry about bedbugs," he said.
According to Ivy Evans, chief operating officer for the MHA and
overseer of the pre-extermination operation, said one of the most
difficult parts of the extermination was eliminating the stigma
that a bedbug infestation carries.
"A lot of residents didn't know how they got them, where they came
from or how prevalent they were in the rest of the world," Evans
said. "We had to work past the rumors to get that stigma off their
minds. Many of the cases weren't reported at first."
She, along with Dominique Sahms and Polly Swink, headed the team
that went through each room and sealed all belongings.
"We're invested for the long haul," said Paul Dice, executive
director of the MHA . "If it happens again, we'll hit it again. We
value our residents' quality of life."
The Riverview East building on S. 2nd Street in Millville is
currently being packaged for treatment, and will be treated this