Driskell Fumigation uses Dow AgroSciences' Vikane gas fumigant in conjunction with Chloropicrin to perform the full-structure fumigation of your property.

 What is the fumigation process?

      Usually, the day of or possibly the day before your fume date, Driskell Fumigation’s Prep Department will prepare the exterior of your property for fumigation (unless specified otherwise). This may include the trimming of your vegetation - plants, hedges, trees; pulling back ground cover; detaching fence/deck boards; removal of potted plants; clearing debris; etc. This is to ensure that our tarps will achieve a proper seal, as well as, to protect your property and possession from any damage.

      It is up to you to ensure that all people, plants and pets are out of the structure and overnight arrangements are made for your family and pets during the fumigation.

      On the 1st day of the fumigation, Driskell Fumigation will make a final walkthrough of the interior of a structure; tent the structure with large tarpaulins, "including inlets and ducts"; seal the tarps; and release Chloropicrin, a warning agent, into the structure. Then Driskell will introduce Vikane through a special hose attached to a fumigant cylinder located outside your property. Prior to the introduction of the fumigant, the utility company must shut off the natural gas service to the structure, performing a "fumigation gas lock/shut off" appointment, usually some time on the morning of the fumigation.

      Contained in the structure for a predetermined time, the fumigant penetrates deep into wood to eliminate the targeted pest.

      As of November 01, 2010, the California Aeration Plan (CAP), has taken effect, so on the 2nd day of a fumigation (in California), the aeration process of the fumigation begins, while the tarpaulins are still in place; there will be warning signs and secondary locking devices still in place, to deter an unauthorized person from entering a structure during a fumigation.

      Finally, on the 3rd day, the tarpaulins will be removed and the fumigated structure will be certified safe for re-entry; our warning signs and secondary locks will be removed and a notice will be posted on your front door (or on whichever entryway the key provided opens) stating that you are able to safely re-enter the fumigated structure. This is the same notice the utility company requires to be presented to them to have the gas service restored/gas meter re-assembled/pilot light(s) re-lit.

      Note: Most full-structure fumigations require a minimum 3 day process. Depending on the target pest, the process may require a longer time period.

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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. It will not leave any residue behind. Vikane quickly dissipates from the structure into the atmosphere and does not deplete the ozone.

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What is Chloropicrin?

Chloropicrin is a colorless liquid (also known as tear gas), causing tearing of the eyes and throat irritation when used at low concentrations. Chloropicrin helps ensure a structure is vacated of people and pets prior to fumigation with Vikane. It is the warning agent use to serve as a deterrent from early or accidental entry into a structure under fumigation. At the end of the fumigation, we will aerate both chloropicrin and Vikane from the structure before allowing you to re-enter your home.

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

Driskell Fumigation, a professionally licensed fumigation company, takes many precautions to ensure the safety of you, your family, your pets and property before, during and after the fumigation process.

We will:

      Release Chloropicrin, the warning agent we use with Vikane, to deter entry to your property.

      Secure the doors on your home with additional secondary locking devices designed to prevent entry by anyone other than Driskell Fumigation.

      Use sophisticated equipment to ensure that Vikane has dissipated and ensure your home is clear for re-entry.

(Note: Some of the information included in this section may be found on Dow AgroSciences' Vikane website)

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Please complete the following steps prior to your scheduled fumigation to help ensure its success.

How do I prepare my home/property for fumigation? 

  • Remove or use Nylofume bags to store food, drinks, medicines, animal feed.  Food items contained in glass, plastic, or metal bottles, jars, or cans that have not been opened and have the original manufacturer’s airtight seal intact, do not have to be removed or bagged.  (Please see proper instructional use of Nylofume bags)

  • Remove all plants from your property, including those on outdoor patios.

  • Remove all mattresses and pillows with waterproof covers/completely enveloped in plastic, such as baby mattresses with waterproof covers, or remove the covers themselves.

  • Evacuate all people and pets from the structure.

  • Make arrangements for the safe keeping of all pets (including fish and reptiles) away from your home.

Take out of property OR Bag in Nylofume

OK to keep in property

     Medicines, tobacco, vitamins and  other ingestible pills, supplements and lozenges

     Foods in plastic, paper, or cardboard boxes, even if they have never been opened. e.g. cereal, cookies, chips, gum/candy, pasta, bread

     Beverages, snacks, sauces, or other items in metallic foil-lined containers such as pouches, boxes or blister packs

     Eggs, fruits, vegetables, and any other form of produce or meat

     Any foods or drinks that have been opened, including spices

     Pet food and animal feed in bags and boxes

     Anything in re-sealable containers, including plastic containers, such as milk, butter, sour cream and cottage cheese

     Unopened glass, plastic or metal bottles, jars, or cans with their original manufacturer’s airtight seal intact

     Unopened bottles of liquor and wine (stored horizontally)

     Any shampoos and soaps

     Cosmetics (including lipsticks),

     All externally applied lotions, and any other topical creams, oils and ointments

     Dental hygiene products (including toothpaste, mouthwash, dental adhesives, and dental whitening products

     Ice and water

When in doubt, take it out.  If there's any question to the seal on an item, please take it out of the structure to be fumigated or double bag it in Nylofume bags.

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Do I have to remove items from my refrigerator/freezer?

Items in the refrigerator and freezer may remain, only if they are stored properly in Nylofume bags.  Double-bag cold and frozen foods and leave them in the refrigerator and freezer. Remove shelves from the refrigerator and freezer to make it easier to stack the bags inside. (Please view our forms page for the instructions on how to use Nylofume bags and what items should be bagged or removed from your property)

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Do I have to take out the ice cubes from my freezer?

