man use fumigation mosquitoes machine for kill mosquito carrier of Zika virus and dengue fever around the house

Fumigation Cost Guide (2022)

By Britt Olizarowicz

Fumigation is sometimes the only way for homeowners to handle a problem with termites or other pests that have taken control of the home. When scheduling fumigation for the home, you must you a certified and responsible pest control company that fully understands the fumigation process. In our fumigation cost guide, we will provide:

  • The average price of fumigation per square foot
  • How to prepare for fumigation
  • How you can avoid the need for fumigation
  • Alternatives to fumigation
  • And much more
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What is Fumigation?

Fumigation is a pest treatment that will work to completely eradicate all of the pests living in and directly around your home. The fumigation process is one of the most expensive of any pest control-related treatment plan that homeowners can choose from. Most of the time, this is considered a last resort as other treatments will be used first.

The fumigation process requires the entire home to be tented for several days. Fumigants are released throughout the home and kept inside the tent as they work to kill all of the pests that are causing your home issues. The great thing about fumigation is that it typically does not cause any damage to the home itself, whereas other options like heat treatment or spot treatment can be a bit more intrusive.

Fumigation requires all home residents to leave for several days, and the most common reason that fumigation is needed is for termite control. When a large infestation of termites are discovered, this can be the only way to get things under control and prevent future infestations.

Best Overall

  • Offers a Terminix Promise™† (visit site for additional details) and an extended work guarantee for those experiencing a commercial pest problem
  • Provides online chat services
  • Available in 47 states

our rating9.8

Terminix Review

Average Fumigation Cost

As we have already mentioned, termite fumigation is one of the most expensive pest control methods on the market. With the amount of work necessary to set this process up and the actual fumigants that are used, you can expect higher costs. Pest control professionals will base the cost of the fumigation on the size of your home. Sometimes the severity of the termite infestation will be considered, but with the effectiveness of fumigation, that’s not always necessary.

Square Footage of Home Average Cost of Fumigation
1000 $1500-$4000
2000 $3000-$8000
3000 $4500-$12000
4000 $6000-$16000

Preparing for Fumigation

Not only is fumigation expensive it also takes a bit of time to prepare for and to get you and your family ready for this pest control treatment. When you determine your termite fumigation cost, you may also want to consider the fact that you will also be leaving home for a few days, which can impact your overall costs. Here are a few of the things that you must do to prepare for fumigation.

  • Leave The Home: A professional exterminator will explain to you that the chemicals used during fumigation are not safe for humans. This is why everyone that lives in the home must leave for about three days. Some will take preventative measures and leave for five if there are severe infestations. You must find somewhere else to stay during this time, and the home will be inaccessible.
  • Food Concerns: The fumigants used during tent fumigation will kill things like termites, bed bugs, or carpenter ants, and they will float around your home for days making sure that there are no signs of these creates. However, all of the food in your home will also be exposed. Some homeowners seal off their refrigerator and pantry; others will completely remove food from the entire house.
  • Open Interior Doors: Opening interior doors allows the fumigant gas to flow through the house. Sometimes a termite problem is visible, and sometimes termite colonies are not easily seen. Leaving interior doors open ensures that all of the issues in the home are properly treated.
  • Outside Preparations: The tend that will cover your home can sometimes impact the vegetation that surrounds your home. You may want to trim back bushes or let the pest control contractor know about certain sensitive plants.
  • Turn Off Gas Service: Your pest control service provider will have you turn off your gas service and then arrange for it to be turned back on once the termite extermination is finished.
  • Remove Plants: If you have house plants inside your home, you will want to remove them before your termite tenting. Not only could the fumigation process have an impact on the health of the plants, but the plants will also not be properly tended to during your stay away from home.
  • Remove Linens: Another critical thing to remove is your linens, and for some families, this will include mattresses. Coming back into a home sleeping in a bed coated with fumigants is less than appealing to most people. For better peace of mind, many exterminators will tell you to remove all linens and even mattresses from the home.

Alternatives to Fumigation

The fumigation option is a great choice for many homeowners because it’s effective. However, the costs and the inconvenience can make this a poor choice for many people. During your free inspection to see if fumigation is entirely necessary for your home, some alternatives will likely be mentioned. Depending on the type of pest and the severity of the issue, you may be able to find an alternative solution.

Heat Treatment

Heat treatment is the most popular alternative to fumigation. However, some issues come along with heat treatment that homeowners need to be aware of. The basic concept of heat treatment is to heat the wood inside your home to a temperature of around 125 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the termites would not be able to live, and they would die off, and the process would be similar to fumigation at this point.

The great thing about heat treatment is that there are no chemicals used in the way they are during traditional tenting fumigation. You won’t have to remove quite as much from your home regarding safety concerns; however, for personal belongings, you may have to remove more for personal belongings.

Think about anything in your home that could be damaged if exposed to prolonged temperatures of 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Even some high-end electronics can have issues at this temperature. The heat treatment requires people to take some time and think through the process and how it will impact their home.

