January 20th, 2009 by BugGuy
The pests are eradicated with the use of pesticides in gas form. Methyl bromide used to be the most widely used pesticide in tenting but has since been restricted because of its environmental damage. Nowadays there are several fumigants that can be used including formaldehyde, methyl isocyanate and hydrogen cyanide.
The structure is either sealed with plastic, tape or other materials or the entire structure is tented with the use of nylon tarps. See pic above. The length of fumigation or tenting can vary from a couple hours to a week; depending on the pest problem and the size of the structure.
It’s important to remember that the pesticides used to kill the termites can also kill or poison other living things. All people, pets (fish included), plants, etc… are to be removed. Also, it’s a good idea to remove or completely seal anything that will eventually be ingested (pills too!).
Proper precautions are taken when it comes to fumigation. For instance, the re-entry date, time and other information will posted on the house when the structure is safe to re-enter. But, if headaches, nausea or any other symptoms appear after re-entering the structure, leave immediately and contact a doctor or poison control.
For more in depth information about fumigation, view California’s Structural Pest Control Board’s FAQ about fumigation.
Fumigation is an aggressive method of pest control but it’s not flawless. Since the pesticide used is in gas form, there is no poison left behind so the termites or other pests can return. Also, the deadly dosage of pesticide for one pest may not be enough to kill another pest. But if fumigation is performed correctly, the target pest should be eradicated.