How To Protect Plants During Fumigation

Spring is just about here and if you are having pest problems in your home, it is the perfect time to fumigate.

Don't forget about protecting your plants when fumigating your home.
(Courtesy: Phil King at
Don’t neglect your foliage when fumigating your home.

(Courtesy: Phil King at

Ridding your home of pests is certainly not as easy as ridding them from your garden. In this case, to get rid of a major infestation a tent and professional exterminators with all those toxic chemicals are necessary.

The ordeal may cause one to forget the effects such an activity has on the garden and trees nearby.

If fumigation of your home is necessary, then the first things you want to do is remove all the houseplants and book the family and pet into a hotel or motel for a few days.

Keep in mind that the process of fumigation involving a tent around the house can take as long as two to three days.

The exterminators will check the air quality inside the home and alert you when it is safe to return, houseplants included.

Needless to say, the exterminators are only focused on their job of ridding your home of pests via fumigation. They are not thinking about your garden, which may be situated up against or nearby the house. It is possible that after the tent is placed prior to fumigation, low growing foundation plants and vines growing on the house may be trapped within the tent. This could cause the flora to be exposed to the chemicals. Moreover, gases can escape from under the tent and get on foliage outside the tent. The chemicals the plants are susceptible to can severely burn or even kill them.

How To Protect Plants During Fumigation

Exterminators often use sulfuryl fluoride to rid a home of termites. The substance is a light gas that floats and commonly does not run off into the soil like other pesticides can do and damage plant roots. It does not run off into wet soil because water or moisture creates an effective barrier against the chemical. However, while the plant roots may be safe, the top of the flora can be burned and the flora could die if the chemical contacts them.

To avoid issues, it is best to trim back and pants or branches that are growing near the home’s foundation. In fact, it is recommended that you cut the plants back within three feet of the house. This will not only protect the plants from the chemical, it will also prevent the tent from crushing them.

Before the extermination takes place, water the soil around your home. The water should penetrate very deep and thoroughly moisten the soil. The water will help create a protective barrier between the roots and the gases.

If you are still worried about the wellbeing of your plants, you can dig them up and place them in pots or put them in a temporary garden bed 10-feet or more away from the house. Once the tent is removed and you are cleared to return to your house, you can replant the flora back in their previous location.


About Robert Janis

Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.