They outnumber people 1 1/2 million to one and comprise nearly 90% of all the animals on the planet – they are insects. The largest freestanding museum in the United States dedicated to insects opened on New Orleans’s historic Canal Street on June 13th and Jani-King, the world’s largest commercial cleaning franchise company, made sure the bugged-out facility was ready for the Grand Opening.
“Jani-King was originally contracted by the Audubon Institute to help with the post construction clean prior to the grand opening gala so we brought in New Orleans franchise owner Carey Ourso to help the Institute realize their vision within the specified timeframe,” said JJ O’Neil, Regional Director, Jani-King of New Orleans. “Carey, and his wife Cindy, are no strangers to large one-time cleans in the Gulf Coast.
The Ourso team was involved in the stabilization of the New Orleans prisons following Hurricane Katrina. Most recently, they also completed a post construction clean at a large Cabela’s Outdoor store near Baton Rouge.” Audubon Insectarium is housed in the U.S. Custom House, the most historic building in New Orleans. The 23,000 square foot museum occupies a former carriageway, originally used for delivery of goods arriving via the port of New Orleans. The building was also a thriving center of business and immigration; at one time more immigrants came through this building than any other entry port in the U.S.
Now, the building is once again the setting for history, this time as home to many thousands of insects (and anticipated visitors) from around the globe. According to O’Neil, the Insectarium proved to be a challenging account, but one they handled well. “The walls and 21 foot ceilings are covered with life-size insects and displays showing off different species of bugs from all parts of the globe,” said Oneil. “Jani-King’s scope of work included dusting of every surface within the facility which was difficult due to the various surfaces.
There were also strict regulations on what chemicals could be used and how those chemicals could be used. No aerosols were allowed since the museum was already full of live bugs. The excessive use of chemicals in the facility could threaten the life of the live bugs and compromise the integrity of the displayed insects.” Audubon Insectarium is the first major attraction to open in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina devastated the area in 2005.