Fumigation Cost Guide: The Pest Control Treatment Is a Big Investment

If you have a severe infestation, this method may be your best bet.

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fumigation cost guide

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Fumigation is a method of pest control that involves filling an interior area with pesticides, usually chemical gasses known as fumigants. The process has a single goal: to completely eliminate all bugs and pests. The toxic fumes will reach all cracks, crevices, and hard-to-access places, suffocating any pests inside. Fumigation can effectively eliminate many different types of pests, including termites, beetles, bedbugs, cockroaches, and some rodents. It can even eliminate mold or mildew, depending on the fumigant used.

Fumigation is often used when other pest control methods haven't succeeded. If you're suffering a severe infestation that's causing damage to your home's structure and/or posing a health hazard, you may need to fumigate. While the cost of fumigation varies based on a number of factors, its comprehensive nature and the specialized equipment it requires put it on the high end of the pest control expense spectrum. Fortunately, only a single round of fumigation is typically required, in conjunction with ongoing preventative treatments and inspections.

How Does Fumigation Work?

Fumigation is the most comprehensive and, ultimately, the most effective pest control method. Before pest control technicians can begin fumigating your home, you'll need to do some prep work, unplugging electronics and removing plants, pets (including fish in fish tanks), and all unsealed food before vacating the premises yourself. Only then can the pest control company get to work.

Technicians begin by sealing your home (or the area that needs to be fumigated) inside a large tent or tarp. Once it's completely sealed, the pest control techs will begin fumigation, releasing a concentrated gas into the sealed-off area. Because the gas fumigant spreads evenly throughout the sealed area to thoroughly exterminate pest infestations, no other kind of pest control treatment is capable of providing the same level of effectiveness. After the fumigation process is complete, your home will be ventilated until it's completely safe for your family, pets, and plants to return.

How Much Does It Cost to Fumigate a House?

The cost of fumigation is generally between $1 and $6 per square foot. This means that the average cost of fumigation for a bedbug or termite infestation can range anywhere from $1,000 to $9,000, depending on the size of the space being sealed off and fumigated. When it comes to figuring out how much it will cost to fumigate your house, keep in mind that local market rates for pest control services may influence the quoted prices you receive. The average cost of fumigation services in the U.S. generally falls into three categories:

Low-end cost $1–$2 per square foot
Average cost $3–$4 per square foot
High-end cost $5–$6 per square foot

What Factors Impact the Cost of Fumigation?

Many factors impact the cost of fumigation, from the size of the area that needs to be treated to the type of gas the pest control company uses. Let's take a look at a few of them.

Size of the Treatment Area

Ultimately, the most significant factor in the cost of a fumigation treatment is the overall square footage of the area needing to be sealed off and treated. The bigger the area, the more time and chemicals will be needed to complete the task successfully. This translates to a higher cost.

Type of Structure

Pests aren't considerate enough to stay in one easily treatable area of your home. They hide, burrow, and make themselves comfortable in your property's crawl spaces and crevices, in attics, and outside in decks and patios. For fumigation to be effective, all areas of your home must be treated, and if your home has a unique, complex structure, the cost will likely be higher. Still, it's worth paying to have the treatment done properly so as to avoid reinfestation, as having to fumigate all over again will only increase your total expenses.

Infestation Severity

If you're searching the web for "How much does it cost to fumigate a house?" chances are your infestation is severe and other pest control methods haven't been successful. The severity of the infestation will dictate the volume of chemicals that will be required and the length of time those chemicals must remain in your home to complete fumigation. Ultimately, the most severe infestations require more time, material, and care, all of which will increase the total cost.

Type of Pest(s)

The cost of fumigation can vary wildly based on the type of pest you need exterminated. For example, termite fumigation will likely be more expensive than bedbug fumigation, which in turn will likely be more expensive than cockroach fumigation. In the case of termites, it's not simply a matter of eliminating them, but also of analyzing any structural damage they may have caused to your home and carrying out any pre-fumigation safety measures to ensure that beams are supported to avoid a collapse.

Type of Fumigant

There are different types of fumigants, including solids, liquids, and gasses. The price of deploying these chemicals varies, which affects the overall cost.

Additional Fees and Costs

There are a number of hidden or additional fees and costs associated with fumigation. A.H. David of Pest Control Weekly says customers should be on the lookout for and ask questions about the following:

  • Initial inspection fees to assess the extent of the infestation and determine the appropriate treatment method
  • Preparation costs for sealing vents and securing doors and windows
  • Disposal fees for removing infested materials or contaminated items
  • Extra services like deep cleaning, sanitizing, or pest-proofing that may not be included in the initial quote
  • Emergency or after-hours services, which may come with a premium charge
  • Travel fees, depending on the distance to your property
  • Regulatory compliance fees

Relocation and Cleaning Costs

While not charged by the pest control company, there are additional costs to fumigation to consider, including hotel expenses, if you need to relocate during fumigation, and house cleaning expenses, if you decide to hire a professional service with post-fumigation cleaning experience.

