What is Termite Tenting?

Termites are insects that eat wood. They will eat any wood, or more specifically cellulose, which is an organic fiber found in wood and other types of plant matter. They will also eat paper, plastic, and drywall. Being primitive creatures with small brains, they operate solely off instincts, meaning they don’t differentiate food. Thus, they wouldn’t know to not eat buildings out of courtesy for humans. Food is food. Therefore, termite infestations are common in Arizona, including in Cave Creek.

Arizona Termite Specialists specialize in Cave Creek in termite control solutions for your home or office. We use Termidor®, which is a termiticide specifically designed to kill termites for good. This substance is sprayed around your home; the worker termites either ingest it or walk through it; they then bring this substance to the colony, which spreads and then slowly kills them.

However, there are other methods used to kill termites, one of them being termite tenting, which we do not practice. But what exactly is termite tenting? Below, we’ll explain the procedure. Contact our Cave Creek team today to learn more!


Termite tenting is where a home or business is draped in a tent, and a gaseous chemical is sprayed throughout the entire building. This gas is breathed in by the termites, which then die. During termite tenting, every living thing must be removed from the home or they will die as well. Thus, humans, pets, and plants all must leave for two to three days while the fumigation process is being performed.

Usually, the chemical sulfuryl fluoride is used, which is an odorless gas. A chemical chloropicrin is generally added. This is a tear gas so that if humans come too close, they will know. Once the treatment is performed, the termite tent is removed, the noxious gas escapes into the atmosphere, and the hom is then tested before anyone can move back in.

Disadvantage to Termite Tenting

As you can see, exposing your entire household to dangerous chemicals is probably not the best idea. In fact, most termite companies no longer engage in termite tenting due to the numerous disadvantages involved:

  • Inconvenient. Most people can’t just get up and leave their homes for two to three days and stay in a hotel or impose on family members. It disrupts everyone’s routine and can be downright cumbersome. Every living thing must be removed from the premises, including humans, pets, plants, produce, and more. This can be a lot to move for only what amounts to a weekend.
  • Expensive. Depending on where you live, the extent of your termite infestation, and the size of your home, termite fuming can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Roof tiles are often damaged from the pest control company installing the termite tent, not to mention anything else you end up having to throw away because of these chemicals all in your home.
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals. While the termites inside your home will die from these chemicals, which penetrate all of the wooden structures, it can also be harmful to other living creatures in the home, and if not properly vented, can cause severe nerve damage and brain damage in humans. It is critical that the fumes and gases are given enough time to leave your home. Twenty-four hours are the minimum recommended time for your home or office to be aired out.
  • Lingering after effects. After the designated time period, the termite control company will enter your home or office and test for any gas remaining in the home using specialized equipment. If gas is still detected, you may have to remain outside your home even longer until your home or office has been cleared for re-entry. Still, there may be lingering toxins present, although the building and the building materials do not retain toxic levels.

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Arizona Termite Specialists in Cave Creek does not use termite fumigation or tenting in our termite eradication services. We believe that termite tenting is too risky, especially considering the fact that these harmful chemicals are just released to the environment and that they can linger in your home, exposing you, your family, and your fur babies to these chemicals. Sulfuryl fluoride is a greenhouse gas that can stay in the atmosphere for 30 to 40 years, trapping carbon dioxide and contributing to global warming throughout that time. However, termite tenting is an extremely effective way to eradicate termites from your home or office. Practically speaking, most of us don’t want to move out into a hotel for days on end, only adding to the cost of termite tenting, which is an expensive way to rid your environment of termites.

Instead, we use Termidor┬« to treat termites, which is a spray that is applied to the perimeter of your home or office and is much safer to use. It can be applied precisely where you need it the most. You won’t have to vacate your home or worry about your pets’ and family’s health and well-being. By having the termites themselves spread the poison, you and your family not only remain safe, but you also ensure the entire colony dies within three months. This termite treatment is simple, easy, and fast with very little disruption to you and your family.

If you suspect your home or office in Cave Creek has a termite infestation, call our termite exterminators today!

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