The Fumigation Process

The Fumigation "Tenting" Procedure

What is the termite fumigation process?

Termite Fumigation, sometimes called tenting, is a procedure using canvas tarps to cover and seal a structure allowing the fumigant to penetrate the wood in the structure and eliminate termites.

Like most other things in California, there are far more stringent regulations here than the rest of the country. Quantum Termite and Construction is well versed in all of the latest rules and regulations and our professional fumigators were instrumental in the design, testing, and implementation of the latest California Fumigation regulatioins known as CAP or California Aeration Plan for structural fumigation.  This process allows fumigations to be performed with the highest level of safety possible for occupants, the fumigation crew, neighbors, and bystanders.

The following is a general guide and timeline for a typical fumigation performed within the CAP requirements:

Up - Start of Fumigation

  • The professional crew at Quantum Termite will cover the entire structure with large tarps. The tarps are secured along the foundation and related areas with long "sand snakes".
  • Quantum Termite's licensed fumigators will prepare the interior by ensuring the removal of all consumable items (food, feed, drugs, etc) as well as plants, people and pets has been completed.
  • Our fumigator will also place fans and open interior doors and drawers to enhance the circulation of the Vikane gas fumigant.
  • The structure will be secured by locking all exterior doors AND installing secondary locks on all entryways and warning signs will be posted at specific locations.
  • Once the exterior has been properly sealed and the interior prepared, the warning agent is applied and the proper dosage of Vikane fumigant is introduced into the structure. The fumigant is contained in the structure for a predetermined amount of time, penetrating deep into wood to eliminate Drywood Termites.

Aeration - Begin the "Airing Out" Phase

  • After the proper exposure period to the Vikane fumigant, Quantum Termite's fumigation crew will initiate aeration (airing out) by turning on specially placed fans and opening specific areas of the tarps designed for airing out the structure.
  • No re-entry is allowed yet!

Certification - Structure is Safe for Re-Entry

  • Once the aeration fans have been on for the required amount of time, the Quantum Termite fumigator will remove the tarps from the structure.
  • During the removal of the tarps and equipment, Quantum Termite's licensed fumigator will open all the windows and doors in the structure and use fans to continue "airing out" the structure.
  • Once the proper amount of "airing out" (aeration) time has elapsed, Quantum Termite's licensed fumigator will take air samples from the interior living spaces of the structure with equipment specifically designed to detect the presence of Vikane gas fumigant.
  • After it is determined that it safe to return to the structure, Quantum Termite's licensed fumigator will place a Re-Entry Notice on the front door. This notice will indicate the date and time that the structure was certified safe to re-enter.
  • The secondary locks and warning signs will be removed at this point to complete the fumigation.
  • It is safe at this point for the owners, residnets, or occupants to return and enjoy their new drywood termite free home!
Fumigation Timeline Chart
The TYPICAL fumigation schedule is as follows:
Monday Tuesday Wednesday by 5pm (re-enter)
Thursday by 5pm (re-enter)
 Friday by 5pm (re-enter)
Saturday by 5pm (re-enter)
Monday by 5pm (re-enter)
Saturday Monday Tuesday by 5pm (re-enter)
NOTE: This schedule chart is a guide only, schedules may vary; this guide does not account for holidays.

What is Vikane gas fumigant?
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.

What is Chloropicrin?
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 warning agent from early or accidental entry during the fumigation process.

What precautions are taken to ensure my family's safety?
Quantum Termite's licensed fumigator takes many precautions to ensure your safety during the entire fumigation process.

For example:

  • Chloropicrin is used to warn anyone against entry into the structure.
  • Secure and secondary lock entryways to prevent entering the structure.
  • Use properly calibrated equipment designed to detect minutely small amounts of Vikane fumigant to ensure you structure is clear for re-entry.
  • Following California's stringent CAP program for aeration.
  • Other important safety aspects, behind the scenes, include Quantum Termite's dedication to ongoing employee training. This includes annual participation in Dow AgroSciences Vikane Stewardship Program that certifies the company and our employees to the proper use of Vikane fumigant.