How many years is a tenting fumigation good for?

Asked by misterricc, Laguna Hills, CA Mon Jan 28, 2013

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Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Tue Jan 29, 2013
Hi misterricc,

In CA I have been told there are basically two types of termites: Drywood (brown in color) which colonize within the home's wood members, and Subterranean (black in color), which harvest wood pulp and take it back into the ground to grow microscopic mushrooms as a food source. Both do fly during “swarm season”, but each is treated differently as far as infestation.

To be 100% sure a Drywood termite issue has been addressed you need to tent. There are companies that spot-treat; however, I still have doubts about this method.

Because it leaves no residue, sulfuryl fluoride (aka “Vikane” and there are others gases) is commonly used for termite tenting; nonetheless, this provides no protection from future infestations. Sulfuryl Fluoride works by simply blocking the absorption of nutrients to the termite while the tenting is occurring. It is common to see a temporary increase in ant activity after a tenting as the ants will go into the termite tunnels and "harvest" the prior occupants. Re-infestation can reoccur at any time once the tenting is completed but more likely to occur during the “swarm season” in the spring months. In fact, if you are home during a Spring rain that is followed by bright sun you might be able to see the flickering reflection of the Sun as it hits the termites wings in flight – I know, not a heart-warming recreational activity, but it would help to decide when to call the termite company again.

All things being equal, I would pick the longest warranty provided; however, note that the warranty is only of value if you can determine a termite issue is again present before the warranty runs out. Of course, you could also schedule a re-inspection before the end of the warranty to be conservative.

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Shirley Smith, Agent, Bellflower, CA
Mon Jan 28, 2013
good evening, it varies; the warranty will be specified in the contract from the company. You will receive an estimate to sign prior to the fumigation which is the time to ask this question..
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