Here are a few questions our homeowners and real estate agents frequently ask.

Do termites eat Redwood?

Redwood is a natural deterrent to termites. It is the “heart” of the redwood that is a repellent. The Sapwood or white part of the redwood board is not as resistant and fair game. Look at these pictures of termite damage on redwood. You will notice the “heartwood” is not even touched.

Termites in Redwood

How often do I need a termite inspection at my home?

Every 2 to 4 years depending on age and condition of home. Many companies sell annual inspections, but this is really more than most people need in our area

What is the difference between a limited and a full inspection?

In a full inspection, we inspect all the structure that we can access without damaging, defacing, or moving anything. Inaccessible parts of the structure are noted on the report. A limited inspection is generally one particular area where the homeowner has noted or suspects damage,  and is useful only for identification and estimate purposes.

Our neighbors have termites. Will I get them in my house too?

Sooner or later almost every home in our area eventually gets attacked by termites. Subterranean, Drywood, and Dampwood termites all occur in the North Bay Area. Subterranean termites nest in the soil, and can be prevented by applying a termiticide to the soil around the foundation of the home. Drywood termites enter directly into wood and have no requirement for soil contact.

Our neighbor’s house is being fumigated. Is this dangerous to me?

Fumigators take great pains to avoid any of the fumigant getting confined in nearby buildings. Measurements with a sensitive gas monitoring device show that the gas dissipates very rapidly when not confined under the tarp. In addition, the warning agent “Chloropicrin” (tear gas) is introduced to the structure being fumigated to help determine if any improvements to the seal of the tarp is needed. Tear gas is intolerable well below levels that are toxic. While highly lethal at levels under the tarp, the fumigant Vikane® leaves no residue behind after the proper aeration of the structure.

How long do I need to be out of the house for fumigation?

Typically 3 days.

What do I need to take out of the house before fumigation?

Remove anything alive (Pets, plants, people!), as well as unprotected foods and medicines not in airtight bags. Canned goods and unopened glass bottles are fine. Corked wine bottles should be removed. You will be given an “Occupants Fumigation Notice” listing all the things that you should remove or bag.

Will I need to wash all of my dishes after fumigation?

The gas (Vikane) leaves no residue on dishes, furniture, clothing, or anything else in the home. The gas dissipates quickly, and fumigators use sensitive equipment to “clear” the structure for re-occupancy. When you return home, virtually no gas remains, and secondary locks and warning signs will have been removed.

Will my fumigation kill other pests in my house?

Fumigation will kill most pests in your house. Vikane is not 100% effective on insect eggs at rates used for termites.  A higher dosage and longer treatment time is used for killing bed bugs and wood boring beetles.

For how long will fumigation kill termites and protect my home?

Fumigation kills the termites presently in your home. Buena Vista guarantees our fumigations for up to 3 years, as it generally takes several years for termites to become a problem again in your house. This is why we recommend an inspection every 2 to 4 years to keep your home protected.

Termite and Pest Control in Sonoma County, Napa County, Marin County, and San Francisco