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Preparing for Fumigation in Orange County, Part I

There’s a bit of a debate surrounding fumigation in Orange County, but that’s because a lot of people aren’t really familiar with the proper method of performing a fumigation. If they had an understanding of the process, they wouldn’t be nearly as dramatic about it.

Their primary argument is that fumigation involved filling your house with poison gas, and there’s just no way for that to be safe. The common response is that tent fumigation is the only proven way to eliminate drywood termites — the kind that deals millions of damage to Orange County homes. But that response neatly avoids addressing the complaint, which is sad because it’s easy to address the complaint directly.

The chemical gas Vikane, a creation of Dow AgroSciences, kills drywood termites quite effectively. Used by nearly every company that does termite control in Orange County, it acts quickly, leaves no chemical residue on surfaces, and the potential dangers to humans can be easily avoided with proper preparation. The major reason why tent fumigation takes 2-3 days is that the Vikane needs time to seep into all of the tunnels that termites have bored into your wood, and another day to get back out of all of the nooks and crannies of your home. The third day is a safety precaution to give the termite experts time to go in and test to make sure that the termites are dead and that the gas is completely gone from your home.

It might seem odd to have ‘pre-prep’, but there’s a lot of details to take care of when you’re doing something as dramatic as fumigating your home. The pre-prep takes care of everything up to the tenting process.

  • Pack a few days worth of goods, because you’re going to be moving somewhere else while the fumigation occurs.
  • Tell your neighbors what you’re doing so that they can check to make sure that the termites haven’t spread to their home as well, and they can avoid your home while it’s tented.
  • Call the gas company and have them turn off your gas for the 72 hours you’ll be gone.
  • Take your car out of the garage. Cars are good at trapping hidden pockets of Vikane, it’s best to just remove that risk.

In Part II, we’ll talk about the tenting preparations.

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