Drywood termites are wood destroying insects that costs consumers many millions of dollars in damages around the country. In California, it is estimated that $250 million dollars are spent every year to eliminate drywood termite infestations. One important pesticide polluter used in California is sulfuryl fluoride. Also known as Vikane, it is primarily used to fumigate homes with drywood termite infestations. However, there is a lot of research to suggest that sulfulryl fluoride is a dangerous gas to use. As an alternative, eco-friendly pest control companies suggest using orange oil. What is the debate behind Vikane? Why is orange oil a better alternative? We answer these questions and more in this post.
Understanding Sulfuryl Fluoride and its Hazards
Vikane is the trade name for sulfuryl fluoride gas. It is extremely hazardous, and is always marked by a DANGER poison label with the skull and crossbones. The ill effects of this gas are extremely debilitating. Initial exposure can lead to respiratory irritation and CNS depression. The next symptom is excitation, followed by loss of motor control and cognition. If a person is exposed to Vikane for a long time period (at about 400 ppm), it can cause significant organ damage and convulsions, eventually leading to respiratory arrest.
Why Sulfuryl Fluoride is not Appropriate for Termite Services
There are a variety of reasons why Vikane should not be used as the fumigant in termite eradication operations.
- The house has to be wrapped and sealed before the gas is injected.
- This causes a major inconvenience to home owners. Not only do they have to prepare for the fumigation, they are required to stay out of the house overnight.
- A study by University of California states that sulfuryl fluoride is a major greenhouse gas. It can last for up to 30 years in the atmosphere.
- Another study conducted by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography confirmed the University’s findings. This study found that one kilogram of sulfuryl fluoride emitted into the atmosphere has global warming potential approximately 4,800 times greater than one kilogram of carbon dioxide.
- The use of Vikane in general has been linked to numerous deaths, particularly acute respiratory failures in children and the elderly.
The above mentioned points confirmed that a suitable replacement was required to eliminate and control drywood termite infestations in homes. Over the years, a variety of control methods were used. The most well-known were using microwaves, varying levels of heat and cold, and electro guns. However, these methods were not sufficient to control the infestations. They were too time consuming and expensive. Also, extreme heat levels would result in the damage of electronic items, furniture, and even entire homes. Moreover, families have lost their lives due to such practices.
Considering Orange Oil as a Suitable Replacement for Sulfuryl Fluoride
Orange oil has been used as a replacement for Vikane by termite service providers for more than a decade. Some of the reasons behind its popularity are:
- Orange oil comprises the hydrocarbon d−limonene, which is known to be an effective insecticide. When a termite comes in contact with the oil, the d-limonene causes the pest’s exoskeleton to dissolve. It also stops any living termites from feeding.
- Due to this element, the oil has low toxicity levels, and will not harm humans.
- The d-limonene gives orange oil a pleasant fragrance. Hence, the need for the family to leave the house during the termite eradication process is eliminated.
Orange Oil – A Solution Driven Product Provided by Planet Orange
Planet Orange specializes in providing orange oil termite services. We have the knowledge and expertise to utilize the oil to locate and destroy large hidden termite infestations. At Planet Orange, we utilize a specialized XT-2000 Orange Oil to eliminate termite infestations. It is designed to move through the wood, wicking through it, filling up the wood completely, and thus ensuring comprehensive termite eradication.
Using this product, we have eliminated infestations from schools, churches, apartment complexes, and commercial buildings. If you would like to know more about our services, you can contact us by logging onto our website.