Getting Rid Of Termites: Tips For Preparing Your Home For Fumigation

You've noticed signs of potential termite damage throughout your home, but don't know just how extensive the problem is. Unfortunately, if your home is infested with drywood termites and the exterminator isn't able to apply a pesticide directly to the affected wood, or if the infestation is severe, fumigation might be the only option. According to, you may need to vacate your home for anywhere from 24 to 72 hours, depending upon the weather conditions and the size of your house. Before the tent is erected over your home, it's important to prepare your house and family. Here are a few tips to help prepare yourself and your home before the fumigation tent goes up:

Find a Temporary Home for Your Whole Family

Once you schedule the fumigation, your first step needs to be to find a temporary home. Remember, even though your exterminator provides you with a tentative timeframe, you may wind up needing to stay out of your home for a few hours or days longer than anticipated.

This is why it is important to find a place to temporarily stay for at least one or two days beyond the date your exterminator will allow you to reenter your home. In addition to finding a place to stay for yourself, you must also find a place for your pets, as well. This includes your fish, lizards, or birds. If you can't find a friend or family member to keep your dog or cat, look to a professional pet boarding facility.

Prepare the Inside of Your Home

In the days before your home is scheduled to be fumigated, it is important to prepare your home. To begin, contact your natural gas provider and ask them to temporarily halt your service while your home is being fumigated. Next, go through all of the food in your home and separate it into three categories: food that has been opened, food that is still sealed with the original manufacturer's seal and food that is in plastic, glass, or metal cans or bottles.

Any food that is open, including pet food, should be removed from your home. If the food is still closed and sealed, it can either be removed from your home or placed inside a Nylofume bag. Ask your exterminator to either provide you with the bags or to let you know where they can be purchased. Your exterminator might also recommend double-bagging sealed food, as well.

Any food that is in unopened cans and jars can be left in the pantry or refrigerator. You can leave your personal hygiene products, including capped toothpaste and sealed makeup, in your home, as well. However, you should remove your toothbrush!

Before you walk out your home prior to the fumigation, open up your drapes, blinds, and any doors throughout your home, including your cabinet doors. This will help ensure the fumigant is able to penetrate all of the wood throughout your home. Additionally, make sure to grab any houseplants.

Prepare the Outside of Your Home

The exterior of your home needs to be prepared for the fumigation tent, as well. For example, trim any shrubs, bushes or trees that are near your home. This will ensure there is enough room for the tent, and that the foliage isn't damaged. Also, make sure to create a gap between any mulch or decorative stones around your home's perimeter. This will also ensure the tent is more secure around your home.

Finally, remove any outdoor furniture or toys from around the perimeter of your home. These items won't be damaged, but it will allow the exterminator to access your home more easily.

Whole-home fumigation is often necessary to eliminate a serious termite infestation in your home. If you have any questions about how to prep your home prior to fumigation, don't hesitate to contact your exterminator