Fumigation is an ordeal and is only recommended when a pest problem is severe. The process kills all wood-destroying pests and termites that have infested a home. Termites are small and live inside wood, often causing extensive damage before you even realize they’re there. Fumigation must be performed by a licensed professional, as it necessitates the use of toxic chemicals.
Does Your House Need to Be Fumigated?
Severe wood-destroying pest and termite infestations may require fumigation. Termites live in and consume wood, causing deterioration and damaging the structural integrity of your home. If the damage is localized, it may be possible to spot-treat the affected section, but if it extends throughout the house, fumigation might be the answer.
Only a professional termite inspector can determine whether fumigation is necessary, and only a professional exterminator should perform the procedure.
Preparing for Fumigation
Once it has been determined that your home requires fumigation, your exterminator will give you a specific set of preparation instructions. You will be required to open all interior doors and cabinets, double-bag all open foodstuffs and medications with airtight bags provided by the fumigation company, and turn off all pilot lights, heaters and gas lines.
All people, pets, and plants must be removed from the home before fumigation. You may also need to follow additional steps for exterior preparation, such as relocating outdoor furniture, gravel or potted plants. Your exterminator will direct you based on the features of your home.
The Fumigation Process
Once the home has been prepared, the exterminator makes any necessary adjustments and tents or seals the house. A mixture of chemical fumigant and tear gas is then pumped into the home and left alone for at least several hours and up to several days depending on the extent of the infestation.
When the appropriate amount of time has elapsed, the fumigator aerates the house for several hours to remove the gases and inspects the structure to ensure that the termites have been eradicated.
Returning to Your Home
Once the building has been inspected and cleared, you will be able to return and restore your home to its previous condition. All chemicals and gases should have been removed from your home, but if you, your family or your pets experience any unusual physical symptoms within 24 hours of returning to your home, you will need to leave the house and contact your doctor and the exterminator for further information and instructions.