INDIANAPOLIS — John F. Kennedy was president, gasoline cost 27 cents per gallon, and the average new home cost $12,550 in 1961. That same year, Vikane gas fumigant was introduced to protect homes and commercial properties from drywood termite damage. In 2011, Vikane achieves a notable milestone — its 50th year of use by the pest control industry.
“Fifty years is a remarkable milestone for a pesticide to achieve,” says Dave Morris, commercial leader for the Dow AgroSciences U.S. Pest Management business. “What makes the 50th anniversary even more remarkable is that Vikane remains the leading choice for proven elimination of drywood termites from homes and other structures. Since 1961, Vikane gas fumigant has been used to protect more than 2 million buildings in the Gulf States, California and Hawaii, and that number continues to increase each year.”
The long-term success of Vikane is based on three factors, Morris says. First are the unique attributes of the chemistry — sulfuryl fluoride. Second is the ongoing investment by Dow AgroSciences in research and development to meet or exceed changing regulatory requirements. Third is the strong product stewardship effort by distributors and fumigation companies.
“No pesticide can succeed without the support and cooperation of those who use it,” he says. “The 50th anniversary of Vikane is really an industry event. Huge credit goes to our distributor partners who have worked hand in hand with our field technical and sales team to provide the training and close support needed for structural fumigation. Coupled with that is the remarkable efforts by professional fumigation companies over the years to adapt to new label directions, equipment advances and regulatory requirements. Working together, we’ve been able to ensure that structural fumigation remains an option to protect property from termites and many other pests.”
Justin Stewart, product marketing and communications manager for Vikane gas fumigant, said basic research for sulfuryl fluoride likely began in the early 1950s. “After getting USDA registration in 1959, Dow Chemical Company did further field research in 1960 with commercialization beginning in 1961,” Stewart said. “As part of the commercial launch, Dow Chemical introduced the Fumiguide calculator to give fumigators for the first time the ability to estimate half-loss time.”
Vikane is manufactured in Pittsburg, Calif., in accordance with the American Chemistry Association’s “Responsible Care” standards, the company notes.