If your house is infested by termites and other undesirable household pests, then fumigation is just about the only option available for dealing with them. This is a major procedure for which careful preparation is required, and in this post, we take you through the essentials. Read on as we explore termite fumigation preparation 101.
Termites have a voracious appetite for wood, and if they are given free rein over your home, they can threaten the entire structure of your house – they can even damage the electrical wiring, which causes a huge health and safety hazard. Difficult to detect by the untrained eye, termites can go about their business undetected for years – before you know it, you’ve got a full-blown termite infestation on your hands, and the only option left is to fumigate the entire property.
What occurs during a fumigation?
Fumigation aims to remove all termites dwelling within your property by spraying the house with powerful, toxic, pesticide-containing chemicals. Before doing so a special ‘tent’ is placed over all furniture and fixtures in the house, and all humans, animals, plants and perishable food items are removed from the premises. The fumigant is then released in quantities that are determined by just how large your home is – and by the extent of the termite infestation. These factors, as well as the eternal weather conditions, influence how long the entire process will last for – it can be anywhere between 24 hours and 72 hours. Once the process is complete, the fumigant disperses and the tent is removed. Then the fumigator tests the house for any remaining traces of the fumigant using a fumiscope device, and if he gets the all-clear, allows your family to come back into the house (the traces of fumigant must not exceed a single part per million).
Is it safe?
Although you may be a bit leery of allowing toxic chemicals into space where you and your loved ones live from day to day, fumigation is a well regulated, perfectly safe procedure when the proper preparations and precautions have been made, and a trained exterminator is performing the job. He will make sure you are fully informed of what’s going to happen in your home and will ask you to take several measures to prepare your home for the fumigation.
The steps you must take to prepare for a fumigation
To prepare for your fumigation, there are numerous steps you must take in the days beforehand. It may take you several days to fully prepare for your fumigation, so be sure you’ve developed a plan of action well in advance and don’t wait until the very last moment to do everything. Your fumigator will take you through exactly what you need to do to prepare.
- Give your gas company a call: if you are one of those who still use natural gas in your home, then you will have to get the gas shut off before you fumigate the house. Call your gas company and schedule a temporary gas shutoff to occur on the day when the fumigation commences. If you use propane tanks or the like, you can shut off the gas source on your own, or if you need help you can call the company who installed it
- Remove people, animals, and plants from the premises: basically, anything that is alive will have to removed from your home and then kept away for the duration of the fumigation. Don’t just leave your pets in the backyard, where they may be exposed to the fumigant – take them to stay in a kennel for a few days. Plants from your home’s interior, on the other hand, can be placed in a shady location a few feet away from the outside of your house. As for the human inhabitants of the property, find a place where your family can stay for a few days whilst the house is being fumigated
- Food: perishables, including those from your fridge and the freeze, will need to be removed from the house outright, or else double-bagged in specific fumigation bags. Food items that you will have to double bag if you want to keep them in the house include rice and cereal packaged in cardboard or plastic – if they have yet to be opened. Unopened and still sealed bottles or canned items can stay in the house as well
- Medications: all medications, including prescriptions, over the counter drugs, and any vitamins and supplements will also have to be double-bagged or else removed outright from your house. It goes without saying that any medications that you consume regularly must stay with you
- Landscaping, shrubbery: cut back any shrubs and other plants close by to your home so that they will stay outside of the tented region during the fumigation process. Fumigation actually gives you a good excuse to do some much-needed yard maintenance and gardening! Once you’ve pruned everything back, water the outside areas of your home as well to protect your yard’s plants and lawn from the fumigant even further
- Remove the plastic from any indoor items: the plastic fumigation tent is designed to trap the fumigant inside the house whilst the process is occurring, but if any other items in your home are covered in plastic, the fumes can get underneath or inside and get trapped, so that they are not able to be dissipated once the fumigation process is complete. Remove the plastic covers of all items in your home, including furniture, mattresses, clothes bags, storage totes Unless you are positive that an item wrapped in plastic, is airtight, remove the plastic covering
There you have it then! Fumigation is a well-regulated, safe procedure If you prepare properly and take the correct precautions. Follow our fumigation 101 pointers, and don’t put your family’s health and wellbeing at risk when ridding your home of termites.