Termite Tenting: Preparation for a Fumigation
If you have an especially large termite infestation, your pest control company may suggest a termite tenting preparation for your home. Termite tenting preparation is generally used when the entire house, or at least a majority of it, is infested inside the home or structure. The pest control company will erect a giant tent around your house and then they will release a termite killing gas into the home or structure.
As with any procedure that involves pesticides, termite tenting preparation is often considered dangerous, unnecessary, and outlandishly expensive, but the truth is that if your home has a bad termite problem, this may be the best option for you. By fumigating the structure with termite killing gas, it’s a way to kill off any of the worker termites that are residing inside your home and can allow you to begin gaining control of a damaging situation.
What happens when you choose a termite tenting preparation for your structure? First, the structure is covered with a tarp or tent that is sealed and secure. You will have to stay out of the home for at least two to three days and be sure that all food products are inside sealed bags which the pest control company can usually provide for you. They will release the termite killing gas inside the structure and place fans inside to circulate the gas. Warning signs will be placed around your property to keep anyone outside of the structure while the gas is circulating and killing the termites.
On the second day of your termite tenting preparation, the tarp will be removed and the gas will be aired out of the home. On the third day, your pest control company will verify that all of the gas is removed from the home by using special instruments to gauge how much, if any gas is left. These instruments will determine if it is safe for you to come back into your home.
Many people are apprehensive about termite tenting preparation because of the use of the powerful gas used to kill the termites. While the gas can be lethal when breathed in in large doses, but it is actually safe once the home has been cleared by the pest control company. The gas that is used does not stick to surfaces, so it won’t adhere to things like dishes, countertops, and furniture. Some people, however, choose to wipe down all exposed surfaces for piece of mind, and that’s alright.
When you have a termite tenting preparation done to your home, it will kill all live termites inside the structure. It will not, however, kill the termite eggs that remain. However, when the baby termite eggs hatch, there will be no worker termites to feed them, so they will die off quickly. It is also important to have the area under your house treated as well to kill any subterranean termites that have taken up residence under your home. If you neglect this step of the procedure, you will risk re-infestation.
Termite tenting preparation for severe termite infestations can be a good way to get rid of your termites in one fell swoop. However, don’t forget to formulate a follow-up plan with your pest control company to prevent those pesky insects from coming back!
Forms and Fact Sheets for Further Information
Click the following links to download forms and fact sheets on a variety of topics in the pest control industry.
"How Deadly is Vikane?" from the Palo Alto Weekly, by Lynn Comeskey
Evaluation of Chemical Localized Treatment for Drywood Termite Control from the Structural Pest Control Board
Structural Pest Control Act: General Provisions, Rules & Regulations from the State Of California Department Of Consumer Affairs
Structural Pest Control Board: Questions & Answers Regarding Inspections from the State Of California Department Of Consumer Affairs
Know What Needs to be Bagged Before Fumigation from Dow Agro Sciences and Vikane Gas
Bed Bug Fumigation Check List from Dow Agro Sciences and Vikane Gas
Is bed bug fumigation just like termite fumigation?
Vikane vs. Orange Oil from Dow Agro Sciences and Vikane Gas
Fumigation Preparation Instructions
1. After reading this notice sign all three copies and keep one copy for your records, one copy for The Termite Guy and one copy for the fumigation crew.
2. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE HOMEOWNER, OCCUPANT, OR HOMEOWNER'S AGENT, TO HAVE ALL ITEMS ON THIS CHECKLIST COMPLETED BEFORE THE CREW ARRIVES; FAILURE MAY POSTPONE THE FUMIGATION.
3. Remove all people from the property to be fumigated; REMOVE VEHICLES FROM GARAGE/CARPORT, IF INCLUDED.
4. Remove all interior and exterior plants, whether potted or hanging in/on building(s).
5. Remove all pets (including fish and birds). Animals must be removed from the yard—cats included. Please notify neighbors with cats to keep pets away during fumigation. Close off any open access to the sub area to prevent pets from entering.
