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Question DetailsAsked on 8/17/2013

how effective is the thermal treatment for termites?

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6 Answers


thermal treatment, is no where near 100% effective. neither is bug bombs, or orange oil, or anything else. the only way you can get a 100% kill rate is with tenting. after tenting all bugs, rats and mice, stray cats, everything will be killed, except rolly polleys, who will simply roll up and protect themselves, till the danger has passed. however after the fumigation is completed there will be dead bodies of the termites everywhere in the walls, etc. and this is like a sweet desert, a great food source for ants. you may as well have birthday cake packed into your walls. so you will see ants, will have many, many ants, coming to partake of this food source, yes ants, like you've never seen them before! so you will need to address this issue with a plan to spray periodically for them as well. the stuff they sell at the depot, lowes and wall mart will not work on all these ants. but, the dead termites will in time decompose, and this food source will disappear, but for a year or so, unless you like the idea of a ant invasion, plan on you have gotten rid of the termites... and the ants,,and you are good..unless later on a new swarm of termites again pick you home to land on. now you have been re infested. and get to do it all over again!

Answered 5 years ago by roger661


Hi Roger,

Thank you for your response. My interest is in hearing more about people with experience in thermal treatment of termites. I am excited about the idea of not having to dump chemicals into my home. If you have more information about thermal treatment I would greatly appreciate it.

Answered 5 years ago by ReneeN


I did some research on this when my Mom's home in California needed treatment because of a neighborhood infestation. Four adjacent houses needed treatment, so all were looking at doing it one after another with one contractor to make it cheaper.

As it turned out, I had access to a high-end thermal modelling program at work, so I modelled a typical wood wall. Based on University of California Davis research, it takes about 130 degrees F for 6 minutes to achieve 99.99% kill on termites, and about 10 minutes for the eggs in the nest. The computer model showed it would take over 6-18 hours for a 180 degree heat treatment to even reach 160 inside a 4" thick beam like a header or in the middle of a 6 inch insulated wall, yet the typical treatment time is only an hour and usually at only 140-160 degrees. Therefore, any well-insulated termite, especially those in a thick insulated wall or in the middle of a substantial timber (where they commonly nest and hatch the larvae) would never see a substantial heat rise. That is why a great many heat treatments need multiple treatments or revert to poison after the termites reappear.

Therefore, two of the homeowners chose to go thermal, I decided (along with one other) to go tenting and poison. The tented houses had no termites visible 3 months later, the heat treated ones had visible termite activity resume within a few days and they ended up tenting with poison.

Another drawback to the thermal treatment is it has no residual effect to kill flying termites coming back into the house after treatment or termites tht survive the treatment, and while pesticide treatments can add ant killers to kill the ants that come looking for the dead termites, you have to do something separate to control the ants with the heat treatment.

For my money, heat treatment fails to make the grade of being scientifically sound, along with freezing and microwave and radio frequency and organic oil treatments. I believe it is largely another case of environmentally oversensitive people being led astray with pseudo-science.

One other factor with the heat treatment is that the high temperature can damage electronics, freezers and reefers, food, and many types of plastics unless they are removed; and the high heat can cause cosmetic cracking of plaster and drywall walls and cracking of windows.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


