No-Tent Termite Control

No-Tent Termite Control

The Convenient Termite Solution!

Most other companies will tell you that your home has to be tented! Hulett’s “no tent” termite control offers homeowners a convenient and hassle-free way to eliminate termites. without tenting or fumigating!

Hulett’s “No Tent” Termite Control addresses the unique behaviors of South Florida’s drywood termite species.

Normal termite tenting requires the homeowner to relocate for at least 3 days and also involves the removal of all uncanned foods from the property. However, Hulett’s “No Tent” Termite Treatment is extremely effective without the aggravation.

Hulett’s “No-Tent” Advantages:

  • NO need to move out of your home.
  • NO removal of plants or flowers.
  • NO removal of uncanned foods.
  • NO removal of cosmetics or medications.
  • NO risk of landscaping or roof damage.
  • NO disconnecting of satellites or antennas.
  • NO special shrub or tree trimming required.

What does Hulett’s “No Tent” Termite Treatment involve?

Hulett’s trained professionals perform a direct injection into the termite galleries with an advanced non-repellent product. Our “No Tent” Termite Treatment addresses infestations of any size and scale.

Termite comes in contact with treated surface.

Worker distributes to the rest of colony via “transfer effect.”

Liquid solution eventually reaches the colony’s queen termite, eradicating it.

Common termite entry points are also treated as a preventive measure. The convenience of not having to move out of your home combined with the new technology and chemistry of the treatment process makes this a great alternative to tenting.

How to Kill Termites Without Tenting: Orange Oil Termite Treatment

April 21, 2014
Guest Post

The building I live in was recently treated for both drywood and subterranean termites this month. The traditional method of treatment is to tent the building and leaving your home for three days while a gas fumigant kills the termites. However, did you know there is an alternative to tenting that uses an orange oil termite treatment?

Since we live in a condo and it would have been costly to have everyone find lodging while the building is tented, we decided to use an alternative to traditional tenting methods.

After researching various companies, we ended up hiring a local company called Xtermite who have an orange oil termite treatment that doesn’t require tenting. The great thing about their method is that they can treat your home or smaller condominium in a day and you don’t even need to leave your home! We only have ten units in our building, so if you live in a larger condominium, they may need more than one day.

Orange Oil Termite Treatment

Orange oil is used to kill drywood termites. Drywood termites are very common in San Diego and tend to fly into your attic and feed off of exposed wood. Xtermite pumps orange oil into the infested wood members – usually in the attic and roof structure – and the oil wicks through to saturate the wood. The oil moves through wood like a gas, along the path of least resistance, filling up the treated piece of wood until the termites have no place to hide. Xtermite’s orange oil is created through a steam distillation process of orange rinds and is 95% pure d-limonene.

Subterranean termites live in the soil and can actually live off of your property and burrow their way into your structure from below. These termites tend to be more destructive than drywood termites. Xtermite treats these termites with an insecticide. Since they live in the soil and not the wood, Xtermite saturates the soil under your home with the insecticide and creates a barrier around your home so no termites can return.

To find out more about Xtermite visit their website at

Lastly, Xtermite’s treatment prov >


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Pest Advice Blog

Choosing the proper termite treatment for your home is an important decision. Homeowners should be aware of all the options available to them. Each year thousands of large-scale and small-scale fumigations occur to deal with numerous forms of pest infestation. In the case of a drywood termite infestation, the treatment choices are between traditional tent fumigation solutions and non-tent solutions.


In certain instances, infestation can be so severe that tent fumigation is the only option. Infestations that become widespread, particularly in inaccessible areas, are what make tent fumigation an attractive option. Once settled into a home, termites are able to live in areas we can’t readily see like beams, walls, or perhaps underneath floorboards. When a structure is fumigated, the gas reaches every area and deeply penetrates its wood structures where termites live and feed. The fumigant used is a true gas (meaning it’s lighter than air) once the home is completely aerated it leaves behind no residue whatsoever.

