Termite Tent Treatment

Termite tenting is a process for eradicating dry wood termites by fumigating an entire house or building.

Initial Planning

Termites can cause seriuos damage to a home.Termites can cause seriuos damage to a home.
Tenting effectively wipes out termites that are eating away wooden structures, leaving behind numerous small tunnels, weakening it. A homeowner should be certain that localized treatment will not get rid of the infestation and that fumigation is necessary. The structure is completely covered with a sealed nylon tent and then filled with poisonous Vikane Gas Fumigant. Tenting is expensive and requires thorough planning and preparation.
Homes in certain geographic areas are more susceptible to termites.

Select a reputable pest exterminator and ask if special sealing bags to protect foodstuffs are provided. Schedule gas to be turned off by the utility company and make a reconnection appointment to restore service after fumigation. Provide keys to the house and all locked spaces. Advise your neighbors of your fumigation plans and arrange accommodations for your family and pets.

Prepare Home Exterior

Some termite damage is easy to spot.

Remove weathervanes, TV antennae and satellite dishes. Create a walkway around the house for the fumigators by clearing or trimming shrubs, trees and plants at least 12 inches back from the structure. Clear back decorative rock and bark and soak the soil around the perimeter of the house and plants. This helps prevent the fumigant from entering the soil and being absorbed by the plants. A gate in your fence will make removal of a plank or two unnecessary when tenting is placed.

Prepare Interior

Heavy-duty tent material covers the entire structure.

Every living thing must be out of the home, including people, pets, fish and fish tanks and plants. Remove all food and medication from refrigerators, freezers and cupboards, including sealed boxes of cereal, flour, sugar, noodles, spices and tobacco. No food products should be left except those in cans, jars or plastic bottles with the original seal intact. Remove all waterproof mattresses and pillow covers and open all cabinet, closet and attic doors. Unlock all cabinets, drawers and safes; raise blinds and open drapes to ease window access.

Tenting Process

Vikane Gas Fumigant is toxic to all living things.

The entire structure is covered with a tent to create a totally sealed environment. Seams are sealed with industrial clips and the tenting material is weighted down with sections of metal or bags of sand or water. Trees and shrubs that are close to the house and could not be moved are covered with heavy plastic and the edges sealed together. The amount of fumigant gas is affected by the total square footage of the structure, the severity of the infestation, the temperature at the site and the determined fumigation time. Fans running inside circulate the gas, allowing it to seep into walls, killing hidden colonies. After fumigation, the house is aired out and air quality is tested for safety.

Pros and Cons of Termite Tenting

The environmental effects of fumigation are not yet known.

Disadvantages include the expense, with additional costs for meals and accommodations for pets and family. There may be service charges plus additional power and water usage. Homeowners with wells, solar power and generators should check wit the fumigator to determine whether they can meet additional requirements for water or electricity during tenting. The process is time-consuming and inconvenient, and the environmental effects are unknown.

The advantages are that it eliminates all termite infestations and can salvage a severely infested house where no other process is feasible.

About the Author

Nancy Williams has been writing about health-related topics since 1979. Her work has been published in "Prevention," "Nurseweek" and "Senior Life." Williams is a registered nurse with more than 35 years of experience and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in health-care administration. She is working on a book about historic sites in the West.