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Fumigation FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

As a property owner or prospective real estate buyer or seller, you might have questions regarding whole-structure fumigation. Here you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about whole-structure fumigation and the fumigation process.

vikane
Vikane® (Sulphuryl Fluoride) is a colorless, odorless gas that is non-staining, non-corrosive and non-flammable. As a gas, Vikane® dissipates rapidly into the atmosphere and does not deplete the ozone.Vikane® is a registered trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC.
The fumigation process usually takes a portion of three days and two nights. Your professional fumigator seals your home with tarps or other methods and releases a warning agent into the home. Vikane is then introduced into the structure. Your professional fumigator will carefully calculate the amount of Vikane needed, based on a variety of factors including the target pest, temperature, and size of the home.

The typical house fumigation involves approximately 18-24 hours of exposure. After the fumigation is complete, your fumigator aerates the fumigant from the structure following label instructions, and tests the air with sensitive gas monitoring equipment to confirm that it is safe to re-enter the building.

Unlike some treatment options, Vikane does not remain in the home after fumigation. It completely dissipates, leaving no surface residues behind.
Sulfuryl fluoride in the gaseous state does not react with most materials and thus is highly unlikely to cause damage to structures or their contents when properly applied. If water condenses from the air during Vikane fumigations due to reaching the dew point because of too rapid Vikane introduction, water condensation forms, which may tarnish or stain certain materials. Fumigators are trained to use fans and introduction hoses to control the introduction rate and rapidly disperse Vikane in a structure to avoid fog-outs.
Leaving the air conditioning on is desirable when homeowners have temperature sensitive items inside the house, such as wine cellars, computers that must be kept cool, etc. In most residential homes the air conditioning may be left running during the fumigation, provided the compressor unit, which normally sits outside the structure, is NOT covered by the tarps. Window air conditioning units are not suitable to be left on because they would normally be covered by the tarps.
In warmer weather, less fumigant is required to eliminate pests, so this is a better time to fumigate. The cooler the temperature, the greater the dosage of fumigant required to eliminate an insect pest, because the pests have lower metabolic rates. Vikane can be used unless the temperature at the site of pest activity (with the exception of rodents) is below 40˚ F. Because temperature is an important factor in determining the dosage of Vikane required, the Vikane® Fumiguide calculator includes temperature as part of its calculations.
Fumigation with Vikane® does not prevent future infestations. However, Proven Termite Solutions provides a full three year guarantee from the original date of completion and in most cases an annual renewal guarantee is available at the beginning of the fourth year.
Your professional licensed fumigator will do three things:

  • Release a warning agent to deter entry to the home.
  • Secure doors on your home using barricades or additional locking devices to prevent unauthorized entry.
  • Use specialized equipment to test the air to ensure that Vikane has dissipated, so that you may re-enter your home. The Vikane level must be below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirement (1 ppm or less) in all breathing zones. Therefore, as soon as the fumigator clears the structure, you may return to your home.
Chloropicrin is a colorless liquid with a very strong odor that causes eye irritation and tearing when used in small quantities.
Chloropicrin is used as a warning agent to serve as a deterrent to unauthorized or accidental entry into a structure under fumigation. Unlike Vikane, which has no odor and cannot be readily detected without specialized equipment during fumigation, chloropicrin is experienced as an irritant at very low concentrations. Chloropicrin is used at concentrations that provide adequate warning without causing lingering odors or other adverse effects for homeowners or the environment.

Your fumigator will release chloropicrin into the structure at least 5 to 10 minutes prior to introducing Vikane.

Chloropicrin is used at a very low application rate of 1 fluid ounce or less for every 10,000 cubic feet of fumigation space, resulting in a controlled concentration of chloropicrin within your home. After the fumigation period, your fumigator will aerate the Vikane and chloropicrin following rigorously tested procedures, so when you return home, you do not need to be concerned with any toxicological effects.
Your fumigator is required to test the air in your home using specialized equipment to ensure that the Vikane level is below the EPA requirement before allowing you to re-enter your home. The EPA requirement is 1 ppm or less in all breathing zones. At such a level, no fetal effects or long-term health effects would be expected.
It is possible that the Nylofume bags expanded yet remained airtight. If the bags were filled on a cool morning and they warmed up during the fumigation, the air would expand inside the bag. However, if there is evidence that Vikane penetrated the bag, such as holes in the bag, do not eat the food.
No adverse health effects would be expected from consumption of some food items inadvertently fumigated with Vikane. The residue that can form in unprotected food items exposed to Vikane is fluoride, which naturally occurs in food and water. Nonetheless, fumigated food should be discarded and should not be consumed because there are no legal tolerances for Vikane gas fumigant in food. If unprotected food items are consumed, and you have concerns or questions, please call Dow AgroSciences Human Exposure line at 800-992-5994 (option 1) for specific medical information related to the incident.
No, you do not have to do anything with a waterbed.
Vikane in the vapor phase does not cause staining or discoloration of fabric or other materials typically found in a building under fumigation.
No. Sulfuryl fluoride was tested under laboratory conditions in the presence of various types of electronic equipment, including an assortment of computer devices. Those tests were performed at dosages far exceeding the maximum allowed on the Vikane label. Also the temperature for those tests was approximately 122 degrees F. There was no adverse malfunction to that equipment even when the equipment was left on.
No. Vikane has been used to fumigate commercial photographic establishments containing films and photographic papers. A brown cast has been seen on color prints developed with exposed solutions. No problems have occurred with photographic paper or plates.

If you have professional photographic materials, we recommend placing developing materials and fixing solutions in sealed bottles or creating new solutions after the fumigation. Do not leave developing materials in open trays.

Since first marketed as Vikane in 1961, sulfuryl fluoride has been used to fumigate more than two million buildings, including museums, historical landmarks, rare book libraries, government archives, and scientific and medical research laboratories.

Vikane does not react with common household furnishings when properly applied. This is why fumigation with Vikane is an established method used to eradicate pests infesting delicate and rare biological and historical museum artifacts.

Fumigation Schedule Chart

The NORMAL schedule is as follows:
 Monday
(up)
 Wednesday
by 5pm (re-enter)
 Tuesday
(up)
 Thursday
by 5pm (re-enter)
 Wednesday
(up)
 Friday
by 5pm (re-enter)
 Thursday
(up)
 Saturday
by 5pm (re-enter)
 Friday
(up)
 Monday
by 5pm (re-enter)
Note : This schedule chart is a guide only and schedules may vary.
  • We have already recommended your firm to a neighbor down the street that is planning to fumigate soon, and you can add our names to your list of satisfied customers willing to provide a referral for your firm.

    Garry H. San Jose 95125
  • The fumigation team did a great job. Rick and Lori were extremely helpful. From the time I first met Jim until when the job was finished, Jim exhibited exceptional professionalism, sincerity, effort, and courtesy.

    Philip H. Fremont 94539
  • I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for the professional and great team of people you have working at your company. Brendon, Rick & Abel made the fumigation all five of our townhouses a pleasant experience. They were great to work with, always explained what they were doing, and were always in the best spirits!
    Thanks again!

    Cece W. Santa Clara 95050