Homeowner should equally be aware of the drawbacks:

  • Neither convenient (must vacate property for 72 hours), nor inexpensive
  • The house must be prepared properly: total removal of all occupants, pets, plants, medicine, food, open containers, and cosmetics. Gas service must be disconnected and pilot lights must be extinguished.
  • Fumigants do not provide protection from future infestation; they only treat for existing termites
  • The heavy tarps used to hold fumigants in can easily damage gutters, tile roofing, and shrubbery

Non-Fumigation Solutions

There are several alternatives to fumigation; however the two most predominant methods outside of fumigation are heat and liquid pesticide treatment. Similar to fumigation, each alternative has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Heating: Heat-based treatments have proven to be effective against termite swarms. Heating requires tenting and raising the temperature of the wood throughout a home to 120-130 degrees for a minimum of 35-60 minutes.

  • Effective when localized colonies can be identified
  • Cause damage to heat sensitive belongings (electronics, vinyl, beauty supplies, wiring, furniture, etc )
  • Energy costs can make heating expensive

Spot Treatment: Involves drilling multiple holes into infested areas of flooring and walls so that a termiticide can be injected.

  • Less expensive and more convenient than heating and fuming
  • Treatment provides lasting effects for protection against future swarms
  • Does not affect termites in inaccessible areas (spot treatment is roughly only 2 square feet)
  • Multiple treatments may be necessary

Total Termite Protection Plan ? (TTP):

The treatment option provided by Truly Nolen, which differs from both spot treatment and fumigation. Application of treatment includes areas both on the interior and exterior of household.

  • Covers more area of home than spot treatment
  • Protect against both Drywood termites and Subterranean termites
  • Residual effects of treatment protect against future swarms
  • Preliminary inspections are offered free of charge

A no-tent termite attack

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Setting the record straight (Publ. 11/03/2007)
An article about eradicating termites quoted a source who erroneously said that sulfuryl fluoride was once used
in executions. Sulfuryl fluoride has not been used for that purpose.

We knew we had a problem when black “dust” started showing up on the windowsills of our daughter’s bedroom. Clearly, the leaky greenhouse windows that had seemed so charming and filled her room with light had created a dark, damp home in our walls for one of California’s most prevalent pests.

Suddenly termites seemed to be everywhere – swarming around outdoor light fixtures, creating a six-inch-long crack in our hardwood floor and leaving their tiny pellets behind as evidence that their silent chewing was literally eating away at our house.

But the idea of draping our home in a tarp and pumping it full of toxic gas or injecting the soil around it with toxins just didn’t sit right with me, in spite of the fact that friends, neighbors and even my parents had all been through it, and the pest-control guy who came out with his clipboard to assess the problem was ready to sign us up for the $3,000 job that same day.

It turns out that tenting, the long-accepted method of sealing and fu-migating a wood house to rid it of termites, is not the only option. And there is ample reason to question whether it is the cheapest, safest or most reliable method.

Know thine enemy

North America has at least 50 species of termites, with 17 species in California, says Professor Vernard Lewis, a faculty member at the University of California-Berkeley’s department of environmental science policy and management. If you live in a wood house, you are likely to encounter one or perhaps all of the three most common to our state – dampwood, drywood and subterranean:

Western subterranean termites are the most common and the smallest at less than a quarter-inch long. They form large nests in the ground and “forage out to attack wood” via their handy mud tubes, which you might have seen along a wall if you are unlucky enough to have them. These tubes, which are three-dimensional and tan, are built from chewed-up wood, excrement and soil.

Western drywood termites attack wood above soil. They are middle-sized termites whose colonies develop slowly. These termites are easily transported through infested furniture and other wood items. They prefer timber with a moisture content of less than 12 percent.

Pacific dampwood termites are the largest at more than half an inch long. They create tunnels and favor softer, damp wood. One colony can contain as many as 4,000 individuals. These are most common in damp climates.

Cost of termite trouble

Nationwide, termite control and damage repairs cost nearly $5 billion a year; the outlay in California and Hawaii alone exceeds $1 billion, Lewis says.

