Atermite fumigation is administered when an overwhelming amount of termites have infested a certain structure or property. In this situation, one must accept the reality that fumigation is necessary. So, during the process, two separate chemicals are introduced to the premise in a synergistic manner. The two chemicals (Sulfuryl Fluoride and Methyl Bromide), are colorless, odorless, and leave no residue. Consequently, a third chemical(Chloropicrin), which has a strong odor and causes eye irritation, is incorporated in the process in order to “trace” the others. However, increasingly demanding regulations on pesticides has rendered the use of Methyl Bromide extremely impractical and expensive. It has been increasingly replaced by Vikane gas.
All people, plants, and pets must be removed from the premises
All medications and food must be removed from the fumigation area, or they must be sealed in special bags (talk to your contractor for more information)
Plants outside of the structure should be pruned backs so that whoever is conducting the fumigation has unabridged access to the walls
Items sticking off the roof should be taken down (ex: chimney caps, weather vanes)
Portions of fences that connect to the structure must be taken down so that the tarp covering the structure will reach the ground
Mattresses, pillows, and sheets should be placed in special bags (much like food)
Keep in mind that all of these steps must be taken before the fumigant is introduced to the premises. The chemicals being used are extremely toxic and any exposure to the chemicals in question could prove fatal.
Termite Fumigation: The Actual Process
The actual termite fumigation will last about 20-30 hours- assuming the Vikane gas system is being used. After this time period, a cohort of fans and other ventilation devices will be used to aerate the structure. This process requires an additional 12 hours and will ensure that the chemicals are safely dispersed from the structure.
By now I’m sure you will be itching to get back into your property, but hold on. Nobody can enter a structure until it has been certified safe by the contractor who conducted the termite fumigation. Once declared safe, you will be able to return to a completely termite-free structure (hopefully).
Keep in mind, termite fumigation is only a last-resort option that should be used in case of emergency. Please consult a contractor before embarking on a course of fumigation.