One of the most prevalent termite treatment methods is termite tenting (or fumigation). These terms are often used interchangeably, but tenting can also be used for heat treatment.
On average, termite tenting costs from $3,000 to $8,600. For a 2,500 sq ft. home, you’re looking at $6,000, while it may get up to $13,500 for a 4,000 sq. ft. home. If you’re still on the fence about termite tenting, read on as we uncover everything you need to know!
Termite Tenting Average Costs
National Average Cost
$3,000 - $8,600
Keep in mind that the cost of termite tenting will vary based on factors such as the location of your property, the extent of the fumigation process, and the total home size.
On average, prepare to spend anywhere between $3,000 to $8,600. This translates to $12 to $20 per square foot.
Since the process covers the entire home, your contractor may opt to price their services per square foot. Many homeowners consider the costs of termite tenting to be quite expensive. However, if you think about the costs of repairing structural damage brought by dry wood termites– this investment will pay off in the long run. (Related: Termite Treatment: A Cost & Consumer Guide)
Before you know it, termite colonies may invade and destroy your home if you just let them be. We recommend looking into local pest control companies in your area to deal with termite presence effectively.
What is Termite Tenting?
For your reference, termite tenting involves pumping a fumigant or poison gas inside the home, usually covered by a large tent. This tent keeps the gas within the home, helping it penetrate deeply into every part (even the wood timbers).
It is considered effective in dealing with stubborn termite infestations or an infestation that has accessibility issues. Note that this process may get costly, involve some risks, and requires planning and preparation on your end.
Termite Tenting vs. Fumigation
It’s common for several pest control companies to use the terms “tenting” and “fumigation” interchangeably. However, you will need to note a significant difference. Tenting is a much broader term that covers either fumigation or heat treatment.
Fumigation is the most common type of termite tenting, where poisonous gas is pumped into the tented home to deal with the infestation. Once the process is done, the house will need to be thoroughly ventilated.
Meanwhile, heat treatment may involve tenting except with hot air. It is forced into the home to heat wood structures to 135 degrees Fahrenheit minimum. This will kill the colony and will not need ventilation afterward. Since heat treatment is less common, we’ll focus on fumigation in this article.
How Termite Tenting Works
After calling a pest control company for a termite inspection– they will most likely recommend termite tenting to deal with a widespread infestation. First, you will need to clear the home and leave for about three days to complete the termite tenting process. This includes all your plants and pets.
You will also be asked to leave all doors, cabinets, and drawers fully open so the gas can penetrate every nook and cranny. The house will then be enclosed in a nylon tent to seal it off. Depending on the severity of the termite infestation, size of the home, and weather conditions– the process may last for 6 hours up to a whole week. The actual fumigation period only takes 24 hours (or less).
Once the chemicals are thoroughly released throughout your home, the specialists will open up the seals and use a ventilation system to air out your home.
The air quality will need to be tested to ensure the amount of fumigant in the air reaches 1 part per million (ppm) or less. This usually takes about four days before the tent is taken down, and you can re-enter the home safely.
What Happens After Termite Tenting?
One week after the fumigation is completed, you may still notice a few termites left from the colony. Don’t worry. These pests won’t survive much longer due to exposure to poisonous gas.
You may even observe newly hatched termites in some cases as the fumigant doesn’t kill termite eggs. These young termites will also die within a few days, though. Generally, the entire colony is expected to die within one week after the fumigation process. During this time, it’s common to notice an increase in the presence of other pets such as ants and cockroaches.
Termite Fumigation Pros and Cons
Like other termite control methods, termite tenting has its own version of benefits and drawbacks.
Choosing a Pest Control Company
In choosing a local pest control company to handle the termite tenting process, here are some guide questions you can ask:
Keep in mind that selecting the right pest control company that will surely get the job right and stand behind their work is worth all the effort in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Should you use termite tenting?
Although termite tenting is one of the most effective ways to eliminate unwanted pests, it is not a suitable solution for everyone. Try to look for another option if you are allergic to pesticides or cannot spend time away from home.
Is termite fumigation safe?
Termite fumigation is safe if professionals do it and the safety standards are met. However, it is something that you must never attempt to do on your own. This will require detailed and careful preparation, setup, and potent chemical application. To prevent chemical contamination, food, plants, and animals in your home must be removed during the process.
Does fumigation work for any termite?
Subterranean, drywood, and dampwood are the three prevalent termite types. Remember that fumigation is usually not effective against subterranean termites that dwell deep in the soil underneath your home. Meanwhile, termite tenting is best against drywood and dampwood termites that live inside wood beams, furniture, and floors, because the chemicals can eliminate them throughout the house. If the termites reappeared after a treatment, you might want to consider tenting.