No, Ice cubes from your freezer may remain in the freezer and do not have to be discarded. If your freezer has an ice maker, the ice maker does not have to be turned off..

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Do I have to remove kitchen supplies/utensils from my property?

Pots, pans, dishes, bake ware, eating utensils, and other similar items do not have to be removed from your property during the fumigation.  There is also no need to wash these items after the fumigation.  Dow AgroSciences assures that the Vikane gas we use completely dissipates from your property and leaves no surface residue behind.

This also applies to your linens, clothing, toiletries and other similar items.

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My cat is an outdoor cat, may I just leave him roaming the property during the fumigation?

NO.  Cats are notorious for their curiosity.  They can easily sneak into the area being fumigated, perhaps under one of the tarps, while our crews are busy to notice such an occurrence.  Please make arrangements for your cat(s) so they are safely away from the property being fumigated.  You may also want to notify neighbors, who have cats that regularly roam your yard, to keep them safely away from your property during the fumigation.

This applies to all pets on your property. For the safety of all your pets, including fish and reptiles, please make arrangements for them, so they are safely away from the property being fumigated.

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My sub-area and/or attic area is at the back of my closet, do I have to clear out my closet?

Our fumigation crews need access to your sub-area and/or attic crawl-hole cover.  These areas must remain open during fumigation to ensure the proper circulation of the Vikane gas.  Please clear enough space for our crew to access these areas, including removal of clothing, shoes, vacuum cleaners, etc.

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I have a safe on my property that I don’t want to leave open during the fumigation…

The County Agricultural Commissioner of your area requires that we inspect the accessible areas of your property. including safes, before and after fumigating the structure.  You will have to make arrangements to meet with our crew on your property on the day of your fumigation to verify that the safe is clear of any violations and on the safe for re-entry date so that our licensed fumigator can verify that there is no trapped fumigant in the safe.

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Do I need to turn off my sprinkler system?

Yes, your timed/automatic sprinkler systems must be turned off.  If the sprinklers are located within a few feet of the structure. due to the fact that they may sit directly under our tarps, this may possibly result in damage to you sprinkler heads.

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Will my outdoor plants/landscaping next to the property die?

No, plants outside the home should not die from the fumigant we use, depending on the plants proximity to the structure.  There are special circumstances, in which plants may have to be included under the tarp; however, you will be notified of such an occurrence before the fumigation commences.

Any  indoor growing plants, potted or otherwise, should be removed from your property during the fumigation.  This also applies to plants on the exterior of your property located in areas such as a planter's box, on the patio, or in an atrium.

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Can I leave my car in the garage?

We recommend that all vehicles be removed from the property being fumigated; however, if a vehicle must remain, our crew will need you to leave all doors unlocked and the windows, trunk, and glove compartment must be left open to ensure that the Vikane gas does not get trapped in it. 

Motorcycles may remain in your property.

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Does gasoline have to be removed from the property?


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What time will Driskell Fumigation be arriving to fumigate my property?

A fumigation crew may arrive at your property anytime between 8 AM and 5 PM, or later to begin the fumigation.  There are several factors we must take into consideration in determining our schedule.  We cannot give an estimated time of arrival until the morning of your fumigation.  If you must have a time frame for Driskell Fumigation's arrival, please give us a call at our office on the morning of your fumigation.

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My property has been certified safe for re-entry, is the fumigation process complete?

The actual fumigation process is complete; however, the Driskell Fumigation Prep Dept. may need to return to your property, the day after certification, to put things back on the exterior of your property, as we found it, unless otherwise specified.

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Will the electricity and water be turned off during the fumigation?

No, only the natural gas service must be shutoff during the fumigation. Electricity and water is required to perform the fumigation.

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When should I schedule to have gas service restored by PG&E / Palo Alto Utilities?

Please contact your utility company, well in advance, to schedule a "fumigation gas turn-on/unlock" appointment to have the natural gas service restored/gas meter re-assembled/pilot light(s) re-lit for the evening of (5PM to 8PM) or the day after your "Safe For Re-entry" date. 

A fumigated structure will be certified safe for re-entry by 5 PM, at the latest, on the "Safe For Re-entry" date. It is possible that a fumigated structure may be certified safe for re-entry earlier on the re-entry day; however, we are unable to give a more specific re-entry time due to a number of other factors we must take into consideration, including any changes/variations in the schedule.

A notice will be posted on the front door (or on whichever entryway the key provided opens) verifying when a fumigated structure is safe for re-entry. This is the same notice the utility company requires to be presented to them to have the gas service restored/gas meter re-assembled/pilot light(s) re-lit. Your utility company will require you to meet with them at the "fumigation gas turn on/unlock" appointment.

Please contact your utility company, at least 1 to 2 week(s) in advance (time permitting), to schedule your appointment as desired times are difficult to obtain.

                  PG&E:  1-800-743-5000                         Palo Alto Utilities:  1-650-329-2161

For Palo Alto residents: Palo Alto Utilities does not schedule any appointments on weekends and Holidays, and may not offer any evening appointments. Please contact Palo Alto Utilities to verify their scheduling availability.

For all other residents: PG&E does not schedule appointments on Sundays or Holidays, and may only schedule evening appointments in select cities. Please contact PG&E to verify their scheduling availability.

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Once your fumigation is complete, every target pest in your structure should be eliminated.

If you have any other questions left unanswered, please contact us by email, fax, or phone.


Office Hrs: M - Th: 8A - 5P


Phone: 408-920-6353

Fax: 408-920-6360



F: 8A - 4P        

Copyright © 2006  Driskell Fumigation, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Revised: 02/08/11.