Is fumigation toxic? How long after fumigation is it safe for pets, babies as well as adults? Find out more in this guide.
Whenever there is a pest invasion, different pest control methods are deployed with fumigation being one of them.
While fumigation is effective in ridding your home of such pests, its effect can pose grave danger to your health. You are most vulnerable when you step into your home without allowing sufficient time for it to subside.
So when is it safe to return home after fumigation? We will provide you with the best answers shortly.
Is Fumigation Safe? Basic Precautions
Fumigants are toxic chemicals, not only dangerous to pests but also to humans and pets. This calls for utmost precaution when dealing with a pest situation through fumigation. Whatever your pest situation, all fumigants have the same thing in common; they are extremely dangerous.
Hence it is best to not fumigate your property yourself if you don’t have the required training.
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Pest control technicians are well trained in using a variety of fumigants. This training enables them act professionally when treating a pest problem using fumigants.
How Long After Fumigation is it Safe?
To have a better understanding of how long after fumigation is safe enough, it is necessary to give you a scenario of what goes on during and after fumigation. Professional fumigation includes 3 main stages.
These include the pre-fumigation stage, fumigation stage as well as the post fumigation stage.
Pre-Fumigation Safety Precautions
Pre-fumigation can also be called the preparatory stage. It involves completely covering a property (mostly residential) with a tent. Such tents are known as fumigant tents. Fumigant tents are used to contain toxic gases from escaping while having the most impact on pests.
After covering the property, an inspection of both the interior and exterior of the property is conducted. This precautionary measure is done to ensure that all required labeling are done.
Fumigation Safety Precautions
This is the main process of applying these toxic fumigants within the property. This fumigant is highly effective and will penetrate into every crack or holes eliminating them all pests in the process.
However before fumigation commences, chloropicrin is released into the home. The purpose for this is to warn anyone within the property. This agent causes irritation in the eyes, throat, nose, as well as the upper respiratory system.
The irritation from chloropicrin causes anyone within the house to move out before fumigation commences. In most cases, fumigants are odorless, yet deadly.
After fumigation, it takes about 18 to 24 hours before the tent is dismantled.
Post Fumigation Safety Precautions
This is the stage we are most concerned about because we need to know how long after fumigation is safe. After dismantling fumigation tents and aerating the house, a clearance device is used to test the level of dissipation of the fumigant.
Clearance devices are electronic devices which are calibrated to measure toxicity dissipation levels of fumigants. Your home is only safe after being certified by pest control technicians as safe.
The Environmental Protection Agency EPA provides detailed safety guidelines regarding the use of fumigants/pesticides. This includes testing equipment such as clearance devices.
Pest control services are mandated to ensure that clearance devices are in good condition before using them. This is crucial to safety because any malfunctioning clearance device may give wrong readings which will pose danger to your health.
Never Go in Without the Permission of a Technician
It is important that during and after a fumigation process, you stay away from such property until told to enter. Pest control technicians wear protective gear when fumigating as well as when testing the residue levels. This is done solely for the safety of your household.
Therefore the length of time required until a fumigated area is considered safe depends on the pest control technician.
Safety for Different Types of Chemicals
Fumigants are generally known to be hazardous. As such, strict safety measures are required to ensure the safety of everyone. All these is geared towards achieving the best results without incidence. So, when discussing about pest extermination, various chemicals are involved. This calls for professional application which follows laid down guidelines.
Talking about laid down procedures, the Environmental Protection Agency as well as health regulatory authorities have certain benchmarks. These apply to the use of all types of fumigants. In addition to that, such fumigants are used for agricultural, residential as well as industrial applications. Our focus is on residential and commercial pest control.
Fumigation is associated with a lot of risks. These are largely health related. But what types are most dangerous? Well, these come mostly in gaseous states. When applied, the after effects can be deadly only if there’s no proper dissipation. However, the concentrations need to be adequate to kill off these pests. After that, you’d need to ventilate your home.
You need not worry about how to do this. This is because pest control specialists get the job done. But what are these risks like? Several. These include the following;
Vikane gas is highly effective against termites. This is still used till date with great results. But its after-effects can be deadly on your health. This is especially true for persons suffering from respiratory illnesses.
At the least exposure, it might cause eye irritations. Other symptoms include nausea, weakness and throat irritation among others. On the other hand, full exposure can be fatal. Which is why its use is restricted to professionals.
Returning Too Early
You and all your family (as well as pets) are to vacate your home during fumigation. This is of utmost importance. We’ve earlier mentioned that ample time is required for this. Severe consequences await those who break this rule.
