Our focus in this article will be to discuss what termite tenting is, how much it costs, why it is used, and what is included in the process.

Termite tenting can be the most effective treatment for eliminating a termite infestation – particularly when you're dealing with pesky drywood termites. Termites can be nasty creatures and when an infestation gets out of control, they can do a lot of damage to your property which as a result, can cost you a fortune in home repairs. In this article, we are going to discuss termite tenting and explain everything that you need to know about it. 

What is Termite Tenting and Why is it Used?

Termite tenting is when a team of fumigators will cover a building using a thick nylon tent which is sealed against the ground to prevent the toxins and gases that are used from escaping. The gases which are used will kill off the termites which are within the tent and termite tenting are used to kill very large groups of subterranean or drywood termites.

The reason that termite tenting is so effective is that sulfuryl fluoride, the gas that is used, can penetrate walls and get into your home's wooden foundations.

It can take several days for a team of fumigators to complete the termite tenting process and as a result, there is a lot of preparation for both the fumigators and the residents. The cost of termite fumigation can vary from the low $1,000s to the $4,000s, although it depends on the size of your property.

Health Risks of Termite Tenting

As you might have guessed, with consideration to the fact that your house will be filled with harmful gasses and chemicals, there are some health risks to termite tenting.

  • If you inhale large volumes of sulfuryl fluoride you could experience some serious health problems such as problems breathing or even death (in some rare cases).
  • Your pets are at equal risk of health problems if they come in contact with sulfuryl fluoride which is why it's just as important for you to protect them by taking them to your living arrangement.
  • Sulfuryl fluoride is a colourless and odourless gas which increases the chances of residents accidentally inhaling it. Thus, it's important that you stay out of your home long enough for the gas to have completely faded from the residence.

There's no denying that some of these health risks might seem scary and may even discourage you from choosing termite tenting over spot treatment. However, if you prepare your house properly before the termite tenting process begins, you can minimise the chance of experiencing harmful health issues.

Termite Tenting VS Spot Treatment

This is a controversial topic of discussion although when it comes to termites, whether you use termite tenting or spot treatment is dependent upon the specific situation at hand.

If you have a small group of termites which are causing you trouble and you've caught the problem early on, spot treatment will be ideal for you. By isolating the problem, dealing with it appropriately, and getting rid of the termites, you can use a spot treatment to get rid of them.

On the other hand, if you have a more widespread termite problem then termite tenting is the best course of action. Using spot treatment to deal with a widespread termite problem will take an excessive amount of time and isn't as effective as termite tenting.

Preparing for Termite Tenting

The fumigator that you have chosen to take care of your termite tenting should give you some guidelines on preparing for termite tenting so that you know what to expect and what needs to be done. Below are some of the things that you should do to prepare for termite tenting.

  • Make living arrangements for the next 3 to 4 days as you won't be able to return home during this time. It's very important to take everything that you will need during this time.
  • Given that you won't be able to access your home, make sure that you have packed enough clothing, that you have any medication that you might require, and that you also have any pet supplies that you may need.
  • Foods which are in cans or bottles, and that are still sealed closed, can remain in the house during the termite tenting process. Food that is stored in your refrigerator can remain as long as they are stored in the original packaging. If they aren't sealed, either double-bag them or remove them.
  • Any mattresses which have a plastic protector over them should have the protector removed as this can prevent the sulfuryl fluoride from airing properly. Similarly, you should remove any plastic covers from sofas or any other furniture in your home.
  • The day before the termite tenting process begins, you must make sure that you have contacted your gas company and that they have disabled the gas line to your house.
  • If you are growing any plants, flowers, or vegetables in your kitchen, you should remove them from the property as they will be killed when the gas is released into your house.
  • Make sure that you have given the fumigator all of the keys that they will need to guide their way throughout your property. If they don't have all of the keys, this will drag the process out longer than necessary.

Fortunately, sulfuryl fluoride doesn't impact technology or electronics so there is no need for you to remove any of these things from your home (although you might want to take them anyway to keep yourself entertained while you're away from home!).

The Termite Tenting Process

Now that you've prepared your house to have termite tenting done, it's time to learn about the termite tenting process so that you have a better understanding of what the fumigators will be doing.

On Day 1 of termite tenting, the fumigators will cover your property in a large nylon tent which will be weighed down by long sandbags to ensure that none of the sulfuryl fluoride escapes from your property and that the process is as effective as possible.

One of the fumigators will then inspect your home and remove any food or medication which you have forgotten while making sure that the all of your doors are open. Warning signs will also be placed outside.

After the team are sure that they're ready, they will start spraying an appropriate dosage of sulfuryl fluoride inside of the property.

On Day 2 of termite tenting, the fumigators will simply turn on the ventilation system (which would have been fitted to the nylon tent the previous day) and begin airing out the property.

On Day 3 of termite tenting, the nylon tent will be removed from your house and air samples will be taken to ensure that there isn't still a significant amount of sulfuryl fluoride in the air. Assuming that it's safe to re-enter, the warning signs will be removed and you'll be able to move back home!

If you want to be on the extra safe side, you can stay elsewhere for an extra day or two and when you return home, don't worry if you still see a few termites around. It can take a few days for the chemicals to kick in and kill them.

Termite Tenting Conclusion

Having a clear understanding of termite tenting and what the process includes is important for anyone who has a termite infestation on their property. If you think that there's even a slight chance that you have an infestation, contact a fumigator as soon as possible and have them inspect your property. They will inspect your property and if they believe that it's necessary, they will make all of the arrangements for termite tenting to go underway.