How Much Do Fumigation Services Cost? Here's a Breakdown

This is what you can expect to pay for large-scale pest control treatments.

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Pest control companies typically reserve fumigation for severe infestations of pests within the structure of a home or commercial space. Invaders such as bedbugs, termites, and cockroaches that have made their way into the structural elements of a house are difficult to eradicate using standard pest control sprays and traps. During a fumigation, a team covers the building with a tarp (known as tenting) or otherwise seals the space before a technician releases a fumigant inside, effectively eliminating the infestation within a few hours to several days. 

Because fumigation service entails completely encasing the home or building, the cost of labor and necessary equipment required to perform the task means the procedure is the most costly single-application pest control method available. However, for serious pest control problems, the one-time cost of fumigation could reduce the long-term costs of ongoing extermination and potential home damage if the treatment is successful, which is most often the case. 

Disclaimer About Fumigation Services

BHG is sensitive to the environmental ethics and potential impacts surrounding fumigation and pest control in general. Although fumigation is a highly effective pest eradication method, the procedure has some environmental and health concerns to consider when determining if it suits your needs. 

Fumigating for bedbugs, termites, roaches, and other invasive pests employs sulfuryl fluoride, a colorless and odorless gas that permeates the infested structure during the process. Sulfuryl fluoride is a greenhouse gas that can be lethal or cause serious human illness upon exposure. The gas is also associated with adverse long-term health issues, including cancer, endocrine disruption, neurotoxicity, and reproductive damage, according to Beyond Pesticides

Other chemicals used for fumigation services include calcium cyanide and methyl bromide, both of which are toxic to humans and pets. If you do decide to move forward with treatment, it's imperative that you follow all instructions and stay away from the premises for as long as you are told to by the company conducting the service.

What Does Fumigation Entail?

Pest control fumigation is a one-time treatment that aims to kill infestations of several kinds of invasive pests that have made their way into the deep recesses of a building. Subterranean termite infestations may also require other treatment types in addition to fumigation to eradicate the problem.  

Before beginning the treatment process, the building’s occupants will receive notification of the procedure and the chemicals the technician will use during the treatment. The occupants must sign a copy of the document before any work can start and must remove plants from the area before the process begins. Consumable material must be protected or removed as well.

The exterminator then seals the structure using tape, plastic, or similar materials, or seals it with large vinyl tarps to contain the fumigant. Additional locks are placed on the building to keep unauthorized persons, including the occupants, from entering during the fumigation procedure. 

Once sealed, the pros will release a pesticidal gas inside, which the seal or tent will contain within the protected perimeter. After six hours to several days, depending on the treatment, the company will remove the tent or seals, and the occupants can reenter the property. 

How Much Does Fumigation Cost?

 Price Tier  Price Range
Low cost estimate $1,540–$1,740 
Average cost estimate  $5,160 
High cost estimate  $8,760–$10,000 

What Impacts the Cost of Fumigation?

The wide range of pricing associated with fumigation pest control is due to several factors affecting the overall cost. Lane Zimmerman, operations manager for Rainbow Pest Experts, mentions, “Factors like the size of the home, the type of product used [for the] type of pest, the time it takes to apply, and the quantity applied all go into the cost of the service.”

Square Footage

Because the fumigation process is labor-intensive and requires sealing the entire treatment area, the size and complexity of the home plan or building significantly impact pricing. Additionally, the volume or cubic footage of the treatment area can have a moderate cost impact due to the increased amount of pesticide gas necessary. For both factors, the larger and more complex the structure, the higher the overall cost.  

Type of Pest Infestation

Fumigation eradicates several types of invasive pests. The kind of pest in the home can affect which fumigation method is necessary to eliminate the problem. Termites, bedbugs, cockroaches, wood-boring beetles, and some ant species are difficult and more costly to eradicate than bugs like fleas, which may be less expensive to handle. 

Severity of Infestation

As with almost any pest control method, the bigger the problem, the more it will cost. When a building requires fumigation to remove a pest problem, the trouble is usually at an advanced stage and you can expect it to cost more than less intrusive methods. Extreme infestations will likely need a more thorough fumigation procedure, which could increase the cost.  

Structure Sealing Method

Fumigation is a labor-intensive process that requires sealing the home from the outdoors to avoid toxic gas escaping, which will make the chemical more effective. While some infestations may only require basic sealing of particular areas of the structure, many situations require tenting to encapsulate the entire building. The sealing method will affect the labor, materials, and costs necessary to complete the work. 

Additional Costs

Although you may not see these charges on your extermination invoice, additional costs to consider include cleaning up and removing dead pests after fumigation, paying for a place to stay during the job, any necessary follow-up treatments, or repairing pest damage after the process. 

Best Fumigation Services in the Country

Key Specs   Orkin  Terminix
National availability Available in 47 states, not including Wyoming, South Dakota, and Alaska Available in 45 states, not including South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Alaska
24/7 customer support  Yes  Yes 
Services offered  Tenting  Tenting through third-party contractors 
Fumigation treats  Termites  Termites 


With over 120 years of pest control experience, Orkin works closely with customers to create custom and effective treatment plans to eliminate pests. This begins with Orkin technicians who receive 160 hours of training in simulated environments and a training center. 

To begin the process, customers can submit an inquiry for a free quote. An Orkin representative will first inspect the property to determine the type of termites infesting the home and assess the depth of the situation before choosing the best method of extermination. If fumigation is the best option, an expert will install a tent over the entire home before releasing a fumigant into the space. After fumigating, the specialist will ensure that all treated areas have received adequate chemical exposure before removing the tent structure. 


