Skip to main content

How often should you fumigate your house? What you need to know

A pest infestation is every homeowner’s nightmare. If you’re facing the frustrating and embarrassing problem of bugs or rodents in your home, don’t freak out quite yet. While you can often address minor pest problems with DIY pest-killing products, don’t hesitate to call a professional to deal with major disturbances. In this instance, fumigation may be the only way out.

pest control contractor spraying home

What is fumigation?

The process of fumigation rids the home of pests by sealing the house and filling it with a poisonous chemical to eradicate the infestation. The amount of time needed for proper fumigation depends on the size of the home and the severity of the infestation, so it can take anywhere from 24 hours to an entire week. Since these chemicals are harmful to humans as well as critters, people and pets need to stay out of the home during the entire process. It’s best to let the home air out for a few days after fumigation as well, just to ensure there are no lingering chemicals in the air.

How often should you fumigate your house after infestations?

For most types of infestations, multiple rounds of fumigation are not necessary. However, routine inspections and preventative treatments will keep your home pest-free in the future. During these yearly inspections, a professional will then be able to determine what, if any, extermination method is needed to keep the home critter-free. Some regions are more susceptible to infestation than others, so if you live in a warmer climate, rainy regions, wooded areas, or near a body of water, you may want to engage in more frequent inspections.

Pest control based on the type of pest

The frequency of your inspections and fumigations will also depend on the type of pest you’re dealing with. Some problems only take one extermination treatment to solve, whereas others may require more continual maintenance.


When your home is fumigated for termites, the first treatment should last several years. If your home has had a history of termite infestations, make sure you hire a professional for inspections at least yearly. Termites are extremely destructive and, if left untreated, can damage the wooden foundation of your home.


In general, professional pest control companies use sprays and baits to exterminate cockroaches as opposed to fumigation. The process takes 1-2 weeks to kill the colony completely, and an additional round of treatment may be required for especially bad infestations. Cockroaches are very tenacious, so keep your home clean and well-sealed to prevent them from returning. If you’re still seeing roaches after a month or two, opt for a more thorough inspection to find and plug the vulnerable areas where they’re getting into the home.

Mice and rats

The occasional presence of rodents in your home is not always a sign of an extensive infestation, particularly in rural areas near open fields or woods. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so if you see one of these furry creatures running around, call a pest control company to set bait and traps (either humane or otherwise) and locate and seal off the entry points. Unless you see evidence of their remaining presence, you likely won’t need a second round of extermination.

pest control contractor spraying cockroaches in kitchen

What can you do to control pests in your home?

Be sure entry points are well-sealed

Insects are particularly crafty and will gain access to your home through small cracks and gaps. Be on the lookout for gaps in your doors, damaged corners, and holes in floorboards, then call in a professional to inspect and re-seal them.

Clean regularly

Particularly with food-seeking pests like rodents, ants, and roaches, keeping your house clean and free of food scraps will go a long way in making your home less appealing to the critters. Also, keep a firm lid on garbage cans, and make sure all food is secured in a pantry or cabinet.

Be on the lookout

The presence of some pests, like termites or rodents, is not immediately obvious. Unfortunately, this means they can mill about your home for weeks before they’re noticed. Stay vigilant and look for the telltale signs of these pests like hollow or damaged wood, busted food packages, and rodent droppings.

The presence of rodents and invading bugs in your home can create unsanitary living conditions and damage your home and belongings.  Fumigation is usually a last resort and rarely needs to occur more than once, so prevent the need for this intense extermination process by scheduling regular inspections and remaining vigilant to stop pests in their tracks.

Editors' Recommendations

Veronica Sparks
Veronica Sparks is a writer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who loves writing about gardening, home décor, and DIY life. She’s…
How to propagate lucky bamboo in 5 easy steps so you don’t have to buy it
Grow and propagate lucky bamboo at home for decoration or to give as gifts
Lucky bamboo in small pot on wooden table.

Lucky bamboo is an awesome and aesthetic indoor plant that's popular for its minimalistic, chic design and ease of care. If you already have one of these beauties and it's been growing strong, you can propagate it to create more plants. We'll walk you through the steps and methods for how to propagate lucky bamboo successfully so you can decorate your home with your own unique indoor garden or give them away to friends and family.

Since it's believed that these plants can bring their owners luck and good fortune, they're great to give as birthday presents or unique housewarming gifts. Check out how to grow your own below.

Read more
11 helpful tips to keep bugs out of your apartment or condo
Keep bugs out of your home without calling the exterminator
Dead bug with pest control sign

Cleaning your apartment will keep your place looking nice, but it may not be enough to keep pesky bugs from making your home their home. Keeping bugs out of an apartment or condo is much different from keeping them out of a house. When you live in an apartment building or condo that's part of a larger unit, bugs can quickly enter your space from community spaces. So if your neighbors have habits that attract bugs, it doesn’t take much for those critters to come into your rooms, too.

Your apartment or condo location can also contribute to the number of bugs in your living area, such as if your apartment is near the woods or close to the outdoor dumpsters. Also, apartment complexes and condos often have several entrances, which increase the chances insects have to get into your home.

Read more
Do you need primer every time you paint? Well … it’s complicated
Here's when you should use primer and when you can skip it
Woman painting

The question of whether to prime before painting seems as old as, well, painting itself. The answer seems to be different depending on who you talk to. Paint manufacturers say "yes" — it is an essential wall painting technique — because they want the best possible surface for the paint to shine. Do-it-yourself (DIY) fans seem less thrilled about the process, mostly because it takes more time and money.

So, do you need primer when you paint? The reality is that not every painting project is the same, and the answer is not a clear-cut one.

Read more