“We have a lot of people and a lot of vulnerable habitats,” says Lewis, whose Web site features a plethora of research and information in addition to a snappy little video of him digging to uncover termites; see

“We battle mostly subterranean termites, the ones in the ground, the drywood ones above ground, and then we have the big ones that fly in the lights at night,” he notes.

Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology and coordinator of the insect-identification hotline at the University of California-Davis, likens termites to cows, since they both eat materials they can’t digest (grass and wood) but carry microorganisms in their digestive tracts that take care of the digestion.

While Kimsey says evidence of termites is not an emergency, it is wise to seek a professional evaluation if you see “small piles of insect wings,” swarming winged insects or the black dust we later learned was evidence of “their bathroom,” according to one biologist. Perhaps the trickiest part of getting rid of termites is finding their “kitchen” and shutting it down.

As with any pricey service for your home, experts recommend getting three bids from reputable pesticide firms. The pest-control industry’s professional organization, Pest Control Operators of California, can provide information on whether a particular company is affiliated and complies with required standards of operation. The California Structural Pest Control Board ( provides licenses and regulates the industry, allowing you to check whether a particular company has had complaints in the past. If you go the fumigation route, expect to spend more than $2,000 for a house of around 2,000 square feet, although prices vary depending on difficulty of access and other specifics.

The most common fumigant, a euphemism for poisonous gas, is Vikane (sulfuryl fluoride). A nylon tarp draped over the house is secured at the ground before the gas is pumped inside. In 12 to 24 hours the tarp is removed, and the house is aired out for at least six hours. Vikane is extremely toxic to people and depresses the central nervous system if ingested. Exposure also can cause blood and bone disorders. Pest-control operators who use the stuff must complete training and carry a license.

Is gas the only way?

Not long ago, chemical control (either pumped into the ground for subterranean termites or pumped into the house as a gas for drywoods) was the only way the industry treated termite problems. In recent years, though, a plethora of other approaches, from microwaving to excessive heat or freezing techniques to orange oil and even electrocution, have become available. Recently, radio ads have been touting a new termite solution – orange oil – with a singsong (800) ORANGEOIL commercial that promises to rid your house of termites without poison.

Published scientific research on each of these methods, however, is not extensive, so it is still hard to know which techniques provide a high degree of success in getting rid of termites. Researchers such as Lewis say there’s a long way to go before a non-toxic, environmentally friendly solution becomes widely available. Each technique shows promise, Lewis says, but none is yet thought to be as effective as whole-house fumigation.

The traditional approach is to have someone from a pesticide company make a visual inspection of your home. He or she will walk around the premises looking for telltale mud tubes, wings, live insects or pellets, and damage that indicate termites. The problem is, it’s easy to spot residue that means there were termites, and much harder to know if they are still active or where exactly they are living. Thus, gassing the entire house is the most often-used remedy.

After the inspector measures your house and any carports, garages or other nearby structures, you’ll be given a bid for several thousand dollars. If you go this route, you’ll need to take all the food out of your home, kiss any plants next to your house goodbye and then move out with your pets for a minimum of 24 hours. Though the pest-control company representative who came to my house told me fumigation was perfectly safe and residue was “almost non-existent,” I still would want to remove my clothes, bedding, towels and rugs, just in case they could absorb the toxic gas used to kill the termites.

And lest you believe the claim that the fumigant is “not very toxic,” as one pest-control inspector told me: Remember that it kills everything it touches, from spiders and ants to cats and dogs.

Call me paranoid, but I’d prefer to avoid going this route.

There is another way

Given the cost, potential toxicity and plain old hassle of tenting my house, I was more than a little relieved when Lewis referred me to Gee Chow, a biologist who worked in Lewis’ lab before forming his own termite company.

“We were always getting calls from people asking us to just come out and help them by using our detection equipment to locate exactly where the termites were,” recalls Chow, who describes himself as an environmentalist. Today, his company, Southern California-based Bell and Chow Services, travels the state with its $3,400 Termite Tracker doing just that. Each discovery of termites is treated with a small mount of locally applied poison.

