How to Prepare a Kitchen for Fumigation

Homes undergo the fumigation process to rid the residence of termites or other pests. Fumigation specialists cover your home with a giant tarp that encloses the structure during the release of the pesticide. Fumigation for pests such as termites, cockroaches, ticks, and snails often uses a Vikane gas—a colorless gas registered with the EPA 1993. Vikane primarily consists of sulfuryl fluoride and purportedly leaves no residual trace on items such as furniture, clothing and dishware. Other items must be protected from contamination or completely removed from your home during the fumigation process.

You'll get the key back 48 hours after the tent is removed.

Preparing the Kitchen

Step 1

Remove or double-bag all opened food items in the kitchen and all food (sealed or unsealed) in your refrigerator or freezer. Your fumigation specialist should provide you with the Nylofume bags; if not, ALL food and other items recommended for bagging must be removed from the property. See Section 2 of this article for instructions on how to properly use Nylofume bags.

Step 2

Turn off the icemaker and empty the ice cube tray before leaving the house. Discard any ice cubes that fall into the tray while you are gone once you return to the home.

Step 3

Double bag all sealed food items housed in boxes, metallic foil-lined containers or pouches, paper or plastic wrapping. Only food items contained in metal (canned goods) or glass with the original manufacturer's airtight seal can remain unbagged.

Step 4

Double-bag salt and pepper shakers, spices, fruits, vegetables, bagged pet foods and seeds, medicines, vitamins and supplements, lozenges, denture seal or powder, toothpastes, and tobacco.

Step 5

Store unopened bottles of liquor horizontally; there is no need to bag the bottles if they remain unopened. Soda cans and 2-liter plastic soda bottles that retain the manufacturer's seal can also be left outside of bags in the kitchen.

Step 6

Leave dishes, bakeware, pots and other cooking items or utensils in place in your kitchen, as is. You may wash the dishware upon returning, if desired. Always check with your fumigation specialist for a checklist of how to prepare your home.

Nylofume Bags

Step 1

Double-bag the recommended items by placing one empty bag inside of the other one. Fill the inner bag with the items, making sure not to overfill. Leave enough clearance at the top of the inner Nylofume bag to properly secure it.

Step 2

Twist the inner Nylofume bag, fold it over once and use tape, a rubber band, string or a twist tie to secure it in place.

Step 3

Secure the outer Nylofume bag in the same manner, once the inner bag is sealed.

Step 4

Ensure no air can escape from the bag by gently squeezing it while listening for hissing or escaping air. Properly-sealed bags should have no leakage of air.

Abaigeal Quinn

Abaigeal Quinn works as an international entertainment broker in the United States. She is a former news editor and insurance agent who began writing for a daily newspaper in 1995.