Occasionally, we meet folks who are afraid to have us visit their homes for fumigation. And we get it! It seems kind of scary. But let’s set the record straight. Fumigation is an incredibly effective method of pest extermination and is totally safe – provided you follow the “rules” of fumigation. Fortunately, when you work with YES Pest Pros for fumigation, you get a team of precise and skilled technicians who are thoroughly trained in fumigation safety procedures. Even still, there are some inherent dangers of fumigation. So, let’s take a minute to dig in to some of those concerns you have about the safety of fumigation. 

What is Fumigation? 

Fumigation is a pest control method where a structure is completely filled with a gaseous pesticide. The aim of fumigation is to suffocate or poison the pests within the enclosed space.  There are two fumigation methods. One is to seal the structure with plastic, tape, or other sealing materials. The other method is to completely enclose the structure in a “tent” of vinyl-coated nylon. 

Prior to fumigation, any living things in the home need to be relocated for two to three days. The pest control technicians will drape heavy sheets of vinyl-coated nylon tarps over the structure and secure these with tape and plastic sheeting to form a tent. Then, gaseous chemicals are pumped into the home to kill termites or bed bugs, as well as virtually any other living thing within the home. When the tent is removed, the chemicals escape into the atmosphere, and the technicians test the air before allowing the homeowners to move back in. 

Is Fumigation Safe for My Pets? 

Fumigation is a process designed to exterminate living things. Under no circumstances should you leave your pets at home during the fumigation process. This includes any and all pets you may have: dogs, cats, rodents, fish, and so on.  

That said, there will be no lingering effects of fumigation inside the home that would pose a hazard to pets when you get the all-clear to return. Your technician will thoroughly test air in the home to ensure the chemicals have dissipated and it is safe to return.  

Simply put, the process of fumigation is in no way safe for animals. However, after the process is complete and you can move back in to your home, your pets will not be at risk.  

Is Fumigation Safe for My Plants? 

Any houseplants inside during fumigation, may or may not be safe, and we can’t guarantee their survival. If you are concerned for their safety, we recommend you just move them out of the house. If that isn’t possible, your plants may stand a better chance if you water them well the night before fumigation. 

Is Fumigation Safe for My Stuff? 

While most of your possessions will be just fine remaining in the home during the fumigation process, there are a few exceptions. All foods and medication should be removed or placed in special bags that are provided. This is required by law. 

Most other items, such as clothing, furniture, hygiene items and electronics will be completely fine during the process. The gas has no odor and leaves no residue, so removing these items is not necessary. In fact, once you can move back in, you don’t even have to wash the items that were inside during fumigation. (More on how to prepare your home for fumigation here.)

Is Fumigation Safe for People? 

Our answer to this is basically the same as our answer to whether fumigation is safe for animals. If you DO NOT follow the rules of fumigation, it is not at all safe for humans. If you DO follow the rules, you’re all good!  

So, to sum it all up, fumigation does involve dangerous chemicals that are designed to completely exterminate pests. That’s why it is required by law that people, pets, food, and medications are removed from the property prior to fumigation. HOWEVER, after the process, your home will be safe! And even more safe than it was when you left is because those nasty bed bugs (or termites, or wood-boring beetles, or spiders, or cockroaches, or – you get the point -) are gone!  

Questions? 

We love answering your questions about fumigation! Give us a call or send us a message today.