Pest-control companies base their treatment plan on a visual inspection, “but a lot of times they get a false negative or a false positive because of what they can’t see,” Chow says. “They don’t know if they are detecting active termites or seeing residue left from termites that have moved on.”

Enter the acoustic emission technology that Bell & Chow employs to listen for chomping or moving termites. Nothing new to the scientific field, this listening device was designed in Lewis’ lab to identify exactly where the problem lies so just that area can be treated.

The Tracker drills one-eighth-inch holes into wood where termites are suspected, then measures termite activity by picking up the sound of the little bugs actually breaking wood as they eat. It also picks up the sound of soldier (i.e. worker) termites hitting their heads in their “galleries,” which is believed to be a means of communicating with each other.

A termite inspection with the Tracker costs $300, but if termites are found and treatment administered, the $300 goes toward the treatment. Each spot that is treated costs $300. Just like other pesticide companies, Bell & Chow guarantee their work. Unlike other companies, they use a what they say is a less-toxic but equally effective chemical called Premise foam, with the active ingredient Imadacloprid, also used in flea collars.

“The main benefit is we only use the amount of chemical needed,” says Chow, who owns the two-man company.

“From my experience in the field with drywoods, it’s usually just a couple areas that are infested,” he says. “On average, with a residential structure we find one to four locations.”

So this month the Termite Tracker team is coming to Palo Alto to apply its sleuthing skills to our wood-frame home. I’m hopeful that whatever termites are left since we replaced the obvious sections of wood where we found live ones will be eradicated with a much smaller amount of poison and pain. My husband, though skeptical, has agreed to give it a try.

If all else fails, I have a Plan B. Apparently the sloth, armadillo and anteater are all the termite’s natural predators. What a perfect Christmas gift.

After his two-hour inspection, which included crawling under our house and using the Tracker in suspicious areas to detect the sound of a live colony, Gee Chow said our termite problem was not what we had been told. The dampwood termites he found in one small area would not have been successfully treated by fumigation or poison pumped into the soil, which works for drywoods or subterraneans respectively.

We had an unusual, previously misdiagnosed, problem.

The evidence we had seen and the previous inspector had noted was from an old subterranean colony no longer active, and thus not needing treatment. There was no evidence of drywoods, the only type of termite that would have warranted fumigation, i.e. tenting.

After typing and delivering his full report on the spot, Chow suggested we treat the one spot he found to have live activity, and recheck the house in two years. Grand total: $300.

Alternative ways of destroying pests – termite treatment without tenting

There are different methods how to get rid of termites and tent fumigation is believed to be one of the most effective ways.

But fumigation has some disadvantages, so here the question appears: is it possible to find an alternative for tenting?

Tent fumigation advantages and disadvantages

The biggest advantage of this type of termite treatment is its effectiveness.

Through tiny holes and splits fumigants penetrate wooden objects and poison termites.

By the way, cockroaches, moth and ants will be dead as well.

One-time fumigation treatment will be enough to get rid of all termites.

The main disadvantage of tenting method is its high price and exclusiveness. Fumigation can be proceeded only by professional exterminators; fumigants are sold only to those companies which have special licenses; furthermore, special tents and all the equipment are too expensive for one-time termite treatment.

Fumigation may cost about two dollars for one cubic meter of the house, so, one fumigation treatment may cost several hundred dollars.

Furthermore, totally fumigation process may take from two to four days depending on outside temperature and the size of your house.

This type of termite treatment will need much effort as well (buying extra bags, spending time on packaging and different preparations, looking for a place to stay, etc.).

When fumigation is the only way?

Basically, as far as fumigation is not an easy process and it may cost a lot, this method is recommended and used for houses with high level infestations when implementing usual termite treatment seems ineffective or impossible.

If you are not sure which method you should choose for your house, you can always ask for a professional advice of your local pest company.

As it was mentioned before, tent fumigation is a perfect way to get rid of dampwood termites. Pest exterminators seal the house under the tent and make it full of poisonous gas using different bombs and foggers.

