Note: This story has been updated to include clarifications about the disinfectant based upon additional information provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Due to the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic many businesses are closed and others are operating remotely, in order to encourage social distancing and help prevent the spread of the virus. But some businesses must keep their doors open, and one local company now has a product available that enables them to do that more safely.
Quest Termite & Pest Control in Hellertown is one of the first companies in the area to offer an EPA-approved treatment to help stop the spread of COVID-19 virus on surfaces.
The treatment is one of many found on a list of products that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
“At this time, there is no product that can guarantee that it will kill the COVID-19 virus,” said Jeff Landis, Senior Media Relations/Press Officer, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Region 3). “However, (with the list) the EPA is taking steps to identify products that would likely kill COVID-19.”
The virus can survive on various types of surfaces for a few hours or even up to several days, according to research conducted by the World Health Organization.
Quest employees recently treated the interior of Heintzelman Funeral Home in Hellertown with the disinfectant, which was applied using sprayers to floors, seating areas and other communal surfaces.
Quest owner Chris Snyder explained that once applied, the spray must remain wet on the surface of an object for at least 10 minutes. After that it can be wiped off.
“Anywhere where people are going to travel, that’s where we’ll hit,” he said.
Although there was no reason to suspect the presence of the virus in the building, Snyder said using the disinfectant in locations like the funeral home helps give employees as well as visitors additional peace of mind.
That said, as a new disease, COVID-19 comes with many unknowns, and there is no 100 percent guarantee that any one measure will completely eliminate it, he confirmed.
Still, as Heintzelman Funeral Home owner David Heintzelman noted, the treatment will help provide everyone in his building with added peace of mind, and that has value.
He said he was also proud to help support another local business at a time when many are facing challenges because of the government-mandated shutdown in Pennsylvania.
“They care about us. They care about our community,” he said of Quest. “We are proud to have them in our town.”
Like Heintzelman Funeral Home, Quest Termite & Pest has been classified as an essential, life-sustaining business and will continue to operate with precautions in place during the pandemic, Snyder said.
In addition to commercial settings, the disinfectant treatment Quest offers can also be used in residential and institutional applications, such as in police cars and ambulances.
For more information about it or about other services Quest offers, or to schedule a treatment, call 610-867-7378 or email QuestPest@rcn.com.