Spot Treatment

Spot treatment, especially termite spot treatment, will be used to help control termite treatment costs. The spot treatment is a type of termite treatment that will consist of drilling small holes into the areas where you see the worst issues with termites. Inside the small holes, the pest control technician will insert a solution to kill the pests in that area.

The great thing about spot treatment is that it is effective in the general area where you need it, but it is certainly not nearly as effective as the fumigation process. You may use the spot treatment to completely remove termites in one area of the home, but underlying issues and colonies that have started that are not visible cannot be treated. The road to clearing up your issues will be considerably longer.

Electro Gun

The Electro Gun is a high frequency and high voltage gun that can penetrate the wood. This is a solution specifically used to get through the wood and kill termites. If you are sure that your termite infestation is in one localized area, then the Electro Gun can be a solution.

This method of eradicating termites is considerably less expensive than fumigation, but the chance of this being all you will need to handle the issue is typically unlikely.

Best Overall

  • Offers a Terminix Promise™† (visit site for additional details) and an extended work guarantee for those experiencing a commercial pest problem
  • Provides online chat services
  • Available in 47 states

our rating9.8

Terminix Review

Avoiding the Need for Fumigation 

If you are reading through are fumigation cost guide and realizing more and more that this is not a process that you want to go through, there are some ways you may be able to avoid the need for fumigation. The key here is to be very aware of the issues going around your home and to make sure you call in an expert at the first sign of any problem. Knowing the signs of termites and ensuring that you adequately protect your home could help you altogether avoid the need for fumigation.

Fumigation can help remove cockroaches and bed bugs, but termites are the most common reason for termite fumigation. These tips will help ensure that your home is not nearly as appealing to dry wood termites as subterranean termites. When you take these precautionary DIY measures, expect to have lower overall costs and much less inconvenience.

  • Make sure that all wood surrounding your home is at least six inches off the ground; most of the time, the crawl space will be made of cinder blocks to ensure that there’s no wood to soil contact
  • Never store firewood or landscape debris inside the home, and always keep it at least 15 feet away from the side of the home; stacking firewood against the side of the house is a poor decision
  • Keep your lawn and landscaping in excellent condition, not only will this discourage pests, but it will make it easier for you to see things like sawdust, droppings, and tunnels that termites or other pests are creating
  • Mulch can sometimes attract termites and using pine needles, or gravel will typically be a better solution; this can also help to keep fleas away
  • Check your gutters and drains and ensure that they are clear of debris
  • If there is dampwood somewhere because of an issue or you are just trying to dry it out, make sure it is stored away from the home, termites love to get started in this type of environment, and from there, they will spread

Final Thoughts

At this point, you should feel a bit more knowledgeable about the average cost of fumigation. This process will be expensive, and it will take a bit of your time to ensure it is complete. However, after a termite inspection that shows considerable damage, there may be no other way. Terminix is a top provider of termite fumigation, and they will give you a free quote for the service that you may need. Hopefully, there are other methods you can take advantage of to control cost, but sometimes there is no way around fumigation.

FAQs for Fumigation

How long does fumigation last?

Fumigation will last for 24 to 72 hours in most homes. Depending on the pest control provider that is completing the fumigation, there will be a waiting period of 3 to 5 days for a homeowner to return to their home.

Does fumigation really work?

Fumigation is very effective in removing termites, carpenter ants, cockroaches, and even bed bugs. Termites are the most common reason that homeowners need fumigation done to their homes. With the way termites multiply and the difficulty of seeing them, fumigation is the only process that truly removes the termites.

What is the difference between fumigation and spraying?

Fumigation is a complete process that will seal off the home and release gas into the house to eradicate all pests. With the spraying, you will be dealing with more of a spot treatment of certain areas. Most of the time, spraying does not require a homeowner to leave for several days.

How do you know if your house has termites?

Termites will leave signs around your home like sawdust and small burrowing tunnels in the ground; you may even notice that there is wood rot occurring in certain areas of the home or that floorboards feel weak; in addition, many times, you can see the termite infestation.

Is fumigation expensive?

Fumigation is expensive, but it is sometimes the only choice. Homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $1 to $4 per square foot. The location of your home and the type and size of home you have will have the most significant impact on the total cost of the fumigation process.

House Method Rating & Methodology

Our research process involves a multi-step process to get real insights into the customer experience for each company. We contacted each pest control company directly and spoke to representatives via phone and online chat (if available). This allowed us better understand the company’s treatment offerings and customer service. We also consider BBB accreditation and what customer reviews say about each company. Additionally, we fact-check and update company data regularly to ensure accurate and up-to-date information. 

We developed a 100-point rating system to compare the companies numerically. 

  • Plan options (35 points): Companies with more plans and flexibility on services to address specific issues were given a higher score. 
  • State Availability (5 points): Those that offer coverage in fewer than 45 states were deducted points for availability. 
  • Trustworthiness (10 points): This is based on whether companies have money-back guarantees, service guarantees, and additional satisfaction assurance measures.
  • Customer Service (30 points): We considered accessibility (including on weekends and holidays) of technicians and customer support. 
  • Additional Benefits (20 points): Companies that offer further conveniences such as an app, comprehensive resources, and other benefits were rated higher. 

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