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Mastering Fumigation: Inside the Prestigious University of Florida’s Fume School

The University of Florida’s world-renowned School of Structural Fumigation (Fume School) is one of a kind. People from all over the world travel to attend one of the two annual sessions offered to learn from some of the most knowledgeable fumigation experts in the world. Upon completion, students are prepared to become certified fumigators.

Dr. Thomas Chouvenc, associate professor of urban entomology at the Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center, has been one of the key leaders of Fume School for the past few years. Chouvenc came to the University of Florida in 2004 as a PhD student. He has been working at the university ever since with a research program focused on termite biology. In 2016, he became the coordinator for the UF Fume School.

Originally founded in 1989, Fume School is a five-day intensive training session consisting of lectures and hands-on experience that prepares participants to pass their certification exam. Two sessions, consisting of 60 participants each, are offered every year. The content and lessons of Fume School are constantly adapted to meet the most current fumigation guidelines and the needs of the students, as well as to incorporate constantly evolving technology.

“Fume School is one of a kind in terms of the level of depth and complexity of topics covered,” Chouvenc said. “It is led by some of the most qualified fumigators in the world, so it truly is by the industry, for the industry.”  While other fumigation schools are available, students have been known to travel from Australia, the Caribbean, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and more to receive instruction from the best and most qualified instructors at Fume School.

While no prior knowledge or certifications are required to attend Fume School, the primary goal of most students is to gain the proper training to pass the state exam and become a certified fumigator immediately following their Fume School session.

Fumigation is a very intense and challenging line of work that requires thorough training, yet the people who run Fume School have made a concerted effort to keep the course enjoyable. The ultimate goal of Fume School is to make a true difference in the future of the industry, to ensure that fumigations around the world are performed safely, effectively and according to all regulations.