How to prepare your home for fumigation

We know all too well how stressful and inconvenient having a pest control problem can be, and sometimes the problem is so bad that the recommended cause of action is fumigation. While heat treatment is usually our preferred method of pest control, fumigation is still very effective against a range of pests, including bed bugs, moths and cockroaches. 

Before we discuss fumigation preparation, it’s important to understand what the fumigation process entails and how it differs from heat treatment. Both procedures are very similar in their setup, execution, and result. They’re both designed to completely eradicate pests by exposing them to a highly inhospitable environment for an extended period of time. The difference is, heat treatment used intense heat, and fumigation uses chemical pesticides. Heat treatment is often quicker and residents can return to their homes sooner, on average, because they don’t need to wait for toxic chemicals to be cleared following the procedure. 

Things to avoid

When preparing their home for fumigation, some people decide to move some of their belongings from their home into someone else’s so as to protect it from the chemicals. This is a mistake for two main reasons. For one, there’s a high probability that if you have an infestation of pests that requires fumigation, such as bed bugs, then it’s likely that these items you are removing are infested. Therefore, moving them to a friend or neighbour’s house can spread the infestation to them. 

Furthermore, when you bring the items back into your home following the fumigation, if they are infested, you’ll simply be reintroducing the pests to your home. You’ll be undoing all the work you just paid for! The correct course of action is discussed below. 

Cleaning and removing

Two important aspects of fumigation preparation are cleaning and removal. Items that are obvious targets for bed bugs, fleas and other pests, such as bed sheets, towels, clothing, and stuffed toys should be washed on the highest setting possible (i.e. as hot as possible without causing damage). They should then be immediately placed into plastic bags and kept separated from the other items in your property. 

For household items that cannot be washed, such as books and electrical items, inspect them and wipe them down thoroughly to ensure they’re free from pests, then place them into plastic bags. This will protect them from the chemicals used during fumigation. If you’d prefer, you can remove these items from the property during the procedure if you have space to store them. 

For other items that are too large to wash or remove from your home, such as beds and sofas, vacuum them carefully. Doing so will remove any dead pests and eggs, and is also likely to remove some live pests too. This will make it easier for the fumigation process to completely eradicate your pest problem. Vacuum clean all flooring – in every room – and wash any hardwood or tiled floors with a mop, hot water, and soap. Be sure to carefully dispose of the waste from your vacuum cleaner – double bag it if possible and remove it from your house immediately. 

It’s also worth noting that any household plants you have with die during the fumigation process due to the chemicals and being starved of oxygen. Therefore, it’s important to inspect them and temporarily remove them from the premises. If you have a garden, it’s a good idea to store them there until the treatment is over. 

Arrange your home

Your home must arranged so as to allow the fumigation to be as effective as possible. It’s important to reduce the number of hiding spaces that pests may use during the treatment; this ensures that pests will be adequately exposed to the toxins throughout. To do this, it’s move your bed, wardrobes, other large pieces furniture away from walls. This allows for our pest controllers to inspect the area and for the chemicals to reach every inch of your home that needs treating. If you have pets, then any cages or bedding items (cushions, blankets, etc) should be left out in the open to receive treatment too. Alternatively, you may prefer to dispose of your pet’s bedding and buy new items after the fumigation is complete. 

If your property is being fumigated soon, then following our guide will ensure that it’s prepared. If you have any further questions regarding pest control and fumigation, then please give us a call on 020 3405 5000. Similarly, if you think that you may have a pest problem that may require fumigation, contact our team of experts. We have over a decade’s experience in treating pest problems across London and the surrounding counties. We’ll inspect your property, diagnose the problem, and recommend the very best and least-invasive treatment available. It’s our guarantee.