Source: State of California Department of Pesticide Regulation- Structural Pest Control Board
Fumigation is a method of using a lethal gas to exterminate pests within an enclosed space. The property is enclosed in a “tent” of vinyl-coated nylon tarpaulins. Before a fumigation and can take place, all pets, people, and plants must be removed from the property. Medicines and food that is not sealed in unopened metal, glass, or highly resistant containers must be removed from the structure or sealed in protective fumigant bags given by Center Termite & Pest Control, Inc. (See bagging instructions below)
The fumigant that is used is odorless, therefore, chloropicrin (tear gas) a warning agent, is released within the structure when the fumigation begins and throughout the fumigation process.
Fumigation is not always a required method of treatment for Drywood termites. Fumigation is an all-encompassing treatment in which the gases permeate the entire structure, eradicating both visible infestations and termites that are otherwise inaccessible. If an infestation is contained in a small area, the termites may be eliminated by local applications. The inspector will use their professional judgment to decide what treatment is necessary. If treatments other than fumigation are recommended, you should be aware the localized treatments will not provide eradication of other hidden infestations in the building.
Fumigation will not eliminate all pests and termites in the structure. For example, Subterranean termites require separate treatment and it is possible for household pests (such as spiders or cockroaches) to survive a fumigation with the dosage of fumigant used for Drywood termites. Under ideal conditions, the target pest (Drywood termites) will be dead or obviously dying by the end of the fumigation. Drywood termites can remain alive as long as a week after receiving a lethal dose of a fumigant.
The owner must be aware that re-infestations of the target pest could occur following a fumigation. Drywood termites produce small pellets that may remain in the tunnels after the insects are killed. You may continue to notice these signs after a fumigation. THIS DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THE FUMIGATION FAILED. The owner must also be aware that the fumigant does not have a residual effect which means that other household pests can re-infect after a fumigation.
Before a fumigation can occur, Center Termite & Pest Control, Inc. must have in its possession an occupant fumigation notice as well as other releases signed by the occupant(s) of a structure or a designated agent.
The fumigant used during a fumigation is LETHAL! Exposure to fumigants in a structure being fumigated, even for a few minutes will result in serious injury or even death. Absolutely NO ONE can enter a structure until it has been certified safe for reentry by the licensed fumigator. Warning signs are posted in visible locations on or in the immediate vicinity of all entrances. To ensure that even the owner or tenant cannot reenter a structure, Center Termite & Pest Control is required to put a secondary lock on all outside doors that only Center Termite can open.
After the fumigation is completed, the licensed fumigator will enter the property and measure the air inside the structure parts per million. After it is deemed safe for reentry, the licensed fumigator will post a reentry notice on the property. The notice states the building is safe for reentry and the date and the time the building was released.
The Structural Pest Control Board only recognizes two methods for whole-house eradication of Drywood termites: fumigation and whole-house heat treatment. Other methods are local or spot treatments designed to eradicate termites in a specific area. Call Center Termite & Pest Control to see what type of treatment your property needs.