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Structural Fumigation

Structural fumigation is a pest control method that involves filling the airspace within a structure with a toxic gas. A tarp, or tent, is used over the structure to trap the gas inside. The gas penetrates cracks, crevices, and pores in the wood to eliminate pests, such as drywood termites and bed bugs. After the tarp is removed, fans are used to help the gas escape into the atmosphere. Leftover residues are not expected to remain on surfaces.

The primary active ingredient in fumigants intended for residential dwellings is sulfuryl fluoride. Only certified applicators can use sulfuryl fluoride products because the U.S. EPA classified them as Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP). Certified applicators have been trained in the proper handling of the fumigant and fumigation-related equipment and procedures.

What are some basic steps involved in a structural fumigation?

Prior to fumigation, the Pest Control Company will provide detailed instructions about how to prepare your home. Preparation may include some of the following steps:

Currently heat or thermal treatment is the only "whole-structure" alternative to fumigation, though localized or spot treatments may also be available. Contact your local Cooperative Extension Service and/or the Bio-Integral Resource Center (BIRC) for more information about these methods.

If you have questions about pesticides in the environment, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Additional Resources

Last updated October 21, 2019

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