If your house has been infested by termites or other undesirable household pests, fumigation is just about the only option for dealing with them. This is a major procedure for which you need to prepare carefully.
So, in this post, we’ll take you through the essentials. Read on as we explore termite fumigation preparation 101.
Termites have a voracious appetite for wood. If they’re given free rein over your home, they can threaten the entire structure. 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. This means that before you know it, you’ve got a full-blown termite infestation on your hands, leaving you with no option but to fumigate the entire property.
What Happens During Fumigation?
Fumigation aims to remove all pests dwelling on your property by filling the house with powerful pesticides.
Before doing so, the exterminator will place a special tent over all furniture and fixtures in the house.
You’ll need to remove all humans, animals, plants, and perishable food items from the premises.
The fumigant is then released in quantities that are determined by just how large your home is and the extent of the infestation.
These factors, along with the eternal weather conditions, influence how long the entire process will last.
It can take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. Once the process is complete, the fumigant is allowed to disperse and the tent is removed.
The fumigator then tests the house for any remaining traces of the fumigant using a fumiscope. These must not exceed one single part per million. If it’s all clear, they will then allow your family to come back into the house.
Is Fumigation Safe?
You may be a bit leery of allowing toxic chemicals into space where you and your loved ones live from day to day. But fumigation is a well-regulated, perfectly safe procedure. That is, of course, when you prepare, use the proper preparations, and a trained exterminator is performing the job.
They will fully inform you as to what’s going to happen in your home and will ask you to take specific steps to prepare your home for the fumigation.
Steps to Take to Prepare for Fumigation
To get ready for fumigation, there are numerous steps you must take beforehand.
It may take you several days to fully prepare, so make sure you’ve developed your plan of action well in advance.
Don’t wait until the very last moment to do everything. Your fumigator will talk you through exactly what you need to do.
Call your gas company
If you’re one of those who still use natural gas, you’ll have to have the gas shut off before you fumigate.
Call your gas company and schedule a temporary gas shutoff to occur on the day that the fumigation commences.
If you use propane tanks or the like, you can shut off the gas source on your own. If you need help, you can call the company that installed your gas.
Remove people, animals, and plants from the premises
Basically, anything that is alive will have to be removed from your home and 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 a kennel for a few days instead, if need be.
You can take your interior plants and place them in a shady location outside, a few feet away from your house.
As for the human inhabitants of the property, find a place where you and your family can stay for a few days while fumigating the house.
Protect your food
You need to remove all perishables, including those in your fridge and freezer, from the house outright. If not, they’ll need to be double-bagged in specific fumigation bags.
Food items that you’ll have to double bag if you want to keep them in the house include rice and cereal packaged in cardboard or plastic – if they’re still unopened. Unopened and sealed bottled or canned items can stay in the house as well.
Protect your medication
All medication, including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, and any vitamins or supplements, will also have to be double-bagged or outright removed from your house.
It goes without saying that any medication that you take regularly must stay with you.
Prune your landscaping and shrubbery
Trim any shrubs and other plants close to your home so that they will remain outside of the tented region during fumigation. Fumigation preparation is actually a good excuse to do some much-needed yard maintenance and gardening!
Once you’ve pruned everything, water everything well to protect your plants and lawn from the fumigant.
Remove plastic coverings from any indoor items
The plastic fumigation tent will trap the fumigant inside the house while the treatment is happening. But if you have any other plastic-covered items in your home, the fumes could get underneath or inside and become trapped. This means that they won’t be able to dissipate once the fumigation is complete.
Remove any plastic covers from items in your home, including those on furniture, mattresses, clothes, and storage totes. Unless you’re positive that an item wrapped in plastic is airtight, remove the plastic covering.
There you have it! 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 at risk while ridding your home of termites or other pests.