When you do termite tenting, neighbors worry about these bugs entering their homes or having to breathe the gases. In addition, other living beings present in the area could get killed in contact with the gases. The bugs that manage to escape may most likely enter your neighbor’s home even though it is a rare occurrence because these gases kill all bugs and insects quickly. Specialists tarp the home around completely to avoid any such escape. Moreover, everything happens in a sealed environment. These specialists often seal the home accurately for tenting, so there is less worry. Neighbors also should avoid stepping into the enclosed home or breathe the gas there.
Follow these practical tips to avoid inhaling these fumigation gases:
- Wear proactive gear when you enter the fumigated area, which isn’t yet safe for entry.
- Cover your nose and mouth with thick material and wear long-sleeved garments that cover up the skin completely while you are around.
- Avoid doing any rescue at the moment if you have no protective equipment such as a respirator, gloves, goggles, and so on. Instead, reach out for help.
- Upon inhaling these fumigation, gases check whether the inhalation is mild, moderate, or severe.
Step out of the area if the inhalation is mild to breathe fresh air. Chest tightness, ears ringing, and nausea are symptoms of mild inhalation.
Drink a glass of milk, which acts as an anti-dote that reduces the body’s toxicity in case of moderate inhalation. Also, get medical help if needed. Moderate inhalation symptoms include vomiting, chest pain, fainting, difficult breathing, and diarrhea.
When the level of inhalation is severe, get medical help. You will feel dizzy, speech slur, skin color change to purple, unconscious, or even die when things go worst. Therefore, if you suspect any exposure consult a doctor immediately.
How to Clean After Tenting for Termites?
Take all safety precautions when you move inside after your exterminator allows you to enter the house.
- After fumigation, you must air out the house. Open all windows, and switch on the fan to get rid of these gases inside the room or house. Have proper ventilation inside the house to puff out chemical fumes.
- Wash up dishes and utensils that were lying inside the house during fumigation.
- Wash everything else to remove all chemical trace from materials or objects, even when they appear clean.
- You need to clean furniture, floors, countertops, and appliances inside the home. Use an air filter to remove gas residues.
- Throw up all food or packets that were lying inside the house during tenting. Avoid consuming these contaminated items.
- Clean up your pet’s food tray and supplies to ensure safety.
- Wash all furnishings to prevent family or pets from coming in contact with leftover traces of fumigants.
Health Effects of Tenting
These fumigants contain sulfuryl fluoride, which is also a central nervous system depressant. It is toxic to plants, animals, and humans. When the house is under termite tenting, these animals, humans, or plants that come in contact can die due to inhalation. However, once you remove the tent from the home, sulfuryl fluoride quickly dissipates. Buildings and materials hardly retain any toxic chemical levels. The gas presence diminishes until it becomes undetectable even when you don’t use fans, open doors, or windows after removing the tent. Nonetheless, these levels need to reach below one ppm (standard by US EPA), so the residents can reoccupy the house.
Also Read: Why Do Termites Get Into Your Bathroom?
Dangers of Termite Tenting
Once you remove the tent from your house, the sulfuryl fluoride will escape from the area. Even though the gas poses no significant risk now to the occupants of the house, it does harm or affect the environment. Moreover, sulfuryl fluoride is a powerful greenhouse gas which many times more potent than carbon dioxide. It contributes to global warming. The gas residues remain in the atmosphere for close to 50 to 100 years. It traps heat heavily, which then leads to climate change.
Is Fumigation Safe for Humans?
If you can follow all instructions carefully, then fumigation is safe. Hardly anyone dies due to fumigation. Only enter your house after the air is tested safe for re-entry post fumigation. Test the air quality and chemical levels that need to remain below one ppm before re-entering the premise. Despite posing risks to the environment, sulfuryl fluoride is the best alternative to kill termites which attack your home. Such infestations by wood-eating insects and dry wood termites need to adopt fumigation methods to kill them off. Always follow the instructions that the pest control professional offers you. You could hire a temporary residence for some days or a week. These professionals use tarps around the area where they pump gas into the tent. They may use tear gas, also called chloropicrin, along with sulfuryl fluoride to fix the termite problem. Nonetheless, avoid getting near any building being fumigated at any point.