How long should I stay out of house tented for termites?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by LdyM, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. LdyM

    LdyM New Member

    Hello my freinds,

    My cousin's entire house was tented and treated for termite infestation the weekend of Nov. 13.

    She wants me to come for an afternoon visit or to spend the night, and I'm afraid to go there.

    I've had disabling CFIDS for ten years, but I don't have a real huge problem with chemical sensitivity.

    She doesn't really know what was used for the job, but she and her husband had to stay elseware for four days while the procedure was done and could also smell odors when they returned.

    What's your advice on how long I should avoid her home?

    I was thinking at least six weeks (Christmas), or perhaps it's (you fill in the blank) months?

    Thank you all for your help with this..
  2. rockyjs

    rockyjs Member

    It would depend on the chemicals used. I thought the tenting treatment was based on heat, not chemicals, but if she could smell something they must have used a pesticide also.

    Most indoor approved pesticides break down fairly quickly now and don't have the long-term residual effects that the organophosphates used to have (like Chlordane, Dursban, etc). In our area they're beginning to use treated bait instead that is placed in canisters in the ground to protect people and pets from exposure.

    You're wise to health problems all started after pesticide poisoning from termite treatment to my parents' home when I was in high school. Even the so-called inert ingredients or carriers for the pesticides can be harmful.

    If you can find out what chemicals were used (the company has to provide it to her if she requests it) I'll try to get some information for you.

  3. monicacat

    monicacat Member

    Forever? Seriously, I'm chemically sensitive (partially caused by pesticides)and once you've crossed over, there's never going back. Don't risk it.
  4. LdyM

    LdyM New Member

    Bumping for more advice.. Thank you everyone.

    I'm working on that information rockyjs.

  5. Mar19

    Mar19 New Member

    I suffer from multiple chemical sensitivities, as do many of us with these DD's. It may sound paranoid, but I'd wait at least six months before I'd venture a visit...a year would be better.

    I've had so many episodes of being sick after being exposed to chemicals; many episodes last weeks and months at a time. I wouldn't want to risk it. I'm thinking at the very least wait until the spring after you cousin has had opportunity to open all the doors and windows several times.

    I know I'm being very cautious, but almost every chemical smell gets me very sick. Sorry to be so negative.

    Love and blessings
  6. LdyM

    LdyM New Member

    You're not being negative at all. Your cautious opinion is helpful to me as are all the others. It's scarey stuff.**
  7. LdyM

    LdyM New Member

    Hello all,

    This is the letter I received from my cousin regarding the chemical used when they had thier house tented for termite extermination in mid-November.

    "The gas that was used is called VIKANE (manufactured by Dow). The chemical name is SULFURYL FLUORIDE. There was no heat generated.

    The trouble that the parrot had was, according to what the salesman told me, birds have different circulatory systems than humans. They are much more sensitive. That is why they had canaries in mines. They would feel the effects of poison gas before the miners would notice anything. The salesman was concerned because our neighbor's birds were so close to our house. The neighbor wouldn't move them but they don't seem any the worse for wear.

    The salesman also mentioned that Vikane was the gas used to treat food grain (I don't know if that's called fumigating food)."

    Thank you so much for your help, **LdyM
  8. rockyjs

    rockyjs Member

    I'd never heard of it since it's not used in any areas where I've lived, but I did a little research. According to the manufacturer there is no residue left after the gas dissipates (which takes about 6 hours). It would be kind of like releasing the coolant in your air conditioner or refrigerator. It can be very toxic if you breathe the gas, but once it's gone, it's gone.

    I read through some sites that had stories on pesticide poisoning and the only reference to Vikane was someone getting sick when their neighbor's home was fumigated (apparently without proper precautions). That's in contrast to hundreds of references to poisonings from organophosphate pesticides like Dursban, Chlordane, etc.

    Flourine gasses are used in several applications including anesthesia and fumigation. I am extremely sensitive to fluorine and had to be very careful when I was a doula (labor assistant) about going into an operating room. The anesthesiologists told me that they have fans to evacuate the residual gasses and that I would be safe to go in about 15 minutes after anesthesia had been used. They were right...I had no ill effects if I waited till the gas had cleared.

    From everything that I'm reading it looks safe once the tenting is removed and the house is well ventilated. If you want to be certain, take a canary with you - they are so sensitive that the fluorine gasses given off from teflon cookware will make them sick! Not really...I know none of us wants to sacrifice a bird, but the canary in the coal mine was a lifesaving precaution for the miners.

    Here's what I found from a website with an FAQ on Vikane:

    What is Vikane gas fumigant?

    Vikane is a colorless, odorless gas that quickly penetrates structural materials during fumigation. It is non-staining, non-corrosive and non-flammable. Vikane quickly dissipates from the structure into the atmosphere and does not deplete the ozone.

    Does Vikane leave any residues?

    Unlike other treatment options, Vikane does not remain in the home after fumigation. It completely dissipates, leaving no surface residues behind. So with Vikane, you don't need to wash your dishes, linens, clothing and other items after fumigation.

    Does Vikane cause damage?

    Vikane does not react with most materials. It is highly unlikely to cause damage to structures or their contents when properly applied by a trained fumigator.

    What precautions are taken to ensure my family's safety?

    Your professional licensed fumigator will: (1) Release the warning agent to deter entry to the home. (2) Secure doors on your home with additional locking devices to prevent unauthorized entry. (3) Use sophisticated equipment to ensure that Vikane has dissipated, so you may re-enter your home.

  9. LdyM

    LdyM New Member

    I am GREATLY relieved regarding Vikane! Thank you!

    Jan you are a wealth of information and I truely appreciate your experience and research and respect your intelligent opinion.

    Happy Holidays,**LdyM
  10. Hippo

    Hippo New Member

    We had our house tented while I was pregnant. I stayed away one night only. I had horrible CFS at the time and still do. I came home and didn't have any problems, and only stayed away the one night. What I mean to say is that my symptoms didn't worsen at all. I brought our cat back the next day and she was fine too.

  11. Hippo

    Hippo New Member

    That they used Vikane in our house. I had no problems afterward.

  12. LdyM

    LdyM New Member

    I am so happy with what you have to say regarding your own experience. I feel more confident than ever on this matter.

    Thanks for the reassurance. Funny the house in question is in Orange County also..**LdyM