Television shows like The X-Files and Breaking Bad have featured circus-like fumigation tents in episodes where characters are attempting to hide illicit activities underneath their colorfully-striped walls.
Depending on which region of the US you live in, you may have seen similar tents popping up over homes in your own neighborhood. But what’s really going on in there?
Tent Fumigation Q&A
Q: What’s being fumigated anyway?
A: Fumigation tents are primarily used to get rid of drywood termite or beetle colonies that have infested and are eating away at the structure of a wooden home.
Q: Where does tent fumigation typically take place?
A: Mostly in areas where drywood termites live, including: the East Coast Mid-Atlantic states down to Florida, along the Gulf Coast and into the Southwestern states, California and Hawaii.
Q: Why is the tent needed?
A: The tents provide a seal allowing odorless and colorless fumigation chemicals to permeate the entire home and kill the bugs.
Q: How many days does the fumigation take?
A: It typically takes anywhere from three to four days. Homeowners and renters along with their pets and house plants will need to vacate the premises while fumigation takes place. It’s also recommended that food in the home be bagged in special fume bags provided by the extermination service.
Q: Who pays for it?
A: If you are renting in a complex with an infestation, your landlord will ultimately be responsible for paying for the fumigation. If you own the home you are on the hook for the cost. If you are looking to sell your home, sometimes fumigation may be required to guarantee the home is free of pests.