Termite Fumigation & Extermination

What is fumigation? 

  Fumigation is a method of using a lethal gas to exterminate dry wood termites within an enclosed space.

There are two methods of performing a fumigation:

  • Seal the structure with plastic, tape or other sealing materials
  • Enclosing the structure in a “tent” of vinyl-coated nylon tarpaulins.

Can I tell if a house has been fumigated?

The law requires that on completion of a fumigation the fumigator  must install a tag with the name of the licensee, the date of the fumigation, and the fumigant used. It is posted either in the attic, garage, or in the sub area of a house. The tag remains permanently.

 Are there alternative methods available instead of fumigation? 

It depends on the extent of the infestation. There are several methods of localized chemical treatments. This is the treatment used by The Termite Inspector Co. Termidor and Premise II are the preferred termiticide/insecticides of use because the contain a virus that the termites spread throughout their colonies making it the most effective localized treatment in the industry.

Methods such as electro gun, microwave, orange oil, and freezing with liquid nitrogen can be effective local or spot treatments designed to eradicate termites in a specific surface area, but do not penetrate into the structure. These methods also have a history of damaging the areas where they are used.

However, none of these are intended for whole house eradication and therefore are NOT alternatives to fumigation.

There are only two methods for whole-house eradication of dry wood termites: tent fumigation with sulfuryl fluoride and tent whole-house heat treatment.

When drywood termites are detected must the structure always be fumigated? 

No, fumigation is not always a required method of treatment for drywood termites. Fumigation is an all-encompassing treatment. If an infestation is contained in a small area, the termites may be eliminated by local applications. The Termite Inspector Company will use their professional judgment to decide what treatment is necessary.

What preparations must be taken before my house is fumigated? 

Anyone you don’t want to get rid of has to be out for starters . Pets and plants must be removed from the structure as well. Medicines, liquids, feed and food not sealed in metal, glass or highly resistant containers must be removed from the structure or sealed in protective bags.

What information about my house should I give my termite company before fumigation? 

Let us know about  any construction elements like conduits, drains, or vacuum systems that could allow the fumigant to escape.

How long does a fumigation take? 

This can vary. Fumigation can take anywhere from six hours to a week. Factors like size of infestation, dosage, temperature and size of the structure all come into play. The average house in Southern Ca. takes two nights and three days. Example, if a house is wrapped and gassed on a Monday, the tent will come down by Wednesday noon and re-entry that day.

What does the fumigant smell like?

There is no smell. That’s why we release a warning agent such as chloropicrin  within the structure when the fumigation begins and throughout the fumigation process.

Will fumigation eliminate all the termites and pests in the structure?

Not for subterranean termites. They live in nests seven to ten feet below ground. Only the one’s feeding in the structure at the time of the fumigation will die, normally only about ten to twenty percent ever surface at one time. Subterranean termites require separate treatments to  their nests in the ground.

The Termite Inspector Company’s standard warranty on tent fumigations is two years, however extended warranties are available.

How are occupants of a structure told that a fumigation will be done? 

Before The Termite Inspector Company company applies a fumigant,we get what’s called a “Occupant Fumigation Notice” signed by the occupant(s) of a structure or their designated agent.

The fumigation notice states the pest to be controlled, the proposed pesticide or pesticides (including their active ingredients), and the caution statement.

This form must state that a lethal gas will be used in the building on specified dates and that it is unsafe to return to the building until a notice of reentry is posted by the licensee in charge of the fumigation. The owner should receive a copy of the occupant’s fumigation notice.

How can a consumer find out what fumigants were used on their property? 

Several ways.

Before a structural pest control operator applies a fumigant, he must inform the owner or owner’s agent and tenants of the fumigants proposed to be used and their active ingredients.

Also, this notification alerts you to call your physician or poison control center and the pest control company if you have reaction after fumigation.

The name of the fumigant used will be entered on the notice of reentry that will be posted on the door.

Who can enter a structure while it is being fumigated?

Nobody silly. Chemicals used in fumigation are lethal!

Absolutely NO ONE can enter a structure until it has been certified safe for reentry by the licensee in charge of the fumigation.

To ensure that even the owner or tenant cannot reenter a structure, we put a secondary lock on all outside doors that only the company can open.

How will I know when it is safe to move back into a home which has just been fumigated? 

We’ll post a reentry notice on the property at the time the structure is judged safe for occupancy.

Can a homeowner contract directly with us for fumigation?

Yes, a homeowner can contract with The Termite Inspector Company.

We’ll issue a certification of fumigation to at least five days prior to the fumigation. Our inspector will attach the fumigation certification to any reinspection report, notice of work completed, or certification which it issues.

Are fumigations safe? 

Yes. Fumigations are highly regulated by the State of California. We’re registered with the SPCB. We also are required to notify local fire departments before a fumigation takes place.

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation registers all fumigants used in the state and oversees local pesticide use enforcement by agricultural commissioners in each of the state’s 58 counties.

Plus If you have any questions about safety of fumigants, chemicals or pesticides, you may call your local county agricultural commissioner. You can get the phone number and be directly connected by calling 1-877-378-5463 (1-87-PestLine).

Who can enter a structure while it is being fumigated?

Nobody silly. Chemicals used in fumigation are lethal!

Absolutely NO ONE can enter a structure until it has been certified safe for reentry by the licensee in charge of the fumigation.

To ensure that even the owner or tenant cannot reenter a structure, we put a secondary lock on all outside doors that only the company can open.

How will I know when it is safe to move back into a home which has just been fumigated? 

We’ll post a reentry notice on the property at the time the structure is judged safe for occupancy.

Can a homeowner contract directly with us for fumigation?

Yes, a homeowner can contract with The Termite Inspector Company.

We’ll issue a certification of fumigation to at least five days prior to the fumigation. Our inspector will attach the fumigation certification to any reinspection report, notice of work completed, or certification which it issues.

Are fumigations safe? 

Inspecting termite damage

Yes. Fumigations are highly regulated by the State of California. We’re registered with the SPCB. We also are required to notify local fire departments before a fumigation takes place.

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation registers all fumigants used in the state and oversees local pesticide use enforcement by agricultural commissioners in each of the state’s 58 counties.

Plus If you have any questions about safety of fumigants, chemicals or pesticides, you may call your local county agricultural commissioner. You can get the phone number and be directly connected by calling 1-877-378-5463 (1-87-PestLine).