Orange Oil Vs. Fumigation for Termite Control
Several methods exist for treating and preventing infestations of termites, which cause billions of dollars of damage each year. A professional termite exterminator can assess the necessary steps to removing an infestation. Two commonly used treatment methods are orange oil and fumigation.
Orange oil is a localized direct application treatment that combats drywood termites using the active ingredient D-limonene, an oil naturally found in orange rinds. Fumigation methods consist of covering a building with a canvas tarp and spraying the inside with a gas fumigant, such as sulfuryl fluoride; methyl bromide is less commonly used, due to the environmental damage that it causes.
When orange oil is used, no evacuation of the house is necessary. Pets can remain in the home, and food and medicines need no protection, due to the low toxicity of D-limonene. Fumigation through tenting can treat large infestations at a lower cost than a widespread orange-oil treatment and can target all areas of the building, including undetected infestation areas.
Orange oil does not treat untargeted areas, and application requires drilling or removal of wood or walls in the home. Fumigation is potentially harmful to humans and pets, so the building usually is tented and evacuated overnight. Fumigation may also be more expensive than orange oil in treating small affected areas.