How does a Fumigation Work

by | Mar 14, 2018 | General Information, Pest control, safety, Termite

What is Fumigation?


Fumigation refers to the act of covering an entire structure with a tarp or a tent and this is commonly known as “tenting.”

In California, fumigation is done mostly for drywood termites or bed bugs. Then, fumigations or tenting is NOT commonly done for general pest control such as ants, spiders, roaches etc.

When done correctly, it is guaranteed to achieve 100% termite eradication of the fumigated structure.

It is one of only two methods recognized by the Structural Pest Control Board as achieving full structure eradication.


In California, a fumigation is a process that takes a minimum of 3 days and 2 nights. In conclusion, this timeline is mandated by law.


Accurate Termite and Pest Control only uses termite fumigation products that are proven to have no residual and no odor.

That means there is no possible risk of you or your family coming in contact with the fumigant as long as you follow the evacuation procedures as given.


The fumigation process:


The following process and procedures are required and mandated by law in California. Then, all fumigation companies should follow the following protocol and timeline.

The difference that termite companies can offer lies in the level of support and project management throughout the process.

Companies vary from doing nothing more than scheduling the fumigation and leaving the rest up to the homeowner to offering a full project management service that sees the project through from beginning to end.


The process is as follows:

Day 1


  • The gas company sends a rep to shut the gas off and only a gas company can do this by law.
  • Crews cover the building with the tarp by carrying rolls of tarps up ladders to the roof.
  • The tarps are extended on the roof and dropped to the ground.
  • Crews wrap the tarp as tightly as possible to the building.
  • At the ground level, tarps are secured to the ground by placing snake-like sandbags to weigh the tarp to the ground and create a tight seal between the tarp and ground.
  • A licensee enters the building and inspects every room to ensure people, pets, and perishable items are not fumigated
  • A warning agent is released as a final precaution to any living thing prior to releasing fumigant.
  • Fumigant is released into the tarp. Then, the fumigant is contained by the tarp itself penetrating all space inside the tarp and reaching unreachable termite infestations.
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Day 2


  • A licensee returns on the second day to begin aeration
  • Openings, known as caps are opened to allow the fumigant to naturally exhaust
  • The licensee does a walk and visual assessment from the properties exterior


Day 3


  • Crews return to remove the tarps and clear the building
  • Crews access roofs and begin to remove the tarps by dropping them from the roof to let them fall to the ground
  • A gas company representative returns to restore the gas and usually requires homeowners to coordinate with the gas company to schedule.
  • A gas company rep inspects and assesses all gas appliances and lines to make sure they are in proper working order before restoring gas
  • A licensee enters and inspects every room to test for the presence of fumigant
  • Once it has been determined at the molecular level that there is no presence of the fumigant at the molecular parts-per-millionth level, a safe to re-enter notice is posted on the property.
  • The property is locked and turned back over to homeowners.
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