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.
The fumigation process usually takes approximately 24 to 48 hours. Your professional fumigator tents your home with large tarps, prepares the interior, seals the tarps, and releases a warning agent (chloropicrin) into the structure. Then, your fumigator introduces Vikane through a special hose attached to a fumigant cylinder located outside your home.
Contained in the structure for a predetermined time, the fumigant penetrates deep into wood to eliminate drywood termites. After the fumigation is complete, your fumigator aerates and certifies the fumigant from your home, allowing you and your family to re-enter.
Vikane is a colorless, odorless gas that is nondetectable by people during fumigation, as well as non-staining, non-corrosive and non-flammable. As a gas, Vikane dissipates into the atmosphere and does not deplete the ozone.
Chloropicrin, a warning agent, is a colorless liquid with a strong odor, causing tearing of the eyes and throat irritation when used at low concentrations. Chloropicrin helps ensure a structure is vacated of people and pets prior to fumigation with Vikane. It also serves as a deterrent from early or accidental entry into a structure under fumigation. At the end of the fumigation, your fumigator aerates both chloropicrin and Vikane from the structure before allowing you to re-enter your home.
Your fumigator takes many precautions to help ensure the safety of you, your family, your pets and property before, during and after the fumigation process.
For example, your licensed fumigator will:
• Release chloropicrin, the warning agent used with Vikane, to warn anyone against entry into the structure.
• Secure the doors on your home with additional locking devices.
• Use sophisticated equipment to detect when Vikane has dissipated and the home is clear for re-entry.
What do I need to do to prepare for the fumigation with Vikane® gas fumigant?
In addition to the work performed by your fumigator, it is your responsibility to help prepare your home for the fumigation. Taking the following steps prior to fumigation helps ensure its success, resulting in the elimination of drywood termites from your home. Check with your fumigator for additional home preparation information.
• Water the soil up to 18 inches from the outer walls of your home to protect outdoor plants and shrubs.
• Cut back foliage, shrubbery and landscaping at least 18 inches from the structure to allow room for the tarps.
• Remember to make arrangements for overnight accommodations for you and your pets, as your home may be under fumigation for 24 to 48 hours.
• Please keep in mind the fumigation may need to be rescheduled if the weather is uncooperative. High winds and rain may hinder a fumigation and cause potential clanger to fumigators.
• Remove all plants from your home, including
those on outdoor patios.
• Evacuate all people and pets from the structure.
• Remove mattresses completely enveloped in plastic, such as baby mattresses with waterproof covers, or remove the covers themselves.
• Remove or double-bag any food, feed, drugs and medicinals in special Ny lo fume® bags your fumigator provides. You do not need to bag or remove items in plastic, glass, or metal bottles, cans or jars with the original manufacturer's airtight seal intact
• Seal the Nylofume bags one at a time by twisting the tops, or folding down and sealing with tape, twisty ties, string or rubber bands. DO NOT TIE BAGS IN A KNOT. Your fumigator can provide special instructions on proper bagging procedures for you.
• Double-bag cold and frozen foods and leave them in the refrigerator and freezer. Remove shelves from the refrigerator and freezer to make it easier to stack the bags inside.
• Be sure to remove or double-bag anything that will be ingested (medicine, spices, etc.).
• It is unnecessary to wash dishes, linens, clothing, etc., as Vikane is a gas and will dissipate from the structure.
• Remember, once your fumigation is complete, all termites in your structure should be eliminated.
If you have any questions about how to prepare your home for fumigation, please contact your fumigator.
Ask your fumigator to help you determine additional items that need to be double-bagged or removed prior to fumigation. A good rule of thumb is, "when in doubt, take it out."
• Chips, pasta, rice and other foods packaged in plastic bags
• Cereals, crackers and other foods packaged in cardboard boxes (even if the boxes have never been opened)
• Spices, salt and pepper shakers, and other items where the seal has been broken
• Ice, opened bottled drinking water
• Butter, cream cheese and any other items stored in a resealed container, including items stored in Tupperware containers
• Fruits and vegetables
• Bags of pct food and bird seed, as well as opened cans
• Unopened cans (including home-canned goods)
• Cosmetics, such as lipstick
• Unopened soda cans and glass bottles
• Shampoo, soaps
• Unopened bottles of liquor and wine (stored horizontally)
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