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Termite Tenting Preparation: Checklist Before Fumigation, Side Effects, Cost

termite fumigation

Simple pest control treatments will not be able to treat huge and bad termite infestations. In these circumstances, fumigation will be essential. However, the idea of termite tenting can be frightening.

But, with adequate knowledge and precautions, this process can be performed successfully. In actual fact, fumigation is very effective and it can eliminate both pests and insect in every corner and nook of your house.

What is Fumigation?

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Fumigation – it’s the procedure by which deadly chemicals are released to enclosed areas in order to get rid of pests or insect infestations. Commonly, fumigation is used to kill household and other structure insects like roaches and termites.

There are two methods which are commonly utilized in the fumigation process. One is to fully seal the structure using a sealant like a tape or plastic. And the other one is to cover the structure using a nylon tent.

How Does It Work?

Image credit: Terma Guard

First, homeowners should remove all their plants, drugs, food, pets, and people. Then a professional and licensed fumigator will prepare the house. The fumigator will ensure that the doors and drawers are open in order to take full advantage of the usefulness of the gas.

Also, all the entryways and doors should be locked and warnings are posted. Afterward, the fumigator will seal the structure and start to pump the fumigant gas.

Then, the fumigator airs out the property by activating the ventilation system and opening the seals. The fumigators will test the air in order to identify if it is harmless for re-entry. If the air is safe, the pest control experts will let the people back into their property.

However, termites may possibly survive the treatment for a couple of days after acquiring a deadly dose. Thus, a few of them may be nearby for a few days after the process.

Preparation for Fumigation: Checklist for Homeowners

  • Open all rooms, safes, attic hatches, closets, desks, cabinets
  • Remove all foods from the pantry, storage closets, freezers, and refrigerators and store it away from your home
  • Remove all animals including caged pets and aquarium fish
  • Rake landscape mulch, bark, gravel, and rock at least 12 inches away from your home’s foundation
  • Remove houseplants
  • Turn off pilot lights and gas flames in fireplaces and appliances
  • Give to the fumigator the keys of your exterior door, garage, and gate
  • Offer a garden hose to the applicator
  • Remove plastic from your inside items

What is The Process of Fumigation (Step-by-Step Guide)

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Step 1. The entire property will be covered to make an enclosed environment.

Step 2. The fumigant gas is released to the area to be fumigated by licensed fumigators.

Step 3. The area is held for a couple of hours so that the gas will get into the spaces and acts on to kill the infestation.

Step 4. After a couple of hours, the fumigated area will be ventilated so that the lethal gases will escape from the property.

Step 5. The fumigator will take air samples to determine whether the air is safe or not. If the air safe, people and even animals can now enter the fumigated area.

How Long Does It Take?

Usually, the process of fumigation differs depending on the size and type of property. The kinds of insects as well as the temperature by which the chemical that’s being used also affect how long could be the process.

Nevertheless, depending on the situations, counting the range of the infestation the process might take as early as 6 hours to as long as seven days to complete.

Termite Tenting Side Effects: Is It Safe for Health?

The lethal chemicals utilized in fumigating might pose a great danger to our health especially if it contacts our mouth or skin or breathes it in.

But when the preparations and proper precautions have been in use, and the process is done by licensed professional exterminator or fumigator, fumigation will less likely to pose danger.

Therefore, it is essential to take all the necessary precautions to make sure that no one will touch, inhale, or consume these lethal chemicals.

What to Do After Fumigation?

When the process of fumigation has been ended, fumigators will conduct follow up visits. During their visits, they may possibly do other treatments to ensure that the infestation is completely gone.

On the other hand, the fumigators will also remove the tent. And as the homeowner, there are some important things that you need to do to ensure your home is safe and free of lethal chemicals like cleaning your bedding, furniture, and carpets.

Things That You Will Need

  1. Laundry or washing machine
  2. Shampoo or soap
  3. Vacuum cleaner
  4. Vinegar
  5. Water
  6. Cloth

How to Clean House After Fumigation?

Below are some tips on how you can clean your house in a better way.

  1. If you’re planning to clean your property by yourself, primarily, check the foods that you had left before the fumigation. If the bag of the product is damaged or open, make sure to throw them away instantly;
  2. Ask the fumigation company who conducted the process to look for a certified cleaning firm to clean your home. However, you can still hire on your own, but make sure to hire an experienced one;
  3. If you see dead termites, collect them using a vacuum. Also, don’t forget to clean the vacuum bag outside of your home;
  4. Vacuum floors and spaces under your furniture thoroughly;
  5. Open all the windows and doors to aerate the house properly;
  6. If you did not remove your tablecloths, curtains, beddings, and carpets before the fumigation, you can wash them using soap or shampoo;
  7. Clean the surfaces in your bathroom;
  8. Mop the floors using vinegar and water;
  9. Wipe all dry areas with a damp cloth;
  10. Clean your closets, cupboards, and cabinets using a vacuum cleaner;
  11. If you’re planning to wash your clothes, curtains, and pillows you can use your washing machine. Make sure to clean your washing machine and other appliances before using them.

Average Fumigation Cost across the US

Typically fumigation cost range from $1,200 to $2,500 for 1,250 square foot homes. And $2,200 to $3,800 for 2,500 square foot property. Generally, one square foot will cost $1 to $4.

Alternatives for Fumigation or How to Get Rid of Termites without Tenting

It’s an effective method for getting rid of termites. However, direct wood termite is only applicable if the termite colonies in your home aren’t widely spread.

This treatment utilizes microwave energy from portable units in order to upsurge the infested wood’s temperature to a level that’s fatal to termites. Also, it is utilized in aggregation with termiticides.

Another low toxicity product which when applied to infested wooden structures will kill insects on contact. In fact, orange oil is a wood injected termiticide.

No Tent Termite Treatment Cost

Unlike termite tenting treatment, no tent termite treatment cost is more affordable. However, the cost may differ depending on the treatment you will avail. Typically, there will be no hidden cost associated with no-tent termite treatment.

Termite Tenting Vs. Local Treatment

Fumigation or termite tenting is the only whole-structure technique which is 100 percent effective at removing termite infestations including the unnoticeable ones.

Though, fumigation is more expensive compared to other termite treatments.

Local treatment only treats accessible wooden structure. With such treatment, unseen termite infestations in other parts of your home may possibly overlook. As a result, these termites will continue to damage your structure.

Often, a local treatment involves drilling to wood and wall in order to reach infestation using chemicals.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Ants after termite fumigation

Ants are creatures and foragers of opportunity. After fumigation, ants will feed on dead colonies of termite and may possibly kick out some droppings. That’s why before hiring a pest control company as them if their treatment can keep your property free from termites and other insects.

  1. Is tenting for termites necessary?

If the termite infestation is widespread and severe, even if there are other treatments that can be used, tenting is necessary. But if you can treat the infestation using standard treatment then fumigation might not be necessary.

  1. How often do you need termite treatment?

Termite treatment must be done annually depending on the damage that needs to be treated.

  1. When does a house need to be tented for termites

When the termite infestation is widely spread and severe as well as if you can’t treat it using local treatment.

  1. Is termite fumigation covered by homeowners insurance?

Typically, homeowners insurance doesn’t cover the damages made by termites. That said, if you’re planning to perform a termite fumigation you will cover all the expenses.


Fumigation is a very difficult process and utilizes lethal chemicals. However, with proper preparations and precautions, this process is safe and effective.

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