Termite Tenting and Wine Storage

I personally wouldn’t worry. Cork keeps water/ethanol in the bottle, air out. If a cork in any particular bottle is porous enough to let some termite treatment gas in over a few days, my guess is that bottle has bigger problems. After all, you can just bag up your food and leave it in the house - and one of those bags is surely less protective than a bottle+cork. I would just make sure to air out the cooler well once back in the house.

If you can leave it plugged in, I’d keep the wine there. But, for peace of mind, I’d probably completely saran wrap every single bottle prior to tenting.

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the toxin is designed to penetrate wood. Cork is tree bark. Draw your own conclusions.

I think that’s a misnomer, promoted by fumigation companies to make it seem more effective. It’s just a gas, that seeps into every nook and cranny, including tunnels and burrows of termites. If air can’t get in, neither can other gases.

But obviously, the purely safest approach is to remove the wine from the house. I’m just saying I wouldn’t bother to do that myself.

Dow AgroSciences, which makes the Vikane gas, says that if an original air-tight seal is intact … beverages can remain in a fumigated structure.

Also, it doesn’t ‘penetrate’ wood, it is as gas that goes where air goes.


You can also check out the video: 5. How Whole-Structure Fumigation Works -- Vikane -- English - YouTube

In the video, it mentions how the gas travels, starting at about 1:12.

WSJ article: Vikane and Stored Wine - WSJ

“I had the opportunity to place several bottles of inexpensive Cab in a neighbor’s house that was fumigated with Vikane (Sulfuryl Fluoride). After the wines were retrieved I had some bottles tested for residual Vikane contamination by a friend who is an analytical chemist. Using HPLC (an ultra-sensitive method) he was unable to detect any contamination in the wine. We then ground up some of the corks and extracted them in toluene – there was no Vikane detected there either.”

HiTimes Cellars (I dunno what level of expertise that implies) never recommended moving wines for fumigation and never heard of a problem.

From Dow Agro: (Check the “bagging instructions” at the bottom right.) http://www.carnivalfumes.com/VikaneprepCalif.pdf

Seems it would have to be a pretty factual claim given the potential liability.


FOR Once (Maybe twice) Anton & I agree ! [winner.gif]

PS Moving 8,000 bottles would be a major PITA ! [swoon.gif]

good news to see all that.

It gave me comfort, as well! [cheers.gif]

The cooler air is introduced via the back of the wine cabinet, there is also a small channel at the back of most wine coolers which allows excess water to pass into a contain by the compressor. This means that the wine cabinet is not air tight, so the toxins will enter the cabinet. My advice would be to allow the wine cabinet to air out once the tenting is complete so they do not linger inside of it.
These guys ( https://www.elitefridges.co.uk/ ) seem to know their stuff, id give them a shout if you are in any doubt

Hey, just catching up here but wanted to add something here regarding the original question. Cool air is pulled in to the rear of a wine cooler, and there’s a minor port allowing any excess water to travel into the container by the compressor. So basically just like the guy said above wine coolers aren’t completely sealed from the air. I would be cautious and take any steps you can take ensure the cooler is fully air clean before you use it again.
When we’ve needed advice before we’ve reached out to ( https://www.expertwinestorage.co.uk/ ) they’re experts on wine storage - so I’d get in touch if you have any more problems. Hope that helps!

I just asked the termite question before I saw this. I will move my bottles.

Maybe this is a stupid question, but do you guys think the same logic applies for painting in the room where my wine fridge is? It doesn’t have much ventilation. Will the fumes affect the wine?

I’m lucky enough to do this now as well - yay, termites!

I, too, researched the data on Vikane gas, and feel comfortable with it, but also lazy and no place to move my wines - furthermore, most of my valuable wines are in the offsite anyway, most of what’s here will be consumed in the next 3-4 years, unless I die of Vikane poisoning!!! :smiley:

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We got tented in October…we have pretty much the same wine storage situation as you, and after also doing the reading, I left our sealed bottles in the house. There was plenty that needed to be managed and moved out of the house already. No noticeable issues and no deaths yet.

Standing by…

If I do end up dying, I’ll shoot you a PM.


Cool. And hopefully before Dec 27 when we get our house tented so I know to pull the wine kthxbai

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