How Does Termite Heat Treatment Work?

Termite specialists typically recommend at least one of the three main treatment approaches to control drywood termite infestations – protective wood treatments, whole structure fumigation (using gas) or heat treatment.

How Does Termite Heat Treatment Work?
First, your termite specialist will inspect the interior and exterior of the home to identify areas with active drywood termite infestations. Then, he or she will make recommendations on what items should be removed from the home and what equipment should be shut off before the heat treatment (sometimes referred to as termite heat fumigation) begins.

Once your home has been prepared, your termite specialist will use special heaters to blow hot air throughout your home. For effective drywood termite control, heat must raise air temperatures to between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures inside the wood – where the drywood termites live – must reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 35 minutes to kill the termites. A typical heat treatment takes less than a day, including set-up, which makes it a more convenient and environmentally-friendly alternative to gas fumigation.

What Are the Risks and Benefits of Termite Heat Treatment?
During heat treatment, items that can be damaged by high temperatures must be removed and appliances shut off.

Using heat for termite control leaves no chemical residue; it may be preferred by environmentally-conscious homeowners. However, the absence of residue means that heat treatment provides a one-time solution to termite problems.

Heat fumigation does not provide protection against future infestations.