To prepare for termite fumigation, you will need to make arrangements for your family and pets to stay away from the house for several days. Fumigation preparation, treatment and aeration can take up to 72 hours. Make sure to pack everything you might need for up to three days.
Since fumigations require tarps to enclose your entire house, good weather is a prerequisite for treatment. Rain and heavy winds can affect the treatment if bad weather is in the forecast, your expert may reschedule.
Typically, the treatment portion of drywood termite fumigation takes 24 hours or less. The aeration process typically takes about six hours. However, you will not be permitted to return until your home is cleared to 1 part per million or less of fumigant.
What to Do Before Termite Fumigation
- Food for people, animals and pets, tobacco products and medicines (including items in refrigerators and freezers) can remain in your home if they are in plastic, glass or metal bottles, cans or jars with the original manufacturer’s air-tight seal intact. If these items are not sealed, they must be removed or double-bagged in special nylon bags provided by your fumigator.
- Bottled or canned items that have not been opened and still have the original manufacturer’s airtight seal do not need to be removed. These items can include drinks, pantry items like soup, and medicines.
- Dry goods packaged in bags and/or cardboard boxes need to be removed or double bagged even if they haven’t been opened. These items include cereal, chips and rice.
- Mattresses sealed in plastic, such as baby mattresses, need to be removed or the waterproof covers should be removed or opened. These plastic covers can slow the rate at which the fumigant aerates. You also should consider opening or removing plastic covers to chairs and sofas where people may rest following the fumigation.
- Remove all plants from inside the house and any outdoor areas that will be covered by the fumigation tent to avoid damage.
- Shrubbery around the house should be trimmed to allow room to secure the fumigation tent between the house and the shrubbery.
- The day before your fumigation, someone from the gas company should turn off the gas line to your house.
- Also the day before the fumigation, water the perimeter of your house at a depth of about six inches. This moisture helps protect plants that are just outside the fumigation tent, and it helps prevent fumigant leakage at the base of the tent.
Your termite expert may have additional suggestions or requests before the fumigation. Make sure to ask how you can best prepare for the treatment.