To Tent or Not to Tent
So That is the Question that comes up most often when talking about Termite Treatment. There are several companies out there who do a “no tent treatment” as opposed to a Fumigation. Both treatments satisfy the requirements on a Real Estate Contract, Both treatments typically come with a Guarantee or a Bond, Both treatments can kill Termites. So what is the best method and why?
The answer like most in life depends on many factors. There are times when the No Tent Treatment is the only possibility, however in our opinion Fumigation is the Only way to go to be assured of the highest rate of success. You do not have to take my word for it either, The university of Florida Wood-destroying insects unit has published multiple papers on the subject that are readily available. Our personal experience of finding live termites in properties that are under a current bond or recently treated with methods other than fumigation also supports our position.
There are Many different methods that have been developed or tested, however in our area the two predominate methods are fumigation, and “spot treatment”. Fumigation will treat the entire structure and typically takes 1-2 days for treatment (a third for clearance) This has the highest rate of effectiveness of all the treatments available and has no residual treatment effect, the disadvantage is that overnight evacuation of the structure and removal or protection of food is required. (this is typically not an issue in a Real Estate transaction as if it is timed correctly after the owner moves out and before you move in, there is no inconvenience)
The No Tent treatment is basically a spot treatment, There is no way to fully access or deliver the treatment to all areas of the home in some (most) cases. The requirements are that the areas of material must be drilled to inject the material into the identified infested wood. and the coverage area is between 3-12 ft of galleries. The strong point of this is that there is a potential for residual effects. However it is only effective in the areas treated.
By the way, some of the other treatments include Heat, Cold, Electrocution, Microwaves, Borate Surface spray and of course wood replacement.
So When should we Tent? The answer would be any time and every time that you can! Sadly however there may be times when fumigation (tenting) is not feasible or possible. Such as if your unit is attached to other units, You would have to fumigate the entire building. ( I have a client who owns a building downtown that is heavily infested with Drywood termites, but since the entire city block is connected including two restaurants it would be next to impossible to get an entire city block to agree to treatment) In these cases then application in a no tent treatment is usually the best option.
If you have a home with stucco over wood frame, if you have multiple areas of visible activity, if you have areas of the home that can not be accessed to apply a chemical. These are all properties that should be fumigated as apposed to the no tent treatment.
Do not fall for the salesman hype, chances are that your no tent treatment will likely wind eventually getting a fumigation.