Fumigation Tips

Fumigation is the use of smoke, fumes, and usually chemical gases, to exterminate insects or other pests from any given area. Whether it is termites, spiders, or another insect you want to drive away, fumigation will be more effective if done in the right way. By following several tips, you can make the process more effective and efficient.

Choosing Fumigants
Many chemicals used as fumigants are toxic and may cause adverse effects when people and pets are exposed to the residues of these chemicals. Gases--such as phosphine and hydrocyanic acid--are examples of such chemicals. Try to use fumigants which do not have a high level of toxicity, but which are still considered effective by professionals--or those containing suitable compounds that decrease toxicity to humans. Also, take into consideration the structure of your home or the area to be fumigated. Some chemicals are more effective for wooden structures, while others are more suitable for areas mostly made of steel or other metals.

Preparation
During fumigation, everything in the house will be exposed to the gases used. Because of this, it's best to either cover them well or remove them from the areas to be fumigated. Medicines should be removed or sealed in bags where gases cannot enter. All people, pets and plants should be taken out of the house. Damage to household equipments should be anticipated, so follow necessary precautions--as based on the individual fumigant--to avoid this.

Food
Safety is one of the most important considerations during fumigation, since the process may cause undesirable effects. Foods and anything that can be orally ingested should not be left exposed to fumigants, because highly toxic compounds may be formed due to reactions between them.

Post-Fumigation
Airing out the area should be done after the fumigation process to eliminate the chemical gases used. This can be done by opening all windows and doors and facilitating the process with the use of fans and similar devices. After doing this, the level of chemicals remaining can be measured by an exterminator to ensure that the area is safe enough for people and pets.


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