The termite fumigation process is very complex and involves restricted-use pesticides. Fumigations can be performed only by professionals who have completed extensive training and passed certification tests.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the use of sulfuryl fluoride fumigants (the most common structural fumigant in the U.S.) and has registered several formulations for use in homes and commercial buildings. Many state and local governments have additional regulations in place. Fumigators must be knowledgeable about these regulations in order to be certified.
In addition to government-mandated training, fumigators using sulfuryl fluoride also must complete training through the product’s manufacturer. Training focuses on safety, fumigant use and effectiveness, and proper application and equipment techniques. Fumigators learn how to use the labeled doses of fumigant necessary to control each type of pest. (Fumigation can be an effective treatment method for other pests besides termites, including bed bugs and cockroaches.)
Termite Fumigation Safety
A certified termite expert may use several pieces of equipment to help ensure your termite fumigation is as safe as possible:
- A fumiscope is used to measure concentrations of fumigant gas during the treatment process.
- Leak detectors are used to monitor for gases that may escape the treatment area.
- A clearance device is used to check for extremely low concentrations (1 part per million or less) of fumigant in the house before people and pets can return.
How Safe Are Fumigants?
Fumigants do not leave residues on household items after treatment, once the home has been aired and cleared properly. While this lack of residue means there will not be any fumigant when you return, it also means that fumigants do not offer protection against future termite infestations.