Fumigation is done with special chemicals which do not have smell and color.

This method is widely used when drywood termites have too big colony or more than one nest in the house.

It is also a good idea to do fumigation when finding termite nest seems very difficult or impossible.

Sometimes termite nests are hard to be reached and therefore direct treatment is hard to be done, so, again, tent fumigation will be perfect.

Can you get rid of termites without tenting? Yes, there are some alternative ways of termite extermination without tenting that will be described in the sections below.

Heat treatment as an alternative

You can do termite treatment without tenting. Heat treatment is similar to tent fumigation and can be used only against drywood termites. Exterminators cover the house with a special tent, and instead of poisonous gas they make the house full of heated air.

To make the air heated they use special heating machines. These machines may raise the temperature up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

High temperature will heat up the objects inside of the house including wood. As far as termites prefer living in moderate temperatures, they will not be able to stand raised ones.

High temperatures will destroy the whole colony including their eggs.

So, heat treatment is a great alternative in the theme of getting rid of termites without tenting.

Direct wood treatment as an alternative

How to kill termites without tenting? When you see that termites have infested some area, there are several options for you. First, of course, you can remove or replace damaged wood.

But in this case there are no guarantees that your wooden object will not be infested again. Second, you can try to deal with termites directly in this area.

Direct wood treatment is an effective method against termites, but it will be suitable for your house if only termite colonies are not widely spread.

This means that if drywood or dampwood termites have invaded your house, direct wood treatment may be one of possible solutions as their colonies are small. Another situation exists for subterranean termites.

Their colonies are bigger comparing with other types. Furthermore, they are spread out, what makes it very hard to get rid of them using this method. The problem is that even if you decide to treat infested wood, you will have to do something with soil as far as subterranean termites live underground.

So, in order to make your fight against termites more effective you will also need to use different insecticides to protect the wood. These insecticides will help you to protect your property against future infestations and make termite control without tenting.

But still you have to remember that using this kind of method you don’t have 100% warranty as these injections are not able to penetrate deeply.

Reducing moisture

If you see “infected” wood, that means that the lumber was wet and already in trouble even before the termites moved in. Anytime that damp wood termites are in residence at a home, there is an underlying moisture problem. To eradicate dampwood termites no chemical treatment is required.

Also eliminate wood to earth contact and the adverse conditions that are conducive to the infestation. Finally hire a qualified contractor to locate any damaged lumber and replace it with sound material.

Orange oil usage

Let’s compare termites tenting vs orange oil. Orange oil is widely advertised as termites’ insecticide as it looks less harmful for people. But the problem is that its usage is ineffective for subterranean termites.

Orange oil will not help you to deal with hidden colonies or those which are hard to reach. Some companies choose it for its marketing and ecological appeal.

Even high concentration of orange oil will not save you from termites in long lasting periods. Furthermore, though orange oil is believed to be “green” solution for pests, it may cause serious problems for people who have problems with their breathing system or allergies.

How to choose right treatment?

There are many different methods how you can get rid of termites. In order to realize what treatment you have to choose you will have to identify the type of termites first.

So, for example, direct wood treatment may help against drywood and dampwood termites, but it will not be really effective way against subterranean ones.

Tent fumigation and heat treatment give 100% warranty but these methods are mostly used for dampwood and drywood termites. The point is that usually the damage that these termites bring cannot be seen (so they can invade the whole house), that’s why exterminators prefer tent fumigation, heat or cold treatment, direct wood treatment, and sometimes use some electronic devices.

Different traps that you can make at home by yourself and oil usage seem ineffective and may kill only small numbers of termites. In order to solve termite problem forever it is much better to call a professional pest company which will find personal solution for you.

And don’t forget that after treatment your wooden property will need some extra insecticides in order to protect it from future infestations.

Useful articles

If you interested in more information of termites we recommend you to read the following articles:

Helpful video

On this video you will see comparison of termite spot treatment vs tenting:

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