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How Much Does Fumigation Cost? (2024 Guide)

Fumigation costs homeowners an average of $2,000–$8,000. See which factors will impact your total cost.

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A person with a blue protective glove holding a yellow and black fumigation device spraying it into a radiator

Author Image Written by Brenda Woods Updated 06/24/2024

Fumigation is a powerful pest control strategy used to treat severe infestations, such as termite or carpenter ant infestations. Expensive and labor-intensive, it’s often an exterminator’s last resort. However, it’s one of the most effective pest control treatments. Fumigation is typically used when other treatment methods have failed. Pests such as termites, cockroaches, and rodents can require fumigation to remove for good.

We researched average pest control costs and then dove deeper into the factors that affect the cost of fumigation services. We analyzed providers’ plans, prices, customer reviews, and business histories to find the best pest control companies. We also secret-shopped pest control treatment and spoke with industry professionals to reinforce our research. Below, we’ll share our findings on how much fumigation costs.

Key Takeaways

Fumigation is one of the most expensive pest control treatments, with an average price range of $2,000 to $8,000
Fumigation is typically required for the eradication of severe termite infestations.
Fumigation requires vacating your home for anywhere from 24 hours up to a week.  
Termites and termite damage on a house.
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How Much Does Fumigation Cost?

The average cost of fumigation is between $2,000 and $8,000, or about $1–$4 per square foot of your home*. Full-house fumigation is one of the most expensive pest control treatments because of the labor, equipment, and time required to perform the treatment.

Here’s a breakdown of how much you can expect to pay based on your home’s square footage.

Square FootageTermite Treatment Cost

1,000 square feet

$1,000–$4,000

1,500 square feet

$1,500–$6,000

2,000 square feet

$2,000–$8,000

2,500 square feet

$2,500–$10,000

3,000 square feet

$3,000–$12,000

3,500 square feet

$3,500–$14,000

*Sourced from HomeAdvisor


What are Signs Your Home Needs Fumigation?

Signs you need fumigation are the signs of severe termite infestations, in particular, because they greatly benefit from termite fumigation treatment. Here are a few signs to look for if you suspect you have a termite problem:

Pencil-thick mud tunnels in your home’s foundation or crawl space, a distinctive sign of subterranean termites
Damp wood covered in dried mud or dirt
Bulging floors, ceilings, or walls
Thin sawdust pinholes

Contact a highly regarded pest control company if you suspect your home has a pest problem. These companies offer effective and efficient treatments that can handle the issue quickly.

Pest control services will diagnose the pest infestation’s severity, review your treatment options, and prepare you for the fumigation process, if necessary.


What Is Fumigation?

Fumigation is a pest control treatment that fills your home with gaseous pesticides to eliminate termites and other pests within its structure. The process generally involves the following four steps:

  1. Pest control specialists seal your home with a large plastic or rubber tent to concentrate and contain the fumigates (the mixture of gaseous pesticides).
  2. Specialists release the fumigates into your home to start the extermination process.
  3. Specialists allow the fumigates to penetrate your tented home for several days.
  4. Specialists remove the tent and ventilate your home until the air quality returns to safe levels for occupancy.

Tented fumigations are seldom needed for residential homes. However, there are some instances when traditional pest control treatment methods fail to eradicate infestations. For example, if carpenter ants or termites burrow into your home’s foundation, fumigation may be the only effective treatment.

How Long Does Fumigation Last?

The length of a fumigation treatment will vary depending on your home’s size, the level of the infestation, the type of chemical used, and the location of the pests. Larger and more infested homes will take longer to fumigate. The fumigation process can be as short as 24 hours or as long as a week. However, most fumigations last around 72 hours. 

Fumigation is an extreme treatment that is highly effective against persistent pests. Many pests require lengthy exposure to the chemicals to be eliminated. Homeowners must wait a certain amount of time before returning to the home. Fumigation chemicals are toxic to humans and pets, so you must wait for the all-clear before returning. Your pest control company will tell you when you can safely return to your home.


How to Prepare

Fumigation requires some planning on your part. Here are a few checklist items you should take care of before your home is fumigated:

Make lodging arrangements for a few days, as your home is uninhabitable during fumigation.

Open your home’s interior doors and raise any window blinds to allow fumigants to seep into every corner.

Move all perishable and nonperishable food items to an off-site location or properly seal them within your refrigerator and pantry.

