How to Prepare for Fumigation
Tenting a house for pest removal requires bagging your food and more
By Sylvia Cochran
A homeowner may request fumigation services when she notices termite or bedbug activity in the residence and spot treatments of the pests cannot offer sufficient assurance of eradication. In some areas of the country---notably in Georgia---termite inspections are mandatory for real estate sales; if termite inspectors notice damage to a structure that indicates the presence of wood-destroying pests, they may suggest fumigation to rid the structure of the insects. Learning how to prepare for fumigation makes it possible to treat structures without harming any occupants.
- What You Need to Know
- Although it may seem like a hassle to prepare for fumigation, proper planning can make this experience go smoothly. Book your hotel room, find your hedge trimmers and saw, have your water and hose ready, and remember to request Nylofume bags from the exterminator. Prepare for gas meter access and roof access.
Book a hotel room. The fumigation process likely takes two days. Spend these days at a hotel unless you have friends or family who can take you in. If you have family pets, make sure to discuss this with the hotel concierge when booking; you may need to shop around a bit before you find a pet-friendly hotel in your area.
Trim vegetation around the perimeter of the structure to create a space of at last 18 inches. There needs to be sufficient room for the fumigation professionals to secure the tenting material covering the house. Clip hedges and shrubs away from the house and---if needed---cut down plants that will obstruct fumigators' access to the ground right around the structure. Saw off tree limbs that grow over the roof.
Water your landscape except the 18-inch perimeter around the house. This step helps to keep the poisons from entering the soil around your house and may protect your flora from suffering any adverse effects.
Double-bag or remove food products and medicines if they come in cardboard or plastic containers. Your exterminator may offer you Nylofume bags as part of the service. Use them for bagged goods, such as potato chips, breakfast cereals, dry soups and bread. Double-bag all opened consumables, such as spices or items wrapped in plastic wrap. Remove or double-bag consumables the gas may permeate, such as fruits, vegetables, eggs and ice. Do not forget to include pet food when bagging or removing consumable products. Intact canned goods and unopened glass bottles are safe.
Take plastic covers off mattresses and box springs. Remove mattresses or box springs that are permanently enclosed in sealed plastic covers.
Unplug electric appliances and extinguish pilot lights. Remove electric timers from outlets.
Contact the gas company and request a representative to shut off the service. Double-check that all pilot lights are off prior to leaving your home.
Open all interior doors and vents. Include doors to closets, pantries and cabinets, as well s drawers. Open all the vents inside your walls.
Remove all living creatures from your home and patio. If an organism breathes oxygen, it may be adversely affected by the poisonous gases that fumigators introduce into the residence during a treatment. When you leave for your temporary accommodations, take all of the family pets and also plants with you. Do not forget cats that may spend most of their time outdoors; they may attempt to enter the home before the fumes dissipate.
About the Author
Sylvia Cochran is a regular contributor to DexKnows, specializing in home and garden.
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