Pest control experts perform close to 100,000 fumigations in Florida every year. The annual cost of controlling and repairing damage due to dry wood termite infestations is upwards of $300 million. These numbers are so high because Florida’s high humidity, moderate temperatures, and tropical conditions enable termites to thrive. At least three types of termites cause significant damage to wood structures in Florida, including conehead, subterranean, and drywood termites. They multiply fast, and as such, tent fumigation is crucial. This post offers tips on what to do before the termite tenting process.

How Do I Prepare My House for Termite Fumigation?

To get ready for structural fumigation, the first thing you should do is make accommodation arrangements for your family and pets. Avoid buying groceries as the date of the termite tenting approaches. Eat what’s already in the house, especially food that sits on the counter and pantry.

If your house runs on propane gas, shut it off before the pest control expert arrives. For other types of gas, you’ll need to ask the gas service to shut it off temporarily.

Unlock your doors as soon as you can to allow pest control technicians access to your home. Consider leaving the keys to the front door so that your house isn’t left unlocked after the fumigation process.

Termite fumigants can prove harmful to house plants. Go through your home and remove all plants from the windowsills. Remove any potted plants that are close enough to fall under the fumigation tent.

Additional preparations include trimming trees that may hinder termite tenting and disconnecting any fencing attached to your house.

What Should be Bagged During Termite Fumigation?

Termite treatment involves covering the physical structure with a tent and spraying a chemical gas that’s toxic to drywood termite colonies. As such, specific steps must be taken to ensure the safety of food and other perishable items.

All the food, feed, drugs, and medicines not sealed in plastic, glass, or metal cans, bottles, or jars with the manufacturer’s original airtight seal should be bagged or removed. Items like pasta, bread, and cereals packaged in plastic should be bagged or removed before the pest professional arrives.

Other items that you should bag or remove before the termite treatment process commences include;

  • All items in metallic foil-lined containers such as medicines, drugs, beverages, sauces, and snacks
  • All forms of produce like eggs, vegetables, and fruits
  • Anything in resealable containers such as butter, cottage cheese, milk, and sour cream

What Needs to be Removed When House Tenting for Termites?

Termite tenting is an effective treatment technique for drywood termite infestations. However, you have to get your home ready for the termite fumigation process, which means removing certain things.

Start by packing away and storing your clothing, curtains, and linens. Use suitable bags and consider double-packing for more effective protection from the termite fumigation gas.

You’ll also want to unplug all the electrical appliances, including the washing machine and dryer, ovens, cookers, heaters, refrigerators, and televisions. Any indoor, including ones on the patio, should go as well for the plants along the foundation that you can’t remove, ensure that they are sufficiently water for optimal protection against fumigant gas and other pest control chemicals.

Florida subterranean termites and drywood termites tend to hide in upholstery and furniture. Moreover, furniture covers can inhibit the effectiveness of termite control chemicals. Uncovering the furniture and upholstery is an effective prevention method that ensures termite swarms have nowhere to hide.

What Do You Do With Pets During Termite Treatment?

When termites attack your home, pest control services will help you choose the best treatment. Outside of tent fumigation, the two most predominant methods are localized heat treatment and liquid pesticide treatments. Like most pest control measures, tent fumigation has the potential to harm humans and pets.

Inform your certified termite expert about your pets and ask for recommendations on the proper safeguards depending on the fumigant gas used. Even if the natural wood treatment is safe for pets, consider taking certain precautions, such as confining them to the areas unaffected by subterranean termite infestations for 1-2 hours.

Remove pet bedding, food, water bowl, and toys from the house. If you have a birdcage or fish tank, cover them with a sheet or towel to prevent particles from fumigant gas. Consider asking your vet for advice if you have exotic pets at home.

How Do I Clean my House After Termite Tenting?

Termite tenting allows fumigant gas to penetrate the wood and kill insect colonies. It takes up to 48 hours for the chemicals to do their job, and you can go back home on the third day. However, you’ll need to clean the house before bringing your family back.

Examine the house to locate any edibles that may have been exposed during fumigation. Discard anything you find as a precaution.

The next step is vacuuming the house, paying extra attention to the previously infested areas. You want to ensure that you suck up the dead wood-eating termites. Move the furniture and other furnishings and clean out every possible crevice, including underneath floorboards. Remember to vacuum the chairs, couches, curtains, and other fabrics. Once done, clean the vacuum and dispose of the bag properly.

You’ll want to wipe down all the surfaces using a damp cloth. Throw away the cloth once done and repeat the process with a wet cloth dipped in a vinegar and water solution. Some of the places you should wipe down include door handles, medicine cabinets, and gas refrigerators. Once again, dispose of the cloth once you’re done. It would be best if you also mopped the floors, including the bathrooms.

Do I Have to Wash Everything After the Fumigation Process?

The tenting chemicals used to kill the entire colony of subterranean and drywood termites won’t affect your clothing, and as such, you don’t have to wash them. However, it’s always good to err on the side of caution. Wash any clothes, sheets, pillows, curtains, and other fabrics that may have been exposed to chemical gas during the tent fumigation process. You can use your washer and dryer or go to the nearest laundromat.

Have a Termite Problem? Call the Pest Control Expert in Florida for a Free Inspection

Many homeowners discover termites after the house has been under attack for several years. They deeply penetrate wood, making it hard to detect and locate drywood termite infestations. Biotherm Green Solutions can help you eliminate termites and prevent future infestations. We use a proactive approach that includes direct wood treatment and regular maintenance for optimal protection against future colonies. Call (800)280-5698 to schedule a free pest inspection or learn more about our pest control services in Florida and how we can help.