Fumigation involves covering the environment, making it sealed, so that the neighborhood is not exposed to powerful toxins. The fumigant is then released into the area, usually one house or building. If the levels are high enough, then the occupants must wait outside (usually a few days or up to a week) while the gas percolates through the space, kills the pests, and then ventilates, allowing the poisonous gas to escape.
Ideally, this scenario works although it would be overkill for some small apartments and houses, and for only minor bug or rat problems. There are actually two covering methods used in fumigation services. First, exterminators can seal the building with some sort of sealant. This could be anything from tape to plastic or some other sort of temporary adhesive. The second option is known as tenting.
The tent is usually made from nylon or rubber, though the precise construction and approach can differ from house to house. It is important that the entire house be encompassed and covered by the tent so that no pesticides get out and poison the surrounding area. This disastrous scenario would be a biohazard!
Naturally, the house will be empty by the time exterminators set up the tent.
Factors that will determine the fumigation operation include:
- The severity of infestation
- The size of the building
- The fumigant chosen
- The temperature inside the home
- Structural issues
Of course, not all jobs are going to last a week. Some fumigation projects can be finished in as little as six hours, if the infestation is rather small. Though we are covering safety in the next chapter, suffice it to say, staying in the house would be hazardous to any person or pet. Some chemicals are so powerful that additional cleaning may be required before reentry is allowed.