Duration of fumigation process or how long does termite tenting take?

Photo 1

Usually tent fumigation is rarely used because of its high cost.

Furthermore, there are not many companies which use fumigation and which have tents of the right size, and therefore this method cannot be considered as easy available.

But still fumigation is believed to be the most effective method against termites.

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What is fumigation process?

Termite tenting process is very simple. Pest exterminators seal the house under the tent and make it full of poisonous gas using different bombs and foggers. Fumigation is done with special chemicals which do not have smell and color.

Remember! Tent fumigation treatment is used to get rid of drywood termites.

Basically, as far as fumigation is not an easy process and it may cost a lot, this method is recommended and used for houses with high infestations when implementing usual termite treatment seems ineffective or impossible.

If you are not sure which method you should choose for your house, you can always ask for a professional advice of your local pest company.

Termite fumigation process consists of several stages:

Photo 2

  1. The house is covered with one piece of big tent.
  2. The bottom part of the tent is fixed to the ground, all corners, edges and joining parts are closed with special pins.
  3. All windows and doors stay unlocked in the house during the whole fumigation process.
  4. Exterminators usually use phosphene for fumigation, sometimes other gases.
  5. The pressure under tent is kept for one-two days, as full airproof conditions are impossible.
  6. Tent is taken off and the house must be aerated.

Here you can learn more information about tenting: dangers for termites, preparing for fumigation and cleaning after.

How to prepare for fumigation process?

You should find a place where you, your family and pets can stay during fumigation process. Of course, people, animals and plants are not allowed during fumigation process.

If you are not planning to take all the food, tobacco and medicine with you, you should place them in special bags (it will be better to use double-bag package).

This is also about products that you keep in the fridge. Glass, plastic and metal bottles which are originally sealed do not have to be packed.

Hygiene items should be also double-bagged.

All furniture, interior doors, cases, boxes, etc. must be opened.

Exterior doors and windows must be unlocked; you should also provide your exterminator with the keys to make him able to perform fumigation process at a highest level.

Call your gas company and ask it to switch off the gas (of course, if you use it).

All the interior and exterior lights, ovens, washers, dryers, heaters or any other electric appliances must be switched off.

Take off all the antennas, wires and satellite antennas outside of the house.

Photo 3Plants and trees around the house (at least 12 inches back from the exterior of your house) should be removed for a place for tent.

In order to protect the roots of your shrubs water plants and trees around the perimeter of the house.

Water should reach the depth of six inches as that will be enough to prevent fumigants’ leakage out of the tent. Rake decorative rocks and wooden mound.

You will have to remove all mattresses. Mattresses usually have details made of plastic or any other materials which do not leak (these details are mostly used for covering mattresses).

During fumigation process poisonous gases may penetrate mattress and it will be hard to air it out later. It will be also a good idea to remove all other objects which may have plastic covering, or you may cover them with special bags as well.

Inform your neighbors about your fumigation plans and warn them to keep dogs and cats away from your house during the process.

Learn more about drywood termites: signs of their activity; best methods of treatment: spot treatment and DIY methods; how to get rid of them in furniture?

Now when you have an overall idea of the termite tenting, how long does it take is another important question that will be answered in the section below.

All the stages of fumigation process

As it was mentioned before, there are some poisonous gases (pesticides) which are used during fumigation process.

Attention! Do not try to do fumigation by yourself.

Photo 4In order to perform fumigation process in right way the exterminator will have to cover your house with a special tent which is made of tarpaulin.

Tent has several functions: it helps to reduce gas leakage and serves as a kind of container which keeps the gas inside of the infested area.

The tent is fixed on the ground with sand and junctures are connected with special pins.

Photo 5After the tent is placed professional exterminator has to ensure that all preparation procedures are done (food is removed, pets and fish tanks are taken out, doors are open, etc.).

Furthermore, the exterminator is responsible for different warning signs which signalize upcoming fumigation.

Once fumigator checks and makes sure that all the needed things are done, he can start fumigation process.

Photo 6There are different gases which are used for fumigation process.

For example, sulfuryl fluoride is used for living houses.

All the pest companies have trained experts who determine how much gas is needed for the infested area.

Right calculations make it possible to exterminate all termite colonies and their nests. Through tiny holes and splits fumigant penetrates wooden objects and fills all air spaces and poisons termites.

Exterminators use special equipment in order to find out fumigant level in the house during the whole fumigation period. That helps to find out whether there is the right concentration of gas or not. And of course, that raises fumigation treatment effectiveness.

Photo 7How long does termite tenting take? Fumigation process may take from twenty four to seventy two hours.

Everything depends on the outside temperature and the size of your house.

The bigger your house is, the more time it will take to reach the right concentration level of gas. So, in order to plan your time you can ask your pest company to calculate time for your house individually.

Learn more about subterranean termites: signs of their activity; best methods of treatment and DIY methods. Eastern subterranean termites and their tunnels and tubes with photo.

So, we answered on the question: “How long is a house tented for termites?”, let’s move to the period after fumigation, what you should expect and do after this process?

After fumigation

When fumigation is over, exterminators take the tent off. When tent is removed, gas dissipates very quickly. You will not have to wash any dishes or clothes after fumigation (but usually householders still rewash all possible things in the house to feel safe).

Photo 8The house is air ventilated for six-seven hours.

Sometimes professional exterminators may prefer using special ventilating systems which they pre-install before fumigation process.

After that pest control exterminator comes and checks with a special device whether the air in your house is clean or not. This detector shows signal even if there is tiny amount of gas in the air.

Photo 9So, if your exterminator lets you in, you can easily re-enter your house.

Usually professional pest companies place a special re-entry notification on the door, where they indicate the date and time of certification, they also take off all the warning signs what signalizes that fumigation process had been completed.

Of course, it is very important to use different insecticides for wooden objects (after fumigation) in order to prevent future termite infestation. But if you do it once, you can forget about termites forever.

Useful articles

If you interested in more information of termites we recommend you to read the following articles:

Helpful video

All about the process of fumigation:


If you have termites in your house which destroy any kind of materials which contain cellulose, fumigation (house treatment with special aerosolized pesticides) will be the most effective way for termite treatment.

Totally it will take from two to four days depending on outside temperature and the size of your house. This treatment method will help you to get rid of termites completely; moreover, pest companies always provide warranty.

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