The chemicals used during fumigation are so powerful and far-reaching that no other treatment will be required. That’s right; the gas can reach corners, crevices, holes and practically everything in the house. It is the type of treatment you order as a last resort or as a first time, “finish the job” option. The question is: how do you know when it’s time to forget the preliminaries and experiments and go straight to setting up the tent?
Bear in mind that fumigation is not always necessary, even in cases where there are repeated pest offenders. An exterminator that really cares about you, your livelihood and the environment will advise you to go with the least invasive method. Fumigation is invasive, inconvenient, and costly for that matter. (More on price in the final chapter of this book)
Balancing the methods between effective extermination and mass overkill is important, as an overdose of chemicals will be difficult to eliminate, even after letting the building vent.
Bear in mind though, that in this business we often see homeowners that are uninterested in fumigation or unable to afford it, and thus they go around looking for various extermination companies, hoping one will recommend the cheapest treatment.
Yes, cheap treatment can definitely be effective, but is it guaranteed to work? Not all the time. So, if a homeowner is frustrated and losing money and livelihood on a major infestation problem, we will recommend fumigation as the strongest form of treatment. We won’t beat around the bush and try various techniques that might work. We aim for transparency in our business.
Yes, fumigation is expensive and blows a lot of dangerous chemicals through your house, but it is the best proven way to destroy pests—short of divine providence.
There may be many cases in which a major fumigation unnecessary. Even if you have an infestation on your hands, if it is confined to one area, then poisons may be effective enough to get rid of the pest population.
Then again, if there is evidence of more than one infestation or “hidden infestations”, fumigation might be the best choice. Remember, there are varying levels of fumigation—tasks that can be completed in a day, or even a few hours, sending your life back to normal in a short period of time.
These quick jobs are certainly more preferable than week long mass extinctions, but these have to be decided on a case to case basis. Local treatments can include a variety of techniques, and are not limited to pesticides, but also include electrical current, an increase or decrease in temperature or even microwave energy in some cases.
Here’s the key issue though: local or “conservative” treatments are meant for targeted areas only, not the entire house. If you believe the pests have “gained control of the house” then it is more likely that fumigation is the final solution.
Frankly, any exterminator that tells you a cheap spray or gel job will fix an entire infested house is not being honest. Fumigation is not always pretty, and certainly not our favorite thing to do in the world…but if we’re talking honestly, then yes, it is the ideal “cure” for a whole-house infestation.