Today is tent day


  #1  
Old 01-30-15, 05:19 AM
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Today is tent day

So today I am having my house tented, going through all the prep work now and ready to vacate. First, stupid me, I got three bids, and selected the bid from a guy who is the most knowledgeable, but come tent day, I found out they are not the company doing the work, its a sub...hence the scheduling issue, they can't tell me what time they will arrive, its someone else they call who calls them back then they call me...

Now question #1, the rep who sold me the job told me the tenting will need 3 days to properly do its work to kill off any termites. Any less we are taking chances. I have made plans to be gone 3 days. The sub who called this morning told me they will come between 10-12 this morning, I ask when they will come to remove the tent, they told me "same time tomorrow". I was like "wait, I thought it needs 3 days for it to work?", they said "no, 24 hours is plenty"...ok?

I asked the original rep if the gas will kill off all the termites, behind walls, inside all dead spaces? He said yes, it will occupy all the crevices and air space, I said even in wall cavities covered by two thick layers of plaster, behind thick mudded tile walls with all plumbing access holes sealed with caulk? Really? He said of course! Now I am looking at the prep sheet and it says to open every drawer and cabinet door at least 4". Why? I asked why the need to open 4" if it can penetrate deep into wall cavities where the termites live, they said its just "making sure"...but I am a bit perplexed by this, I said is it like when an airplane has lost all engines and crashing into a mountain at a 45 degree angle with a speed of 250mph, the pilot tells the passenger to put the seat back in a non reclined position and fold the tray table back, that kind of "making sure"? They just chuckle...
 
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Old 01-30-15, 10:40 AM
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Iíve never performed structural fumigation but I did commodity fumigation as a DoD employee so I am familiar with the theories.

The amount of time under fumigation and the temperature of the commodity and surrounding area coupled with the cubic footage to be fumigated is the formula for a successful treatment. Providing this is done correctly then yes the gas will penetrate even the walls, masonry, wooden members, etc. Wonít penetrate plastic, poly, etc which is why they use that for the tent. I agree with opening the drawers, doors, etc as it seems to me that a hard poly urethane finish could slow down the penetration. I wouldnít read too much into that instruction.

I am concerned about the 24 hour period. Again-I havenít done structural fumigation but our commodity fumiís were 3 days. Try to get hold of the original guy but first maybe call the regulatory agency in your state. In PA it would the the Pa. Dept. of Ag, donít know who yours would be.

Meanwhile, take and record air temperatures around your house several times during the tenting period. The higher the temperature the shorter the tenting time but there should be a minimum time frame no matter what temperature is. Could be handy data to have in a discussion as well as comparing to their numbers.

What is the name of the fumigant being used?
 
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Old 01-30-15, 10:50 AM
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Now the crew is here late at 2pm, speaking to the foreman and he said they will take it down tomorrow morning after 16 hours. Again they say "should be ok..."

Is it ok? Any expert on tenting?
 
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Old 01-30-15, 01:06 PM
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Use your friend google. I found a ton of information in reference to tenting in Florida. The following is from one site but appears to be the general consensus.


Tent Fumigation is a 3 day process


First Day - The Tent will be put over the home and the gas will be released.

Second Day - Tent will be removed and house gets aired out.

Third Day - The house will be tested with an interscan to make sure that 100% of the gas has been removed from the house. Once that has been done we will deem the house clear for reentry and you are able to return to your home.
 
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Old 01-30-15, 03:42 PM
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They are using Vikane gas.
 
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Old 01-30-15, 05:09 PM
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I spoke to the rep who sold me the job, he said the three days is typically day 1 set up, day to expose to gas, day 3 is take down and air out. He said normally they will only need to have gas for 24 hours, but in this case if they do 16 hours, it still need 6 hours to air out, and during that time, the gas is still "working" so it's like 18 hours, and that's plenty of time for it to kill everything.

I am not too confident...but there is no way to make sure. I can't knock on the termites' doors and ask "are you all dead?" So I have no way to prove it worked or not worked.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 03:51 AM
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It's been a long time since I lived in fla but doesn't the state law require them to warrant their extermination for 1 year?
 
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Old 02-01-15, 06:57 AM
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marksr, I think there is a warranty but even that is not really that useful.

I plan to pay their yearly "renewal" which is about $175 a year so if it does come back they are covered.

The issue is that there is really no definitive way to verify if the termites are gone or not.

Yes there are coffee grounds ejected from the wood galleries.

I ask the company if we continue to see coffee grounds does it mean the termites are still there?

The answeres:

#1: Not necessarily, because the coffee grounds may have accumulated inside the galleries and all it takes is some vibration, someone pounding a nail, or running around could cause that to shift and be released.

#2: That I might actually see swarming as the termites are "chased" out by the gas and trying to survive. We should kill them by spraying Windex on them.

I found this to be disturbing. I understand the existing coffee grounds in the wood that may shift. To me the answer is simple. If the droppings come out in a perfect circle like it had before, and it is consistent, then it's still there. But I don't understand how the Vikane gas would not kill every termite off, but some would be flying around? I have never heard that before.

Also I read somewhere that the gas may not kill off eggs or larvae. They may hatch new termites and continue a new colony.
 
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Old 02-01-15, 12:05 PM
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The warranty generally covers any new damage caused by termites, so if new damage pops up - they pay not only to re exterminate but also to replace that wood. My wife's sister has an ongoing termite issue [she pays the yearly fee] and they come out and retreat every time she sees them swarm [besides their regularly schedules treatments]
 
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Old 02-01-15, 03:44 PM
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PAbugman: does Windex actually kill termites? If so, then what about other bugs? Tx.

marynurse
 
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Old 02-01-15, 08:17 PM
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The Windex reference was meant to say if you actually see the live termites swarming you can spray Windex to kill them, that's what's stated on the termite post treatment guidelines issued by my pest control company.

It will NOT kill termites living in wood.
 
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Old 02-02-15, 06:19 AM
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I imagine that glass cleaners with ammonia in them will kill insects on contact but no residual life to it. If one is having a pest control issue then glass cleaner won’t help that. Ammonia will actually repel insects away from ant/roach bait so I tell customers not to use anything like that near the bait placements.



I’m certain that fumigation gas will kill eggs and larvae if the formula of time, temperature and volume is followed.
 

Last edited by PAbugman; 02-02-15 at 06:20 AM. Reason: additional info
 

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