Best Nationwide Fumigation Services

Key Specs Orkin Terminix
Nationwide Availability 48 states 45 states
Online Quote Option? No Yes
Treatment Methods Tenting Tenting, through subcontractors
Will Treat Ants, bedbugs, centipedes, cockroaches, crickets, earwigs, fleas, flies, mites, moths, rodents, silverfish, spiders, stink bugs, termites, ticks Ants, bedbugs, centipedes, cockroaches, crickets, mice, millipedes, moths, rats and other rodents, scorpions, silverfish, spiders, stink bugs, termites, ticks, wildlife


When Orkin fumigates for termites, the company's trained professionals tent your home with tarps, creating a sealed area, before releasing the chemical gas inside. The fumigant travels throughout your home, settling into the cracks and crevices where bugs reside. The chemicals deplete the pests' oxygen, negatively impact their nervous system, and ultimately kill them. 

This process may last up to three days, depending on the size and complexity of your home's structure and the severity of the infestation. After an Orkin professional has confirmed that fumigation has been successful, the team will remove the tenting to start the ventilation process, allowing the fumigant and any odor to dissipate.


While Terminix is a nationwide leader in pest control for a variety of bugs and rodents and offers customized termite treatments, including for drywood termites, the company uses knowledgable subcontractors to perform fumigations. As with Orkin, technicians tent your home with tarps to create an airtight seal, allowing the gasses to reach every nook and cranny of your home's structure. Fumigation services through Terminix will eradicate termites from your property but don't necessarily prevent future infestations. 

Regular and ongoing Terminix services to treat termites and dozens of other typical household pests can form a protective border around your home and keep the bugs from coming back.

How Long Does Fumigation Take?

Just like the cost of fumigation, the time it takes to complete the process can vary. It usually takes 24 to 72 hours from start to finish, with the exact time depending on things like the severity of the infestation and the size of your home. You'll need to vacate your home for the duration of the fumigation process.

How to Prepare Your Home for Fumigation

The pest control company providing you with fumigation services will give you specific instructions on preparing for your home's fumigation, but there are some standard things you should always do.

  • Arrange accommodation: You won't be living at home while your home is being fumigated. Either arrange to stay with family or friends or make reservations at a hotel for the dates your fumigation is scheduled.
  • Leave your keys: The pest control company will need to access your home for the tenting and fumigation.
  • Remove at-risk items: All people, pets, and plants need to be removed from your home before fumigation can start. You also need to remove (or seal in airtight containers) all food, medicine, tobacco products, and anything else that you ingest.
  • Prepare the perimeter: You can help make the tent's seal more effective by deeply soaking dirt areas and garden beds that surround your home and raking smooth any gravel and dirt around the perimeter of your house.
  • Open interior doors: Opening your home's interior doors will allow the fumigant gas to reach every area, ensuring that your entire home gets treated. Doors to cabinets and other areas where pests like to hide and cause damage should also be opened.
  • Turn off the gas: Make arrangements with your local gas company to have your gas turned off before fumigation begins and then turned back on after your pest control technician has indicated it's safe to reenter the property.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Needs to Be Removed Before Fumigation?

    To prepare for fumigation, you should remove all people, animals, and plants. Additionally, all medication and food—for humans and pets alike—should be double-bagged and sealed in airtight containers or removed from your home. Dry goods like cereals and potato chips that are packaged in bags and/or cardboard boxes must also be removed, even if they haven't been opened yet. Open cosmetics or toiletries should also be sealed or removed before fumigation. 

  • What Can Be Left in a House During Fumigation?

    Furniture, towels, linens, and drapes can be left in place during fumigation, though they may need to be covered or protected with plastic sheeting. You can also leave mattresses if you seal them in plastic. Food and beverages in refrigerators and freezers can also stay, provided that they're still in their original and unopened plastic, glass, aluminum, or metal containers.

  • What Chemicals Do Pest Control Companies Use for Fumigation?

    Chemicals commonly used during fumigation include sulfuryl fluoride, phosphine, chloropicrin, and methyl bromide, although the latter is being phased out due to environmental concerns.

  • How Effective Is Fumigation?

    Fumigation is extremely effective at eliminating pests and ending an infestation in and around your home. However, fumigation is reactionary and solves an existing pest problem. It's not a preventative action. To avoid future infestations, consider regular pest control services to form a protective border around your home and property to help ensure the bugs and rodents are unable to return. 

  • Will a Home Need to Be Fumigated More Than Once?

    For the majority of pest infestations, you won't need more than one fumigation, provided you keep up with regularly scheduled preventative pest control services to inspect your property and treat your home.

  • How Long Do Fumigation Chemicals Last?

    The chemicals used in fumigation generally don't have a long-lasting residual effect, says David, of Pest Control Weekly. He points out that they dissipate quickly once the area has been ventilated, but notes that the duration of their effectiveness depends on a few factors, such as the local temperature and humidity and the specific chemical used during fumigation.

  • Should You Get Your House Cleaned After Fumigation?

    It's advised to thoroughly clean after fumigation. Before moving back into their home, many homeowners choose to hire a professional cleaning service experienced in post-fumigation house cleaning, as it will know the appropriate kinds of cleaners to use and how to properly clean each type of surface. Most importantly, a professional cleaner will remove all of the dead insects from the home.

  • Will Your House Smell After Fumigation?

    David says that after fumigation you may notice a slight chemical smell. This odor should dissipate within a few hours to a day.

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