FAQ: 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions about Structural Fumigations

FAQ: 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions about Structural Fumigations
Many of our customers are full of questions when it comes time to perform structural fumigation on their home or property. We understand that they are worried, as the whole place will be filled with gas shortly. However, we are here to let you know that it is 100% safe and that it is a normal process than almost all homes and structures in southern California must go through.

As part of your preparation process, a representative from our company will meet you to answer all the questions that you might have, as well as provide you with any preparation materials you might require like Nylofume bags. Here are the 10 most frequently asked questions from our customers when it comes to Whole House Fumigation:

1 – Do I have to remove all food from the property?
No, however you do have to place most it inside of Nylofume bags, which we provide. You will have place consumable items in there, including but not limited to:

  • Medicine
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Food in the refrigerator and freezer
  • Pet food
  • Cereals and cookies
  • Consumables in your pantry

Items that you do not have to bag include those which are 100% seal from factory. A great example of them would be canned items, and factory-sealed glass jars.

2 – What about my plants and pets?
Any living beings must be removed from the structure being fumigated. This includes plants and pets like cats, dogs, fish, etc. Special attention must be placed on dogs and cats as they tend to try to get back into the property, which could be catastrophic if the tent is filled with gas.

3 – How fast can the fumigation be completed?
The fumigation is a three-day process. This is regulated by the California Aeriation Plan (CAP), which was implemented in 2010. In our specific situation, during weekends it could turn into a 4-day process as Sunday is our day off, not to worry on pre-planned situations we can accommodate you to be completed by Sunday.

4 – What products do you use?
The fumigant that it is used to fumigate our properties is Vikane by Dow AgroSciences. The best one in my opinion currently in the market, it has been used to fumigate Museums, Churches, Schools, Government Buildings and Millions of Residences. You can find more information at: http://termitetenting.com/

5 – How do you ensure the area is safe for re-entry after the process is completed?
We will check the property with a Fumiscope, which monitors the air for any trace of fumigants. The level in California is one of the lowest required, you can rest assured that all our properties pass this standard before being cleared for re-entry.

6 – Can I leave my car or motorcycle on the property?
You could, but it is preferred that you do not. This is to avoid any scratches or damage to it. We will always try to avoid this, but due to the nature of our work and how heavy materials are it would be better to be prepared for the worst. However, if they must be left inside, special attention will be put on them. We will need full access to the vehicles and keys, as well as a waiver/disclaimer signed.

7 – I have a safe on my property? How is this handled?
Safes must be opened during the fumigation process. This is to ensure no consumable items, or living beings are there. Please take all valuables with you to ensure their safety. We will always lock your property, and add secondary locks to them. But remember the property is unwatched for most time, always be alert and leave no valuables behind. You might be able as well to set up extra police patrols with your local police department.

8 – Are toys safe inside of the property during the process?
Yes, they are. They do not have to be washed after. Just make sure that all bags and boxes are open for proper aeriation.

9 – Do I have to wash my dishes or clothes after?
No, you do not have to. Remember that the fumigant is just a gas. It will go through your clothes, but will not stick to them. During the aeriation process, all the fumigant that is on the building is pumped out of the structure with industrial-sized fans. This will clear as well any fumigant that could be around your clothes, dishes and cabinets. And no liquids are ever applied, so you can feel better that your clothes and even shoes would be safe, specially if you use Vessi vegan shoes that are more comfortable.

10 – Does SDG&E turn off only the gas or do they also cut the electricity? When and how do they do this?
They will only turn off the gas to the structure, and leave electricity on. The reason why they do this is so that your tented and sealed property does not turn into a clicking bomb. Imagine if you were to have a small leak? It is better to be safe than sorry I would say. Normally they turn the gas off a day before the fumigation for vacant properties, and same day for occupied properties, this is to try to minimize the time without that basic utility. SDG&E will come back after the process is completed and turn the gas connection on, as well as to turn all pilots on and do their routinely inspection. Do not forget to schedule the reconnection appointment, as this is the property owner’s responsibility.

We hope that this answered many of your questions. If you still have any, please give us a call to (619) 421 – 2101, send us an email or leave us a comment and we will be more than happy to try and find and answer to them.

Author Information:

Gilberto A. Cortez | Licensed Inspector
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