Does Tent Fumigation Kill Subterranean Termites?

Is there a termite infestation in your home? Subterranean termites to be exact? Do not worry because we have identified every aspect you need to know to solve and eradicate this problem.

Tent fumigation can kill subterranean termites but only to an extent. It cannot poison their entire colony because they form nests 18-20 feet below the soil or ground. To permanently eradicate these pests, you need to perform soil injection treatments - trenching and rodding - and set termite baits.

Termites in general can destroy entire homes if left untreated. You can treat minor infestations on your own, but not major ones. Pest management experts have preventive methods and ways to completely solve the issue. We are here to guide you with this situation. 

Covered villa with a red and gray tent while being fumigated for termites, Does Tent Fumigation Kill Subterranean Termites?

Subterranean Termites

Close up shot, macro white ants or termites on decomposing wood. As an enemy of wooden houses as well.

Before we address the main issue at hand, it is important to have a general understanding of what subterranean termites are in order to know the best way to deal with this problem.

Subterranean termites are small white insects that thrive in moist or damp areas. Usually, infestations are high during spring or after rain.  

These termites do not form colonies within the interior of your homes. They create nests under the ground and feed on nearby wood - in this case, your house!

The formation of mud tunnels is an indication of the presence of these termites because they use these as a passageway into the house. This situation threatens your home’s foundation. Once inside, they can be found generally in moist areas such as the bathroom, kitchen, and basement. 

Important Considerations to Eradicate Termites

Wood after attack of termite.

A thorough inspection should be implemented to properly evaluate the conditions and severity of the infestation. 

In most cases, applying chemicals needs to be done by a licensed professional because according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), improper use or administration can contaminate your home and surrounding drinking water reservoir.

What is Tent Fumigation?

Home prepared for termite fumigation. Tent contains the fumigation chemical for eradicating wood destroying pests.

Tent fumigation comes into methods or processes. First, tarps are used to cover and seal an entire structure. Then, homeowners need to prepare their house and follow specific rules regarding food, bedding, furniture covers, and any other belongings that may affect and obstruct the overall process. 

Afterward, a gas pesticide is introduced within the premises. This fume can reach every crack and crevice, making it possible for the gas to penetrate the wood where termites live.  

This method often works with pests living inside, not underground. With this being said, only termites present in the interior foundation of your home will be poisoned. In order to fully eradicate the colonies, you also have to request for trenching, rodding, or treating of your property.

Sulfuryl Fluoride

Sulfuryl fluoride is a colorless and odorless gas, and it is an active ingredient used in fumigation. Once insects and rodents are exposed to this chemical, fluoride is released inside their bodies, affecting the cells which eventually leads to their death. 

After tent fumigation, individuals who enter the treated area can be exposed to low levels of fluoride. For you and your family's safety, remember to strictly follow the guidelines of your local pest management company before and after the treatment.

Trenching, Rodding, And Termite Baits

1. Trenching

Trenching involves digging a trench six inches wide and six inches deep along the foundation of any structure that requires trenching. Excavate a trench around the area, then fill the hollowed-out ground with five gallons of termiticide solution every 10 feet. 

Remember to dig the soil back onto the trench. If the chemical has already seeped into the ground, you will have to apply a solution to the backfill. 

Any paving stones such as driveways and patios are also required to be treated. Drill holes onto the concrete three inches away from the walls or the structure's footings. The distance from each hole is 10 inches. 

Take note, in order for the solution to properly seep through the soil, you will have to drill until you have reached the dirt underneath the pavement. Fill the hole with the chemical with the use of a sprayer. 

The chemicals will spread throughout the nest every time a termite passes through the treated perimeter, this will eventually lead to their permanent eradication. 

2. Rodding

Rodding is somewhat similar to trenching. You need to excavate a trench, however, the penetration is deeper because a rod is inserted to create a hole on top of the excavated area. It goes 12 inches more into the ground. 

The solution is poured into the opening of the deeper holes, providing extra protection to your property. 

3. Termite Baits

Hole to get rid of Termites. Termite baiting systems.

Termite baits are more of a preventive method, but it also effectively kills subterranean termites. The equipment is a cylindrical tube with slits for ventilation and is about 30 centimeters long. It consists of a lockable cap at the topmost part.

The traps are buried into the ground while the top can be seen on the outer layer of the soil. It is placed in that position because the termites basically travel underground. 

Wood has cellulose in it, which is the major food source of these pests. The termites are enticed to the baiting systems because it contains pieces of Tasmanian oak. Once a large number of insects are attracted to the bait, Hexaflumuron is then introduced.

Termite baiting systems. Pest control.

Hexaflumuron inhibits the growth of insects by keeping them from developing a new exoskeleton. It also contains cellulose. Once the termites digested this toxin, their outer shell as well as their mandibles weaken and soften, preventing their growth and rendering their teeth useless. 

Other Termite Removal Methods

1. Non-Chemical Treatments

It is always best to address the issue before it goes out of hand. Some methods do not actually require any pesticides or chemicals. The use of physical barriers during house construction such as steel mesh and sand has been proven to be quite effective.

2. Wood Treatment

Applying Borate on wood before sealing and painting is the most used treatment to repel termites. Borate is a lumber preservative used in the interior wood foundation or paneling in your home. 

It prevents termite infestations and any other wood-decomposing organisms because the chemical seeps inside the lumber, acting as a protective barrier. 

Check out Nissus Borate Termite Control on Amazon.

How To Prepare Home For Fumigation?

Pest control has general instructions before beginning the process. 

  • Firstly, you will have to unlock all doors, cabinets, closets, desks, attics, and safes. Blinds and drapes must also be raised.

  • All kinds of food that are not airtight sealed in cans, metal bottles, plastic, or glass and those that are packaged in boxes or cartons need to be transferred off-site from the freezers, storage closets, or any other areas where they are kept. 

  • All linens or fabric must be removed from mattresses, beds, sofas, and closets. This may not be necessary depending on the level of severity of fumigation and infestation, or what pest is being treated. 

  • Switch off all pilot lights, gas flames, and appliances.

  • Pets, caged animals, fish tanks, and houseplants must also be removed from the premises.

  • Outdoor plants near the home must also be trimmed. They should at least be 12 inches away from your home's foundation. 

In Closing

Tented large two story house that is being treated to kill termites and other bugs with structural fumigation

Tent fumigation, trenching, and rodding can all be used as a pest control method simultaneously depending on the severity of the infestation. Subterranean termites can be eradicated with the combination of these treatments.

We hope you have found this article helpful. You might also be interested to read: "Does Vinegar Kill Springtails?"