It is widely accepted that termite tenting is not a quick and easy process. But do not let this fool you. You can have it done safely, effectively, and efficiently if you take a step back to look at the whole event from a more logical point of view. What is termite tenting really all about?
To understand what is termite tenting one must first look at its definition. Tenting is any treatment that involves the use of heat extermination to exterminate termites. The termite tenting procedure may involve the installation of metal traps around the house or the use of heat treatments such as freezing or thawing.
So what is termite tenting and how is it done? Termites will build a house and make several colonies which then fuse together. When the colony is fully established termites emerge and begin to feed on wood. During this feeding process, small pieces of wood are released which the termites crawl into. The heat that is released from a fumigation or heat treatment kills the termite and therefore the colony that is fumigated or treated dies.
In order to understand what termite tenting is it is helpful to first understand what fumigation is. Fumigation is usually conducted with the use of a toxic gas called sulfuryl fluoride. This gas is stored in steel drums or cylindrical tanks which are commonly referred to as blast balls. Fumigation is conducted by placing the drums close to the colonies of termites and letting them drift inside the drum with the gas. As the termite tenting colonies move inwards the chlorine gas inside the drums begins to oxidize, killing off the termite that is resting on top of the wall.
One of the problems that often come with termite tenting is the re-entry of the termites once the treatment is finished. Because of the way the treatment works, it is very possible for the trapped termites to re-enter the area. To prevent this from happening all entrances to your house must be sealed to prevent them from re-entering. In addition, you should consider using termite repellent to prevent them from entering. These can be sprayed around the perimeter of your house and in crawlspaces.
If you have already had termite tenting conducted then you may find that all the dead termites have been eliminated. If the tenting was conducted before your property became infested then it is likely that most of the dead termites have been killed. Some termite treatment centers also do a “rumination” treatment where a fumigation fluid is injected directly into the structure killing any remaining termites. The treatment must be repeated every few months in order to keep the termites dead and the structure protected.
Re-entry of termites is another problem that can occur when termite tenting is used. Once the termites have been killed, they begin to re-enter the soil where they were born. They will do this through underground tunnels that can be as long as twenty feet. Once inside they will begin to tunnel out and eventually destroy your structure. If you are interested in using termite tenting for this reason then you should make sure that you have a professional termite control company perform the treatment.
The third potential problem is the re-infestation of termites after termite tenting is no longer an option. There is a chemical called Vikane gas that is effective at eliminating termites. It is a very strong gas that is usually used to kill other pests as well as ants. The problem is that it is extremely flammable and should not be used on your structures if you are not going to be around for a few hours after application. This is why you should leave termite tenting until you can call in the pest control experts.