Why Fumigate?

Drywood termites might be tiny little bugs, but they cause big damage — hundreds of millions of dollars big. Even worse, while you might be able to see some signs of termites in your house, there could be many more hiding behind walls, in crawl spaces or in the attic.

The following is a general guideline and timeline for a typical fumigation:

Fumigation Day 1 – Tenting – On

A fumigation crew covers the entire structure with large tarps.

A licensed fumigator prepares the interior by ensuring the removal of food, feed, drugs, plants, people and pets. The fumigator is also responsible for placement of fans, opening of doors and drawers and placement of warning agent (chloropicrin) in specific locations.

The structure is secured with secondary locks on all entryways and warning signs are posted at specific locations.

Once the exterior has been properly sealed and the interior prepared, the warning agent is applied and the proper dosage of Vikane® Gas Fumigant is introduced into the structure. The fumigant is contained in the structure for a predetermined amount of time, penetrating deep into wood to eliminate Drywood Termites.

Fumigation Day 2 – Aeration

After the proper exposure to Gas Fumigant has been administered, one of our licensed fumigators will open a pre-installed inlet/outlet ventilation system to begin the aeration process.

Fumigation Day 3 – Tenting – Off /Re-Entry

Once the proper amount of aeration time has elapsed, the fumigation crew will remove the tarps from the structure.

Once the tarps are removed from the structure, one of our licensed fumigators takes air samples from the interior living spaces with equipment specifically designed to detect the presence of Gas Fumigant.

Once it is determined that it safe to return to the structure, the licensed fumigator will place a Re-Entry Notice on the front door. This notice will indicate the date and time that it was certified safe to re-enter.

The secondary locks and warning signs are removed to complete the fumigation.

Fumigation FAQs

How long does a fumigation take?

The fumigation process usually takes a portion of three days and two nights.

When can I re-enter my home?

The fumigated structures must not be re-entered until they have been tested and certified for re-entry by a licensed fumigator. Specialized equipment is used to test the air to ensure the fumigant has dissipated. In some states, such as California and Florida, a notice will be posted on the door when the building is certified for re-entry.

Should I shut off my electricity or water service?

No. Electricity and water must be available as it will be necessary to run fans during the fumigation process. Gas service, however, will need to be shut off prior to fumigation. In some areas, three to five days’ notice may be required to schedule this appointment, so leave enough time to make arrangements.

Why does my fumigator need a key to my house and garage?

The fumigator must have access to all rooms and compartments inside of the structure to perform fumigation services.

Why do you recommend watering the soil around my home?

Thoroughly watering the soil up to 18 inches from the outer walls of your home and the ground around shrubs and plants located adjacent to the structure can help protect them during the tenting process. Watering should be done the day before fumigation.

Does a fumigation treatment leave any surface residues?

The gas used to fumigate your home does not remain in the home after fumigation. It completely dissipates.

Can the air conditioning be left running during fumigation?

  • Typically, air conditioning is not left on during the fumigation. If you have special circumstances, such as keeping a wine cellar cool, arrangements will need to be made with your pest management professional.
  • Window air conditioning units should not be left on as they will be covered by the tarps and unable to function.

What precautions are taken to ensure my family’s safety?

Your professional licensed fumigator will do four things:

  • Release a warning agent to deter entry to the home.
  • Secure doors on your home by using deadbolts or additional locking devices to prevent unauthorized entry.
  • Open all cupboards, drawers, trunks and vaults to ensure the fumigant gas quickly dissipates from your home.
  • Use specialized equipment to test the air to ensure the fumigant has dissipated so you may re-enter your home. The fumigant level must be below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirement (1 ppm or less) in all breathing zones. Therefore, as soon as the fumigator clears the structure, you may return to your home.

Post-fumigation, my cupboards and drawers were left open. Why?

All cupboards, drawers, trunks and vaults must be opened to ensure the fumigant gas quickly dissipates from your home during aeration.