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House covered by a tent for fumigation

What Is the Tent Fumigation Process in Florida?

Preparing for tent fumigation can seem like a daunting task. It involves sealing food items, and getting pets (and yourself) out of the house. The tending process itself is carefully timed and monitored, and the tented structure is filled with a fumigant.

Wondering if your home needs fumigation? Keep reading to learn more about the signs of a termite infestation and what to expect from tent fumigation.

Key Takeaways

  • Tent fumigation is an effective pest control method, utilizing a sealed covering around a structure and introducing fumigants to eradicate pests like termites and bed bugs.
  • Proper preparation for tent fumigation involves several critical steps to safeguard your belongings, pets, and food items, such as informing utility services and sealing crevices.
  • Ensuring your home is safe for re-entry involves professional clearance, air quality testing, and careful cleaning to remove any residues.

Understanding the Fumigation Tent Process

Tent fumigation is a highly effective pest control method involving enclosing a structure in a sealed covering and introducing fumigants to eliminate various pests.

What is Tent Fumigation?

Often used to eradicate pests from structures, tent fumigation works by involving a series of steps:

  1. Inspection: Experts from pest control services assess the building to determine the extent of infestation and the appropriate fumigant.
  2. Sealing: A tent-like covering surrounds the entire structure, sealing all entry points to create a sealed environment.
  3. Fumigant Introduction: Sulfuryl fluoride or other chemicals are released inside the sealed area.
  4. Aeration: After sufficient exposure, the space is ventilated to allow the fumigant to dissipate.
  5. Certification: The structure is deemed safe for re-entry once air samples confirm fumigant levels are below toxic limits.

What Are the Pros of Tent Fumigation?

Tent fumigation offers several advantages:


Tent Fumigation

Other Methods


High efficacy in eliminating pests

Varies by method

Target Pests

Effective against a wide range, including termite infestations and bed bugs

May be more selective

Area Coverage

Encompasses the whole structure, ensuring thorough treatment

Often localized treatment

Time Efficiency

Swift termination of infestations

May require repeated applications

Common Types of Fumigation and Target Pests

Fumigation is a versatile pest control method designed to address a variety of infestations by targeting specific pests.

Each type of pest may require a distinct fumigation preparation and tenting process tailored to its habitat, behavior, and the extent of its presence.

Below are the types of fumigation methods used and the pests they commonly target:

Termite Tenting

This method encloses the entire structure in a tent to concentrate the fumigant and completely eradicate dry wood termite infestations.

  • Target Pests: Drywood termites, particularly prevalent in California and Florida, are effectively eradicated through termite tenting.

Soil Fumigation

This process involves treating the soil around a structure with soil fumigants to eliminate termite colonies and prevent them from invading buildings.

  • Target Pests: Subterranean termites require soil fumigation as they live in the ground.

Structural Fumigation

This method of termite fumigation treats the entire building, reaching pests in cracks, crevices, and hidden areas to ensure complete removal.

  • Target Pests: Bed bugs, rats, and cockroaches are best addressed with structural fumigation for severe infestations.
  • Additional Pests: This method is also effective against other pests like fleas, silverfish, wood-destroying insects, and certain species of ants and spiders.

Preparing for Tent Fumigation

Before embarking on a fumigation treatment, you must prepare meticulously to ensure the safety of your belongings and pets around your home.

Steps to Prepare Your Home




Inform the gas company to schedule the shut-off of pilot lights before the fumigation begins.


Seal all crevices around windows and doors to limit the escape of the fumigant.


Store food items and medications in special double bags provided by the pest control expert or remove them entirely from the home.


Decide whether to empty refrigerators and freezers and remove or double-bag their contents.


Remove house plants from the premises to prevent damage or contamination.


Cover mattresses with plastic and open all closet doors to allow the fumigant to circulate properly.


Safely store or remove jewelry, electronic devices, and other valuable items.

During the Fumigation Execution

Fumigation involves covering the building with tarps, introducing gas fumigant, and ensuring safety protocols are in place.

Setting Up the Tent

Fumigation begins with carefully draping tarps over the structure to create an airtight seal. The steps involved are:

  1. Surveying the building to identify the best method for covering.
  2. Placing heavy-duty tarps or tents over the structure.
  3. Securing the edges of the tarps to the ground using long “sand snakes.”
  4. Check for air leaks and seal any detected.

The Fumigation Process

the fumigation process

Fumigation follows a precise sequence to ensure effective termite treatment.




Ensure the building is evacuated.


Seal the tent to prevent gas leakage. 


Release the gas into the tented space.


Maintain the gas for a specified period to allow for pest eradication.

Post-Fumigation Steps

After removing the fumigation tent, carefully navigate the post-fumigation process to ensure your home is safe and pest-free.

Returning to Your Home

  • Ensure a professional officially clears the property, affirming that ventilation has sufficiently removed any residues.
  • Initiate thorough cleaning procedures, focusing on surfaces where residues might persist.
  • Open windows and utilize fans to aid the aeration process for added ventilation.

Keep an Eye Out for New Pests

Regular checks for lingering or new pests will indicate whether the fumigation was successful:

  • Look for warning signs of pests, like droppings or damage, to ascertain the success of the fumigation.
  • Implement regular maintenance and preventative measures to deter future infestations.
  • Heed the advice of professionals regarding safety precautions and when you can stop monitoring.

When to Call a Professional

When eradicating pests like termites, you must rely on professional pest control companies (like us here at Native Pest Management) that provide fumigation services.

Understanding when to consult with a pest control company can save time and prevent further damage to the property.