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What do I need to know about Fumigation?

Drywood termites and termite damage can threaten the integrity of your largest investment - your home. What do you do when your pest management professional tells you that your home needs to be fumigated for drywood termites? Do not worry - you are not alone.

Millions of homeowners battle termite infestations every year and many of their homes are treated by whole-structure fumigation with Vikane gas fumigant.  The following answers to common questions about structural fumigation will provide peace of mind as you prepare your home for fumigation with Vikane, the most effective way to eliminate drywood termites.

What is the fumigation process?
Fumigation is a procedure using canvas tarps to cover and seal a structure allowing a fumigant to penetrate the wood timbers eliminating termites.  The fumigation process usually takes approximately 24 to 48 hours.

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

Fumigation (Up)

  • A fumigation crew covers the entire structure with large tarps. The tarps are secured with long "sand snakes" placed along the foundation of the structure and related attachments.

  • 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 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 (Down)

  • After the proper exposure to Vikane, the fumigation crew removes the tarps from the structure.

  • During the removal of the equipment, the licensed fumigator will open all windows and doors and use fans to continue aeration of the structure.

  • Upon removal of equipment, the property is again secured with secondary locks and warning signs remain posted.

Fumigation (Re-Entry/Certification)

  • Once the proper amount of aeration time has elapsed, the licensed fumigator takes air samples from the interior living spaces of the structure with equipment specifically designed to detect the presence of Vikane 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.

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