Owners/Occupants

Your home may be your most important investment. There are several things you can do to help ensure the success of home fumigation and the safety and protection of your personal belongings.

 

Preparing food, feed, drugs (including tobacco products), and medicinals


Double-bag any food items that have been opened.

  • Double-bag any food items that have been opened (that is, the original manufacturer’s seal is broken) in special Nylofume bags, seal them tightly, and leave them in the home. This also includes items such as medicines, tobacco, and pet foods. Nylofume bags are nylon polymer bags that protect food items during fumigation. If in doubt on what to double-bag, remove the items from your home.
  • Only food, feed, drugs, and medicinals in glass, plastic, or metal bottles, jars, or cans that still have the original manufacturer’s seal can stay in the home and do not need to be double-bagged. For example, a 2-liter bottle of soda with the manufacturer’s seal would not need to be double- bagged.
  • Unopened wine and liquor bottles can remain in the house during fumigation, but only if the original seal is unbroken. Visually inspect each bottle to determine the seal integrity. If the integrity of the seal cannot be determined visually, the wine bottle or other packaged liquor must be removed or double-bagged in Nylofume bags before the termite fumigation. 

    Note: ALL corked wine bottles need to be stored horizontally (on their sides).

Opened items that do not need to be removed or sealed in Nylofume bags before the professionals fumigate your home include dental hygiene products (including toothpaste, mouthwash, dental adhesives, and dental whitening products), cosmetics including lipstick, all externally applied lotions and ointments, ice and water.

 

Sealing Nylofume bags properly to protect food, feed and medicinals


Seal both the inner and outer bags. 
  • Double-up the Nylofume bags before you fill them, by putting one inside the other. Research has shown that these nylon polymer bags are very effective when used one inside of the other.  
  • Seal both the inner and outer bags after they are full. Starting with the inner bag, twist the top, double it over, and secure with tape or a twist tie. Repeat this procedure with the outer bag. Test the bag by gently pressing against the bag and checking for air leaks. No air should be able to escape. Your fumigator can provide Nylofume bags and instructions on how to use them. 
For information about using Nylofume bags, including how to seal them properly and which foods should be bagged or removed from your home, please see "To Bag or Not to Bag," (PDF) available in English and Spanish.
 

Preparing the rest of the house


Make sure your fumigator has keys to all locked areas of your home. 
  • Remove or open waterproof covers on mattresses and pillows.
  • Open all doors and drawers to cabinets, closets, and appliances.
  • Open blinds and drapes in your home so the fumigator has easy access to windows for the termite fumigation and aeration process.
  • Unplug and turn off heat sources, including pilot lights. Vikane® gas fumigant is not flammable, but it is important to make sure the gas supply is shut off at the meter for the house.  
  • Remove pets and interior houseplants from your home.
  • Give the fumigator keys to your home. Cars, cabinets, safes, and other locked items or rooms will need to be unlocked throughout the fumigation process so that the fumigator can inspect them and aerate them according to label requirements. If you don’t wish to leave them unlocked, provide the fumigator with the keys so that he or she can perform the required checks.
  • The professional fumigator will check that all food items are double-bagged and that everything is ready before your home fumigation begins.
 

Preparing your home’s exterior

  • Remove or cut back any plants and shrubs, and rake back gravel or mulch closer than 18 inches to the house. This is necessary because of the tenting placed around your house. To minimize the escape of gas, the fumigator seals the tents directly to the ground with water- or sand-filled snakes. Any plants on the ground where the tent needs to be sealed will need to be removed. Awnings, trellises, or fences may also interfere with tenting. Your professional fumigator will work with you to decide what to do with these items before you fumigate your home.
  • Water plants, shrubs, and ground cover near your home the day before the fumigation to protect their roots.