6. Remove all mattresses enveloped in plastic covers such as baby mattresses, etc. or remove covers (this excludes water beds); open zippered plastic clothes bags.
7. Food, feed, drugs and medicines (including those items in refrigerators and freezers) must be removed from fumigation site or sealed in highly resistant containers such as glass, metal or double-bagged in "Nylofume" Vikane resistant bags. Place one "Nylofume" bag inside of another. Fill inner bag with food and medicines. Twist neck of inner bag tightly to approximately 3/8" in diameter. Fold twisted neck back upon itself tightly and wrap with tape, twist-tie or equivalent, press bag to check for leaks. No air should be able to escape. Repeat with outer bag. IMPROPERLY BAGGED OR UNBAGGED FOOD WILL BE BAGGED BY THE FUMIGATOR AT A RATE OF $25.00 PER BAG.
8. THE OCCUPANT SHOULD SOAK THE SOIL WITH WATER AT LEAST 12 INCHES FROM THE FOUNDATION OUTWARD. THIS CAN BE DONE THE EVENING BEFORE AND MAY HELP TO PROTECT PLANT ROOT GROWTH. CUT BACK PLANT GROWTH WHERE POSSIBLE, 12 TO 18 INCHES AWAY FROM THE EXTERIOR OF BUILDING(S).
9. The occupant must turn off any air conditioning unit, thermostat operated or otherwise. Burglar alarms or motion alarms must be turned off.
10. We must have access to all areas within the structure, including rooms or garages kept locked, SO PLEASE MAKE KEY ARRANGEMENTS BEFORE THE DAY OF THE FUMIGATION, THIS IS REQUIRED BY LAW. Please indicate where the keys are to be left after the fumigation. If walk-in or large safes exist, you must be present to open safe for our inspection before re-locking the safe.
11. WE REQUEST THAT THE HOMEOWNER OR OCCUPANT REMOVE ANTENNAS WHEN POSSIBLE: IF WE MUST REMOVE THEM, WE WILL ASSUME NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ANTENNA DAMAGE OR ALIGNMENT.
12. To ensure complete gas ventilation, the fumigator will need to open your drawers or cabinetwork and closets; you may wish to do this prior to the fumigator's arrival.
13. For insurance purposes, we request you remove and take with you any valuables you deem necessary, such as jewelry, furs, etc. (See item "H" below).
14. THE PROPERTY OWNER MUST NOTIFY THE GAS COMPANY 48 HRS. IN ADVANCE TO HAVE THE GAS SHUT OFF ON THE MORNING OF THE FUMIGATION. Property owner should have gas service restored after the fumigation process is completed.
15. Electricity must be on in the structure being fumigated. If the electricity is turned off when the fumigation crew arrives, this may cause the fumigation to be postponed.
16. Cars should be removed from the structure during the fumigation. In the event a car must remain, keys for the doors and trunk must be provided. A locked vehicle cannot be fumigated and this will cause a cancellation.
17. The owner/occupant or agent shall notify The Termite Guy of any known construction elements or connections such as ducting, piping, drainage or central vacuum system that would allow the fumigant to enter any adjacent and/or adjoining structure that is not under fumigation.
For further information contact:
THE TERMITE GUY AND IRC SERVICES
For health questions contact the County Health Department for your county as listed below:
COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENTS
Los Angeles 213-240-8104
San Bernardino 888-818-8988
San Diego 619-688-6465
For application information contact the County Agricultural Commissioner for your county as listed below:
COUNTY AGRICULTURAL COMMISSIONER
Los Angeles 626-575-5471
San Bernardino 909-387-2105
San Diego 858-467-2739
For regulatory information contact:
STRUCTURAL PEST CONTROL BOARD
2005 Evergreen St., Ste #1500
Sacramento, CA 95815
POISON CONTROL CENTER