Cut back plants and other foliage within three feet of your home to prevent chemical damage.

Schedule the shutoff and restoration of your home’s gas service.

Make arrangements for any vehicles that may need to be moved during fumigation.


What Are Fumigation Cost Factors?

Pest control companies base fumigation costs on several factors, including home size, the type and severity of the infestation and the cost of temporary accommodations.

  • Home size: The size of your home’s floor plan is one of the biggest cost factors. Expect fumigation for a home with four bedrooms, two stories, and a basement to cost significantly more than a studio apartment. 
  • Infestation type: The type of pest affects cost as some pests are more difficult to treat than others, requiring different pesticides and a more concentrated effort. 
  • Infestation severity: Especially severe infestations may drive up fumigation costs due to increased time and labor requirements. 
  • Temporary accommodations: During the fumigation process, you will need to arrange accommodations until your home is safe to reenter. Consider hotel fees to be a possible secondary expense.

What Are Effective Fumigation Alternatives?

There are several pest control alternatives to tent fumigation, including heating, spot treatment, electro-gun, and microwave treatments. These options are often effective but may not be practical for severe termite infestations.

Heating

Spot Treatment

Electro-gun

Microwave

Heat treatment involves tenting your home and subjecting it to high temperatures that raise the wood to around 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. This treatment doesn’t use harmful chemicals and is effective for localized termite colonies. However, heating can cause damage to personal belongings left inside the home.

Spot treatment entails drilling small holes into infested areas and injecting termiticides to eradicate the pest. While this treatment is usually less expensive than heating or fumigation, multiple treatments may be necessary. Spot treatment kills termites only in localized areas.

This treatment uses high frequencies and voltages to penetrate wood and kill termites. While this is a straightforward treatment, it’s effective only in localized areas.

Similar to electro-gun treatment, microwave treatment is effective for localized termite infestations. It directs powerful microwaves at the infested area, heating the wood and killing burrowed termites.


How Can You Avoid Severe Termite Infestations?

Termites are the main reason a home needs fumigation. Here are a few ways to prevent future infestations in your home:

  • Keep your home’s wooden siding 6 inches above ground soil.
  • Stack firewood at least 20 feet from your home.
  • Remove lumber, wood, paper, and other cellulose-based debris from around your home’s foundation.
  • Maintain your home’s lawn and surrounding shrubbery.
  • Consider using pine needles or pea gravel as mulch in natural areas around your home.
  • Make sure your gutters and storm drains empty away from your home.
  • Remove tree stumps and rotting wood from your yard.

A termite inspection is one of the most effective preventive measures against termite infestations. Schedule a termite inspection annually through a reputable pest control provider, such as Terminix or Orkin.


Is Fumigation Worth It?

Fumigation is one of the most effective pest control treatments in an exterminator’s arsenal. This technique saturates your home with toxic gases and kills pests no matter how deeply ingrained they are. Fumigation is one of the few methods capable of completely eradicating a colony of cockroaches, termites, rodents, or bed bugs.

Fumigation is an extreme treatment that requires strenuous preparation on both the homeowner’s and exterminator’s part. It’s one of the most expensive pest control methods, ranging up to $8,000. We recommend fumigation for the most severe infestations and only after consulting a trained pest control professional.


FAQ About The Cost of Fumigation

Is the fumigation process harmful to humans?

Yes. The chemicals used during fumigation are toxic to humans, pets, and insects. That’s why it’s important for a certified and knowledgeable professional to conduct treatment.

What chemicals are used during fumigation?

There are a variety of commonly used chemicals during fumigation, including magnesium phosphide, methyl bromide, sulfuryl fluoride, and calcium cyanide.

Are there any side effects of tent fumigation?

While fumigation is a safe extermination method when done correctly, there are some environmental risks associated with the process. For example, some fumigates used are greenhouse gases that could potentially harm the atmosphere.

What pests can fumigation help control?

Fumigation is typically recommended for severe termite infestations, but it can be effective for many other pests, including cockroaches, fleas, bed bugs, and more.


Our Rating Methodology

We back up our pest control recommendations with a detailed rating methodology that we use to objectively score each provider. We review pest control plans, navigate the provider website, speak with customer service representatives by phone and online chat (if available), request quotes, and analyze customer reviews for each provider. We then score the provider against our review standards for plans and services, reputation and customer responses, customer service offerings, workmanship guarantees, financing, and availability to arrive at a final score on a 5-point rating scale.

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