Thermal Termite Treatments have been successfully used for 20 YEARS in California and when done by a reputable company the results are 100% effective. Anyone who experienced poor results can blame the failure on the company's inexperience or lack of supervision, because thermal termite remediation is 100% effective and has been used in tens of thousands of applications. The first landmark study proving the success of thermal termite treatments was done approximately 20 years ago at the University of California - Berkeley under the Chief Scientist Vernard Lewis. Since this UC Berkeley study there have been other studies showing the same superior results such as a study done by the University of Florida. Florida lags behind California in many advancements and it is unfortunate that there are postings with extremely inaccurate and wrong information on Angie's List that misinform the public re the success of thermal termite remediation. The toxic effects of the poison that almost all Florida pest control companies use are extremely dangerous. Most of the Florida pest control companies use "Sulfuryl Fluoride" which the EPA rates as a highly dangerous Category I Nerve Toxin. The EPA has not released the results of cancer studies or dermal absorption studies. The EPA will only release the results of these studies if they are forced to through a Freedom of Information request - and if the studies showed no harm to humans they would be easily available to the public. The results from all available studies of sulfuryl fluoride tested on laboratory animals (dogs, rabbits, rats, etc.) show that the sulfuryl fluoride nerve toxin primarily attacks the brain. The termite gas, "sulfuryl fluoride" is extremely deadly and will kill all animals, people and plants who are exposed to it. Even though termite companies will claim that the sulfuryl fluoride (also called "Vikane" and other trade names) leaves no residue, this contradicts the fact that studies have proven that the gas will continue to be released from surfaces in your home after you are allowed back in the home. There are cases where people who have returned to their home after the termite company has applied the nerve gas and completed the airing out process, and the people died, or neighbors living next to the tented house died. Also, as recently as the spring of 2015 every member of an entire family in the Virgin Islands fell into a coma after a neighboring structure was fumigated by "Methyl bromide", which was used for decades in the United States not only to kill termites, but also applied to grains and other food products. And researchers claim to not know why Alzheimer's Disease is an epidemic and is predicted to double by 2025! And cancer rates are soaring! Everyone should opt for the Thermal Termite Treatment method over the highly deadly Category I nerve toxin, Sulfuryl Fluoride which has been directly linked to brain damage. As consumers we must demand an environmentally safe option instead of deadly nerve gas. And, unlike the toxic nerve gas termite treatments, the thermal treatments are accompanied by an application of non-toxic "Borate" which is absorbed into the wood during the heat proccess and if termites return, they will not eat the wood as it is poison to termites....but safe for humans, pets and plants. For contact information for reputable Thermal termite companies, email


Answered 4 years ago by Guest_9493099


Sulfuryl Fluoride is a homeowner's best friend and a termite's worst nightmare. Colorless, odorless, high vapor pessure (16 atm) means no residue. Toxic to termites. Ventilation is required until levels are far below exposure risk to humans. Heat, orange oil, spot treatments just buy you a little time. Eventually you will fumigate because it works. There are many reputible companies to choose from but always best to ask your neighborfor a referral who can relate their experience from A to A.

Kill the bugs, kill 'em dead, show no mercy. Sulfuryl Fluoride is the way to go!

Answered 3 years ago by MrScience


Simple human error can make the deadly nerve gas Sulfuryl Fluoride a homeowner's worst nightmare. Along with many other people, the parents of a 10 year old Palm City, Florida boy, Peyton McCaughey, know this to be true. In August of 2015 the McCaughey family was sickened by the human error of pest control workers who applied sulfuryl fluoride to their home to kill termites. Peyton was traumatically and irreversibly brain damaged according to multiple news reports. Many people (and pets) have been harmed by sulfuryl fluoride, including fatalities. Sulfuryl Fluoride is an ultra hazardous gas and animal experiments show that it attacks the brain. Sulfuryl Fluoride, invented by Dow Chemical Corp (the inventors of other macabre and deadly toxins such as Agent Orange and Napalm) was one of the chemical gasses of choice for the president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad to kill civilians in part because it is colorless and odorless, and can kill all forms of life (human, animal, plant) that it comes in contact with. According to the EPA, Sulfuryl fluoride does in fact leave a residue, as outlined by the EPA on their website (see 180.575 Sulfuryl fluoride; tolerances for residues.) The Alzheimer's Association states that in Florida, where sulfuryl fluoride use has quadrupled (approx) in the past few years, Alzheimer's disease will double in the next ten years. Something is causing this neurological disorder to spike out of control creating a growing health care crisis of epidemic proportions. Urgent questions need to be addressed by the "Environmental Protection" Agency. Reducing the use of highly toxic products and methods is logical. Research done by scientists at MIT and Scripps have proved that sulfuryl fluoride has 4,800 times the warming impact of Carbon Dioxide (!), and that it has a lifetime of 36 years, making it an extremely destructive contributor to green house gas. The good news is that there are alternatives to Sulfuryl Fluoride including the Thermal Method which is 100% non-toxic and which, in addition to being highly effective in killing termites and bed bugs, it pasteurizes buildings killing all molds, pathogens, bacteria etc. and thus it eliminates bad odors.


Answered 3 years ago by VaughnVanessa

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