In a previous post (“3 effective treatments for eliminating bed bugs”), we addressed three of the most common and helpful treatments for getting rid of bed bugs in your home. Vikane® fumigant is the most effective eradication method we offer, so we’ve decided to take a deeper dive into explaining this treatment

1. What exactly is fumigation? Fumigation occurs when an inorganic gas called sulfuryl fluoride (originally marketed under the name Vikane®) is pumped into an enclosed, sealed space that is stuffed with your household items. In a controlled environment, the gas replaces the oxygen, and penetrates into bed bugs and their eggs, which suffocate and die. Used by qualified professionals, Vikane® eradicates bed bugs, from just a few pieces of furniture, bedding, or other household goods, to an entire home or building with its contents in place.

Depending on the size of the structure, container or vehicle being fumigated, the treatment times can vary from 18 to 48 hours total treatment time. Once released with outside air, the Vikane® quickly breaks down to its naturally occurring ingredients and floats harmlessly away.

2. Why fumigate? Gas fumigant is scientifically proven to be 100% effective against all stages of bed bug life, including the hard-to-control egg stage, in a single application. The bed bugs have no resistance to Vikane®, unlike the resistance they now have to many commonly applied pesticides.

Vikane® gas fumigant penetrates into ALL cracks and crevices, into furniture and any other hiding places — yes, even into sensitive electronics — to eliminate the pests. Once the treatment is over, the gas dissipates entirely, leaving no surface residue, odor, or film behind once it is aerated.

Clutter is not a concern with a treatment of Vikane®. The gas is safe for all household items, including clothes, fine artwork, upholstery and drapes, toys and other children’s belongings, dishes, and utensils. There is no need to wash or clean any of these items after exposure to Vikane®. Other techniques like heat or freezing can damage these items, and pest management professionals are not allowed to spray beds, chairs, or children’s toys. Vikane® does NOT damage electronics, antiques, or sensitive fabrics.

3. Is fumigation safe? Yes.  It leaves no residue, and when released post-treatment, it breaks down to two naturally occurring elements that aren’t harmful to the ozone layer, the immediate environment, animals, or people. It’s as “green” as it gets. And because it leaves no residue, you don’t even have to wash the toys or your kids’ clothes before using them.

Mid adult couple (30s) unloading moving van.

If you’re moving from a bed bug-infested apartment or building, or you are worried about picking up bugs in transit, your packed moving/rental truck can be fumigated overnight with Vikane®. Depending on how many clothes you own, fumigation can be cheaper than dry-cleaning each item at $4-$8 each. Click here to learn more about the A-1 Able truck fumigation program.