Terminix has multiple treatment plans for 13 common pests, providing customers with the most flexibility in pest control. Depending on the pest, you could opt for a one-time treatment for an event or a regular schedule of treatments for the most protection.   

Treatments begin with an inspection; Terminix will send a representative to your home to assess the type and severity of an infestation to determine the best method of eliminating the pests. Although Terminix doesn’t perform fumigations, the company works with contractors who perform the work on its behalf if the technique is the best for the situation. In most cases, the subcontractor will tent your home after it is prepared for the treatment; all interior doors must be opened and external structures like antenna and awnings must be secured. After tenting, the experts will introduce the fumigant to the home and disassemble the tenting after completing the job. 

What Should You Do After Your Home Has Been Fumigated?

Fumigating your home for pests is a big job that requires several steps over and above the extermination to complete the process fully. After fumigation, follow these steps before resuming everyday life in your home. 

  • Remove dead bugs. Use a broom and vacuum cleaner to remove dead bugs from areas around your home and on the floor. Pay particular attention to the inside of cupboards, drawers, and other dark and confined spaces. Discard or thoroughly clean any vacuum filters and bags when complete. 
  • Wipe down hard surfaces. Create a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. Dampen a sponge or cloth with the solution and use it to wipe down hard surfaces, such as tables, dresser tops, vanities, and countertops.
  • Mop the floors. Use your standard solid-floor cleaning solution to mop any hard flooring areas. 
  • Clean soft materials. Although fumigants won’t leave toxic substances in soft materials like clothing and other linens, dead bugs can be left behind. Launder any sheets and curtains or drapes left exposed during the fumigation process to ensure materials are bug-free.

What Are Some Alternatives to Fumigation?

Fumigation eliminates pests such as termites, bedbugs, and roaches from a structure. However, it’s not the only solution for getting rid of pests. In fact, Zimmerman says that “fumigation for pest control in a residential home is no longer a common method in the industry [but] can be a common practice for commercial buildings, particularly with food storage and handling.”

More minor infestations of these pests are easily treatable with spot treating using spray applications and installing bait stations that may or may not include a pesticide. “Most forms of pest control are done with a chemical spray application,” says Zimmerman. 

However, large and persistent infestations often require a more heavy-duty approach. For these situations, some homeowners and pest control professionals turn to heat. Heat is an effective method of killing drywood termites, bedbugs, ants, and cockroaches that consists of heating the interior, soft materials, and structural components of a home to above 130°F for about an hour. That means the actual temperature in the house could reach 160°F before it’s all said and done. Additionally, the elevated temperature can also help eliminate mold, bacteria, and some viruses in the home. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you prepare a house for fumigation?

    Preparing a house for fumigation can be a lengthy process. To ensure the tenting seals well, you or your exterminator must rake mulch or rocks away from the foundation and remove or otherwise work around exterior plants that could interfere with the treatment process. Your exterminator will likely remove, lower, or support external components like antennae, awnings, and weather vanes to accommodate the tenting.

    Inside the home, all doors, drawers, cupboards, and closets must be open to allow the fumigant to easily reach every space within the house. Remember the safety of your fish or birds too; remove aquariums, cages, and components from the home before fumigation. If removing them isn’t feasible, consult a specialist for proper procedures to follow. 

  • What can you keep in a house during fumigation?

    You can keep food, medicine, tobacco, or anything you or your pets would ingest in the home if it’s still in its original, sealed packaging or placed and sealed inside protective bags designed for the purpose. You must remove any ingestible items that aren’t safely protected. But you and your pets aren’t allowed inside, and any plants left behind may suffer from chemical exposure.

  • How long will fumigation last?

    The fumigation process will take between six and 72 hours after the technicians prepare the home and release the fumigant, depending on the type of pest and the severity of the infestation. If successful, fumigation is a one-time treatment that can last for the structure’s life with proper inspections and spot treatments of new infestations as they occur.

  • Where do the bugs go after fumigation?

    After a day or more, bugs in a fumigated home will begin to die off. However, you may see numerous live bugs immediately after treatment. Pests react to fumigation by looking for a new, safe location to hang out. However, the chemicals will soon take effect, and the individuals you see will quickly perish.

  • Does a house smell after fumigation?

    Fumigation’s pesticide gas is odorless and colorless and won’t leave any residual smell after treatment. However, you should still thoroughly clean your home afterward to eliminate as many dead bugs as possible.

  • What is the best time of year to fumigate your house?

    You can fumigate for pests any time of year because the seal or tent protects the home from outdoor weather conditions. However, getting everyone out of the home is likely more pleasant during a stretch of good weather.

  • Is fumigation a one-time service?

    Although fumigation is considered a one-time service, ongoing pest maintenance is necessary to ensure that you won’t have to go through the process again in the future. After fumigation, schedule regular inspections and spray or bait treatments if necessary to minimize the chances of pests returning in large numbers. 

  • Is fumigation worth the hassle?

    The fumigation process is highly effective and may be one of just two ways to reach and kill a severe infestation deep within a structure’s building components. The best alternative to fumigation is heat treatment. Both of these methods require preparation and work afterward to achieve results. However, for infestations that are too large or complex for other methods to be able to handle, the nearly instant and thorough results of fumigation or heat treatment are worth the hassle of the job.  

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