The Ins and Outs of Termite Tenting

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Your home is often one of your greatest satisfactions and investments.

It’s not just a physical structure but a place where your family’s memories are created and your treasures are stored. Protecting and maintaining your home is important. Many issues and responsibilities arise with home ownership including renovations, replacement of kitchen appliances, and termite prevention. Termites make the list of challenges of homeownership because every year homeowners in the United States spend more than $2 billion to protect their homes from these wood-eating, destructive insects. Termites attack various parts of the home including the foundation, framing, and flooring. They are also known for eating paper. In fact, in 1997 in Windermere, Florida subterranean termites began attacking a town library.

It is important to remember that termites do not bite or harm humans. However, termite treatment must be done in a controlled environment. This treatment protects your home from infestations and safeguards the construction of your home against the attack of termites. Termites are unique in that your home may have an infestation for several years without showing any signs of their presence. Often, homeowners discover termites after the home has been under attack for several years.

In certain instances, an infestation can be so severe that tent fumigation is the only option. Infestations that become widespread (particularly in inaccessible areas) are what make tent fumigation an attractive option. Once settled into a home, termites are able to live in areas we can’t readily see, like beams, walls, attics, or perhaps underneath floorboards. When a structure is fumigated, the gas reaches every area and deeply penetrates its wood structures where termites live and feed. The fumigant used is a true gas, and once the home is completely aerated it leaves behind no residue whatsoever.

This termite treatment involves covering the entire structure with a tent and using a gas, that is toxic to termites, to kill and destroy the insect colonies. Tenting for termites allows the gas to penetrate wood and kill the termites on site. Typically the technician sets up the tent over the entire structure of your home then attaches a fan and hose to the tent to pump the gas into the home. Tenting for termites can take up to 48 hours allowing you to re-enter on day three. The gas that is used dissipates quickly once the tent is removed and leaves no residue behind. In most cases additional adjustments must be made including removing any house plants, trimming trees that may interfere with the tenting, disconnecting fencing attached to the house, and removing or protecting many food items and/or medications in special bags that we provide for you.

Is Termite Fumigation Effective?

Fumigation is an effective treatment technique however, it’s not a prevention method. Fumigation controls Drywood Termite colonies that are active at the time of treatment, but offers no protection against future colonies. Contact wood treatments are available as a secondary option to help prevent future infestations.

It is more difficult to prevent Drywood Termite infestations than Subterranean Termite infestations since there are more potential entry points for Drywood Termites. By sealing as many cracks as possible and performing regular upkeep on exposed wood, you and your pest professional can help reduce the likelihood of an infestation. However, a proactive program that includes direct wood treatment and regular maintenance provides the most comprehensive protection.

Is Termite Tenting & Fumigation Safe?

The termite fumigation process is very complex and involves restricted-use pesticides. Fumigations can only be performed by professionals like us who have completed extensive training and passed certification tests.

A certified termite expert can use several pieces of equipment to help ensure your termite fumigation is as safe as possible:

  • A fumiscope is used to measure concentrations of fumigant gas during the treatment process.
  • Leak detectors are used to monitor for gases that may escape the treatment area.
  • A clearance device is used to check for extremely low concentrations (1 part per million or less) of fumigant in the house before people and pets can return.
  • Fumigants do not leave residues on household items after treatment, once the home has been aired and cleared properly.

 Some Fumigation Advantages:

  • High efficacy:
    • When properly applied, it is more effective than many local treatment methods in killing Drywood Termites 
  • Kills several pests at once:
    • Kills Drywood Termites, Carpet Beetles, Clothes Moths, Cockroaches, Bed Bugs, rodents, etc. Note: larger amount of fumigant are required to kill bed bugs and other wood boring beetles.
  • No need to locate Drywood Termite activity sites:
    • Locating live Drywood Termites in a structure is always a challenge but this doesn’t affect fumigation efficacy because it will penetrate all wood members within the building.

We know that this is an important and scary process at times and we would love to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding termites and the fumigation process. And remember, no matter what kind of pest issue you may have you can just contact us and JD Smith Pest Control will give you a free inspection to take any worry away in addition to designing a comprehensive plan to eliminate existing infestations and prevent future colonies from developing in your home or business.

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