How to Prepare Your Home for Termite Tenting?

PCR Termite Tenting

Termite Tenting needs to be done before a fumigation. Before we step into how to prepare your home for termite tenting or a fumigation, let us understand what fumigation actually is. Fumigation is a method used to exterminate pests in an enclosed space using a lethal gas. There are two methods to perform fumigation. The first can be done by sealing the structure with plastic, tape or other sealing materials, and the second by termite tenting or enclosing the structure in a ‘tent’ of vinyl-coated nylon tarpaulins.

When is Fumigation Required?

For bad pest infestations, fumigation could be a much-needed step to effectively treat your house and rid yourselves of the infestation. The majority of fumigation cases across the U.S. are related to drywood termites. These termites can live for years and survive off a huge range of organic materials like cloth, flooring, and drywall. Fumigation is also sometimes used to get rid of some species of beetles, especially the powderpost beetle. This species of beetles feed on wood and also dig burrows into the home’s infrastructure which makes it almost impossible to spot treat. In extreme cases of bedbug infestations, fumigation could be suggested.

While the gas fumigant used is poisonous and kills the household pest, it also poses to be harmful to humans and pests if it’s not used properly. Hence, it is essential to take a few precautionary measures before a fumigation.

How Does Fumigation Work?

To understand how to prepare for termite tenting, we need to be aware of the process of fumigation. Fumigation takes place in four stages all of which involve the pest control company.

Stage 1- The first step is tenting or covering the home with tarp. Then all the holes and slats that provide ventilation need to be shut in order to make sure the chemicals used for fumigation are trapped inside.

Stage 2- The entire household is made to exit the home before the fumigation process begins. After this, the tent structure is pumped with pesticide vapors. The chemicals seep deep into the wood, upholstery and every element of the structure to kill pests that are otherwise hard to reach.

Stage 3- The chemicals are let to steep for 24-72 hours. The area is then de-fumigated before the tent is removed.

Stage 4- In the last stage of fumigation, the pest control professional manually checks all the areas that were noted to have a pest infestation to make sure that it’s under control. In some cases, follow-up spot treatment may be needed.

In enclosed areas, fumigant is capable of penetrating wood and other porous surfaces that could house pests and their nests. Rains could affect the fumigation process, it’s better to reschedule fumigation if the weather forecast reports predict rainfall.

How to Prepare for Termite Tenting?

There are certain steps to be taken before the fumigation process begins and the tent comes up over your home. Don’t leave everything for the last minute as it could take some time to prepare your home for fumigation. Follow these 8 steps to prep your home for termite tenting.

Suspend the gas connection

If you have a natural gas connection at home, you will need to shut off the gas before the fumigation begins. You could call the gas company on the day fumigation is supposed to begin and schedule a temporary shut-off. If you use a propane tank at home, you can shut off the source to your home on your own or you could call the propane company and request for assistance.

Empty your home of pets, plants and people

how to prepare your home for fumigation

The chemicals present in the fumigant not only kill the pest but also pose dangers to any living being that’s present in the home. Any household plants must be moved out of the house and kept in a shady spot many feet away from the exteriors of the home. Pets like dogs or the cat that lives in your backyard must be moved away from the area. At no point must they come in contact with the fumigant. If you have an aquarium at home, you’ll have to find it a temporary home for the next few days. It is not safe for you or your family to enter the home either, at least not until the pest control company gives you a green signal. You’ll need to find a place for you, your family and your pets to stay for the next few days.

Ps. Don’t forget to pack clothes, books, food for your pets or the gadgets that you and your family may need over the next 3 days.

Remove plastic covers on indoor items

A plastic tent is used to trap the fumigant inside the home, and the same thing happens if there’s plastic covering items inside your home. The plastic traps the gases inside or under their surface even after the fumigation is over.

All items covered in plastic should have their plastic covers taken off. Mattresses, cushions, furniture that is covered in plastic wrap needs to be removed. Don’t forget to take out clothes that have been placed inside garment bags and the covers of plastic totes. If you have doubts about whether or not an item is plastic is airtight, to be on the safe side, move it out of the property for the time being.

Seal all consumable items

All perishable food items need to be moved out of the home or if not double bagged in special fumigation bags. The fumigators usually provide these bags to you. Items in your fridge and freezer must also be removed from the home or if not, be double bagged. Rice, cereal, pet food or anything consumable that is packed in plastic or cardboard, even if they are still sealed must be double bagged. However, cans bottles and jars that still have the original seal can be left in your home. Your fumigator company should ensure that all the necessary items are sealed properly before the fumigation process begins.


Medicines like vitamins, cough drops, over-the-counter medications, and prescriptions as well need to be sealed in a double bag, if not removed from the home. Since you won’t be staying in your home for a few days, pack any medication that you need to take on a daily basis before sealing the rest.

Clear at least a foot of shrubbery from around your foundation

When putting up the tent around your home, shrubs and plants that are close to your home could get in the way. You might have to cut back plants that are too close to the exterior of the home so that they remain outside the tented area. Some plants may even have to be removed, the fumigator will help you make this decision. Once the pruning is done, to protect your plants further, lavishly water the perimeter of your home.

Keep all doors between rooms open

how to prepare your home for termite tenting

Leave all doors between rooms open so that the fumigant can pass through with ease. Any cabinets, closets, drawers, appliances, and safes with doors must be left open. To make the process even easier for the fumigation professionals, raise the blinds and drapes of your windows.

Leave a set of keys for the fumigation company

The fumigators need access to all parts of the home to ensure that the fumigation is effective. On completion of the fumigation, they will not only lock up but also use a secondary locking system to prevent anyone from entering the home for the next few days.

Nobody will be able to enter the home regardless of the reason until the home has been cleared and allowed for re-entry by the fumigation company. It’s also best to ask your fumigator for detailed instructions on what needs to be done after you return home.

Make sure to follow all these steps to prepare your home for termite tenting. You could also ask your exterminator for a checklist of items to help you with your fumigation preparation.

How Can Help You?

There are many steps that are involved in fumigation and the fumigation professional needs to keep the homeowner informed about the various stages of the process. Hence, it is very important to hire the right pest control company. At, you can browse through the top rated companies across the nation, read reviews about them and also get a free quote. All you need to do is enter your ZIP code and the email address on which you’d like to receive the quote and voila, you’ll get a free quote! If you have used a pest control company before, head to the companies page and do leave a review. Help fellow homeowners choose a pest control company. Whether it is positive or negative, your review is welcome on our site.

If you know of any other hacks about preparing your home for termite tenting, please feel free to share them with us in the comments. If you are still having trouble deciding on whether on not you need to call a professional pest control, read our article and weigh the pros and cons before you make your choice.

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