In other words, you may put yourself in harms-way when you do. So, your choice of professional pest control company should suffice. This is because you get all the information you need. You aren’t left in the dark regarding what safety measures to take.
Safety Measures for Residential Use
Residential and commercial use of fumigants requires safety measures. This is irrespective of the type of chemical(s) used. In any case, pest technicians will recommend you move out of your home. This of course includes your pets and kids for a period of time until treatment is over.
Technicians know about all the safety measures to adopt. This of course includes respiratory protection. This involves the use of gas masks during application.
But fumigants must also be contained to avoid poisoning persons in neighboring homes. Hence, the use of tents. Especially for gas fumigants.
How Long After Fumigation is it Safe for Babies?
The toxic nature of fumigants makes them dangerous. This is even heightened when safety measures aren’t properly followed. Kids are most vulnerable. Therefore, it’s necessary to ensure your home is evacuated before treatment is applied.
But how long is sufficient before returning home? This is very vital due to the vulnerable nature of babies. Not only that, yourself and your family stand a risk of moving in too early. For this, pest control experts will provide a definite answer. Depending on how thorough such immigration is, it’s best you stay out for at least 24 hours.
This time should be sufficient enough to allow for complete dissipation. But one is paramount. And that is the use of only licensed fumigators. Anything less than this may lead to aggravated health risks. The pest problem may not be successfully resolved.
How Long After Fumigation is it Safe for Pets?
Pets, in much the same way as humans will react to fumigants. This calls for adequate precautionary measures to be taken. Pests should also be evacuated. Most fumigators will want to know if you live alone. This information is required as a safety measure to protect your pets (if any).
You’d have to move out with such pets in the event of s total fumigation. Whatever the case is, we recommend staying out with your pets for a considerable time. This is done with the purpose of allowing for sufficient time until it is safe enough to move in.
It’s still best to discuss with your fumigator. He should provide you with all the needed information.
Safety for Persons with Health Challenges
Even more important is the safety of persons with health challenges. Having a health challenge coupled with a pest problem can be difficult. This is especially risky for persons with respiratory diseases such as asthma. If you or any of your family members, do, such information will need to be provided to fumigators. This helps in choosing the right strategies to use.
Such information will also help determine the time recommended to return. This is due to the fact that you’d have to be away when fumigation is done.
Are there other respiratory diseases we aren’t talking about? Several! For clarity’s sake, let’s discuss some of them.
i. Lung Cancer
This deadly condition worsens with exposure to fumigants. It’s also quite difficult to detect. Thus making it even more deadly. One of the major causes of cancer is air pollution. Need we say more? So, you’d need to keep your distance. Your fumigator should use appropriate products. Such an expert should also suggest the time required to stay away.
Lots of persons suffer from pneumonia. If you fall under this category, appropriate actions should be taken. Your preferred pest company should be informed of this condition. This helps in choosing the right approach to adopt.
There are several other respiratory diseases. Such include pleural effusion, cystic fibrosis and lung cancer. Others are chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.
Safety Tips When Preparing your Home for Fumigation
It is common knowledge that everyone be evacuated from a property way before fumigation commences. Pest control technicians also double check to ensure that no one is left behind during the process.
Hence, things that must be done before fumigation includes opening all drawers, leaving all doors between rooms wide open, bagging up all food and consumables last but not least finding alternate lodging for you and your family elsewhere until the entire process is completed.
Giving the Fumigator Access to your Home
In order to achieve the best results during fumigation, it is necessary to provide pest control technicians unfettered access to every part of your home. This is also a safety precaution to allow them check every area of the home for anyone that may have come in before the process begins.
Calling Fumigation Experts against Getting the Job Done Yourself
Fumigation is a process that requires total adherence to safety rules. Although there are persons who may want to get the job done themselves, we recommend that you allow the professionals handle the job. This is because as a non professional, you may be ignorant to some safety rules.
In addition this, you may not have the required testing and safety equipment.
In view of this, your vulnerability level increases significantly leaving you in harm’s way. This can be avoided by giving a call to the experts.
Having addressed the question of how long after fumigation is it safe for one to enter into a property; you are now informed to keep away until it becomes safe.
We have said that the required length of time depends solely on the pest technician after testing the area using a clearance device.
As the name suggests, the clearance device will read if the situation air is safe or not. Before using the clearance device, the fumigation tent is dismantled and the home fully aerated.