Studies have shown that fumigation with Vikane gas is 100% effective against all life stages of bed bugs. It works by replacing oxygen within an enclosed space, causing bed bugs and their eggs to suffocate.
In addition, when the gas comes into contact with bed bugs, it breaks down into fluoride and sulfate inside their bodies. There, fluoride acts as a toxin to insects by interfering with their metabolism and eventually causing death.
There are two types of Vikane gas fumigation for bed bugs: structural fumigation and containerized fumigation.
Structural fumigation is used to treat entire houses or buildings. Vikane gas is pumped into the sealed structure, saturating the space and penetrating deep into the smallest cracks and crevices where bed bugs like to hide.
This requires the premises to be evacuated for the duration of the treatment, which usually ranges from 18 – 48 hours depending on the size of the structure and the extent of the bed bug infestation.
Containerized fumigation is used to treat items, clothing, and furniture. These items are moved from an infested area into a vehicle or cargo container for fumigation.
This type of fumigation is usually done in conjunction with other types of bed bug treatment. It can be used to treat items and valuables that might otherwise be thrown out.
Compared to structural fumigation, containerized fumigation doesn’t take nearly as long. The entire process usually only takes several hours and can be done overnight.
The Bed Bug Fumigation Process
The fumigation process starts with tightly sealing the structure or container in question. This can either be done through tenting or taping.
Vikane gas is then pumped into the sealed area, where it kills the bed bugs inside.
Because the gas is odorless and colorless, it is applied together with a warning agent, chloropicrin. The warning agent has a strong odor and dissipates more slowly than Vikane. It’s there as an additional safety measure to deter unauthorized entry and ensure that the structure is completely aired out.
Once treatment is complete and the structure or container is unsealed and aerated, the Vikane gas rapidly dissipates harmlessly into the air.
Advantages of Bed Bug Fumigation
Vikane gas fumigation can be used to treat moderate to heavy infestations in which bed bugs have spread to multiple rooms. It’s safe for electronics, furniture, fabrics, and other household items.
The main advantage of this type of treatment is how well the fumigant penetrates into all spaces of a home.
Bed bugs tend to harbor in narrow spaces as thin as a credit card, helping them stay out of reach from regular contact sprays. Vikane gas, however, can easily penetrate into these cracks and crevices to eliminate these hideaways.
Another advantage of fumigation is that it doesn’t require as much preparation as other types of treatment, particularly when it comes to decluttering and removing belongings from the infested area.