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What to Expect from the Fumigation of Your Home

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While there is no known clearinghouse for national statistics on yearly fumigations, industry information suggests these termite operations are not uncommon – with a minimum of thousands conducted yearly throughout the country. If you are scheduled for a fumigation, your pest control expert is likely handling one of three common issues: drywood termites, wood-boring beetles or bed bugs. Fumigation is an all-encompassing process that will require such considerable assistance from you and your family. Here is what to expect:

Home preparation. The pest control company has a lot of work to get your home ready for a fumigation, but you should expect to be quite busy during this stage as well. You should certainly collect all food and medicines, including perishable food and pet food. Anything that you want to stay in the home must be double-bagged or placed into a glass bottle. Anything that’s alive in your home, such as fish and turtles, must be removed, including any plants. Also, plastic covers on mattresses must be removed and any drawers, cabinets and doors of any kind must be opened. Your pest control expert likely will provide a list and can include feedback on your preparation.

Returning to the home. If you are expecting an odd smell or look inside your home after fumigation that will not be the case. The material used is odorless, so you should mostly notice a home that must now be returned to its normal condition. Many homeowners choose to wash linens, as well as any window treatments that were exposed to the treatment. It’s a good idea to wash dishes as well. Some degree of a chemical residue may remain, though it may be very difficult to notice. As such, a thorough cleaning of the surfaces of your home makes sense.

A regulated process. Because restricted pesticides are being used in a public area, states throughout the country closely regulate fumigations. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency regularly tests pesticides used in fumigations to ensure safety and recommend best fumigation practices. State regulations include the types of equipment your pest control company must have to accurately test whether any of the pesticide is escaping during the fumigation and whether any unsafe levels remain once the fumigation has been completed. On average, a  fumigation lasts about three full days. That includes a day to prepare, a day for the fumigation itself and a final day to take down the house covering and move back inside. It is not uncommon for some fumigations to take longer and your pest control expert will keep you informed at all times.

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