Every year, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage — damage that is not covered by homeowner’s insurance.
No homeowner ever wants to be told that they have a termite problem.
If you have received this dreaded news recently, though, remember that it’s important to take action as soon as possible.
The idea of having your house fumigated might cause you to feel anxious or overwhelmed. It’s not as stressful as many people think, though.
Read on to learn seven important facts about the fumigation process.
Armed with this information, you’ll be much better prepared to tackle your termite issue once and for all.
1. You’ll Need to Do Some Prep Work
There’s quite a bit of prep work that goes into getting your house ready for fumigation. The sooner you begin this prep work, the sooner your house will be termite-free.
The following are some of the steps you’ll have to take to get your home ready:
- Make arrangements to stay outside of the house at a hotel or with friends or family members
- Seal containers for food, pet food, and medications to make sure nothing is contaminated
- Pets, plants, and other living things must be removed
- The gas in your home will have to be turned off
This might seem excessive. Remember, though, that the prep work is for your protection and your family’s protection.
If you take it seriously and minimize exposure as much as possible, you won’t have to worry about any issues when you re-enter your home.
2. You’ll Need to Address the Exterior
Remember, you need to prep more than the inside of your home. It takes more than some deep cleaning to get ready for fumigation.
When addressing the exterior of the house, be sure to take the following steps:
- Trim back hedges and branches, so there’s at least a foot of space between them and your house
- Soak dirt areas and garden beds thoroughly with water
- Rake back gravel and mulch at least 12 inches from the foundation of your house
- Consider removing plants that may get in the way of the fumigation tent
Taking all of these steps will help to seal the fumigation tent all the way. This, in turn, will allow the chemicals sprayed inside the house to do their job and get rid of all the termites that have taken over your home.
3. Timelines Vary
It’s not always easy to tell how long the fumigation process is going to take.
Some homes are ready to re-enter within a few hours. Others need up to a week. It all depends on the size of your home and the severity of the infestation.
Talk to your pest control professional to find out how soon they anticipate you’ll be able to re-enter your house. That way, you can plan ahead and make sure you have somewhere to stay for the duration of the fumigation.
4. Don’t Try to DIY
If you search online, you’ll come across lots of DIY strategies that are supposed to help take care of termites.
These DIY approaches don’t often — if ever — work, though. They could even make the problem worse and cost you more money since they’ll prolong the amount of time the termites are spending in and around your home.
It’s best to hire a professional to take care of the issue right away. You’ll likely end up saving money, and you’ll get to enjoy peace of mind knowing the issue is taken care of.
5. Fumigation Won’t Harm Your Home
Many people worry that fumigation will damage their house. This isn’t the case, though.
Chemicals used during fumigation do not damage the furniture, clothing, or carpets in your house. It also doesn’t leave any residue behind when the job is done.
As long as your food and medications are sealed well, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about while your house is being fumigated.
6. Fumigation Is Highly Effective
The process of hiring a pest control company and having your home fumigated can definitely feel draining.
Fumigation is highly effective, though. In fact, it’s really the only thing you can do to wipe out termites completely.
After you have it done, your home will be termite-free and free of other bugs and pests, too. It’s definitely worth the cost and the stress of having to leave your home for a few days.
Remember that fumigation does not protect your house from future termite infestations.
If you deal with a termite problem a few years after having fumigation done, this is not a sign that the process did not work. You may need to take other steps, though, to prevent termites from returning in the future.
7. How to Prevent Termites
Speaking of termite prevention, you’re probably willing to do whatever it takes not to have termites in your home again.
The following are some strategies you can use after having your house fumigated to keep termites at bay:
- Get rid of moisture in and around your home
- Repair leaking faucets and water pipes
- Repair rotted roof shingles
- Replace weather stripping around windows
- Repair downspouts and gutters to divert moisture away from your home
- Inspect your home’s foundation regularly
- Maintain at least 18 inches of space between your soil and the wood areas of the home
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the home
These steps aren’t a guarantee that you’ll be able to avoid termites in the future. They do significantly decrease your risk of an infestation, though.
Learn More About Termite Control Today
The idea of having your house fumigated can definitely be stressful, especially if you’ve never had to deal with a termite problem before.
The more you know, though, the less likely you are to worry or feel overwhelmed during the fumigation process. Keep this information in mind, and things will go much more smoothly.
Do you want to learn more about keeping your home well-maintained and pest-free? If so, we’ve got lots of resources for you.
Check out the House section of our site today to learn everything about pest control, cleaning, renovating, and more.