For those of you who are not aware, termites are pretty common in places like southern California. In most cases when selling a house, the buyer will request the seller to have an inspection and if they are any termites or damage, the seller has to take care of that.
In the case of short sales, the seller is not usually willing to do that, so it is the responsibility of the buyer. When an inspection is done, usually the recommended process to get rid of them would be tenting.
So what happens, when they talk about tenting? Essentially what they do is, they completely enclose the house in a large tent and then fumigate with a large number of chemicals. This usually takes a couple of days, the gas has to be turned off, and they are signs posted to warn everyone that harzardous chemicals are being used.
Obviously some people have some concerns about this method of fumigation because of the chemicals but unfortunately it seems to be the best way of taking care of active termites.
They completely enclose the house with a tent, and then they weigh down the bottom with these weights. The fumigation process takes about 48 hours and then you can return to the home after that time.
Before the tent goes up there is a couple of things that need to be taken care off. Any place that is dirt and sand, the customer has to get it nice and moist the night before because the gas cannot pass through the water, so it will give it a nice seal.
Food that you are going to leave in the house needs to be double bagged in special Nylofume bags, boxed food and cans do not have to be bagged. Pets and plants need to be removed from inside the home. You have to remove fish tanks, too and take the fish out. If you have koi fish ponds away from the house those are ok. The electricity is left on to run all the equipment, but the gas is shut off.
The house has secondary locks on the doors to prevent anybody from coming into the house. There is fans put in the house to circulate the air and keep it moving through the fumigation process. The gas molecules are so small they pass right through the wood to kill the termites inside.