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For over 50 years, the fundamental pest control method used for termite control has been fumigation. Yet many people worry about indoor air quality and the harmful effects that fumigation and tenting may have on their family.

Termite Fumigation & Indoor Air Quality

Termite tenting is an effective termite control method when a home has an extensive infestation that cannot be treated effectively with more localized methods.

During termite tenting, sulfuryl fluoride combined with chloropicrin (a form of tear gas) is pumped into the home. The chloropicrin is used as a warning to passersby, that a dangerous chemical is present. Homeowners and pets must leave the home for two to three days because of fumigation dangers.

Once completed, the sulfuryl fluoride dissipates quickly from the home. Occupants are only cleared to re-enter the home when levels are below 1 ppm, a level set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Pest control professionals must test the air before allowing homeowners to move back in.

Termite Fumigation & Outdoor Air Quality

While fumigation is effective provided all instructions are followed, sulfuryl fluoride is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. It stays in the atmosphere for 30–40 years and is 4,000 percent more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat, contributing to climate change. So, even though tenting does not affect indoor air quality, pest control specialists and homeowners alike look toward effective termite control treatments that are environmentally cautious.

Alternative Termite Control & Air Quality

Today’s environmentally conscious homeowners are interested in alternative methods of termite control without risking indoor or outdoor air quality degradation. There are several that are both effective and natural. Ecola Services, Inc. offers several methods, depending on the type and extent of the infestation.

  • Ecola Heat is a whole house method for eradicating large infestations. Propane is used to raise the temperature of clean, outdoor air to levels that are lethal for insects and other pests. It is the only process recognized by the California Department of Consumer Affairs for full-structure termite control other than fumigation.
  • Electro-Gun is an effective tool for drywood termites that uses 90,000 volts of electricity that is attracted to the body of the termite because it is 85-95% composed of water. It is a quick process with minimal disruption to household routines.
  • Borates act as both repellent and bait whereby termites die upon attempting to eat the wood. The colony becomes alarmed and abandon the wood.

Call your local experts at Ecola for a free termite inspection at (800) 332-BUGS (2847) and learn more about air quality and alternative termite control in Southern and Central California.

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