Spot Treatment VS Termite Tenting: Which is Better?

The most common termite control methods you will find online are spot treatment and termite tenting. But what are they, exactly? And which one is better? Here are some key facts about spot treatment and termite tenting — to compare the two.

Spot treatment

Spot treatment is exactly what it sounds like. You treat a spot infested with termites. Pest control professionals do this by drilling holes in the infested wood and injecting a termiticide to kill the termites living in it. It is a popular termite control method because it is very effective and straightforward.

  • It is effective against termite infestations concentrated in a small area. Termites are sometimes concentrated in specific parts of your home. For example, they can all be in a single piece of wooden furniture or a single room you can isolate. In these cases, spot treatment is the ideal termite control method because it is the best in concentrated termite infestations.
  • It is not as invasive as termite tenting. One of the problems with termite tenting is that it is too invasive. You have to be out of your home for a few days as your property is bombed with a fumigant gas. Not everyone has the time for such an invasive approach. The great thing about spot treatment is that it is not that invasive since the treatment is concentrated in a small area.
  • It doesn’t penetrate termite colonies as well as termite tenting. Spot treating an infested area is straightforward — you just drill through the wood and inject termiticide. But there is some complication to it as well. Termite colonies are intricate, so the injected termiticide may not even reach through the deepest tunnels in the colonies. In this sense, spot treatment is not completely effective because it won’t be able to kill termites that are hiding deep within their colonies.

Termite tenting

Termite tenting is a little more complicated than spot treatment. In this termite control method, pest control professionals cover your entire property with a tent and bomb your home with a fumigant gas that kills termites.

  • It is one of the most effective termite control methods, but it is invasive. The great thing about the fumigant gas used in termite tenting is that it seeps through the deepest nooks and crannies of your home. You are sure that it will reach even the deepest tunnels in termite colonies and kill the pests desperately hiding there. The downside of termite tenting is that it takes too much effort. Fumigant gases have side effects to humans, pets, and plants, so you will have to find a place to stay while your home undergoes termite tenting.
  • It requires tremendous coordination with pest control professionals. Because of the dangers of the fumigant gas, you will have to coordinate properly with the pest control professionals doing the termite tenting. There are things you should do before the termite tenting and things you should do after to ensure everything is safe. You may put yourself and your family at risk if you overlook some things. In short, termite tenting is just a big hassle. You are not just going to look for a place to stay. You are also required to follow some safety protocols.
  • It can be a health risk. The fumigant gas used for termite tenting has sulfuryl fluoride, which can be bad for the nervous system. There are recorded instances of termite tenting making people sick, and people have actually died because of complications. Take note that only licensed pest control professionals can do termite tenting. The fact that people still get hurt or die even on heavily regulated procedures is astonishing. If your home is undergoing termite tenting, make sure to take it seriously. Coordinate with your pest control professionals to minimize risks.
Spot treatment and termite tenting are both effective termite control methods.
Termite tenting. Image source: Matthew Field (Creative Commons-Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported-CC BYSA3.0)

Which is better — spot treatment or termite tenting?

So, which one is better, spot treatment or termite tenting? There is an argument for either. You can say that spot treatment is better, especially if the termite infestation you have at home is concentrated. You can say that termite tenting is better, especially if the termite infestation you have at home has already spread into inaccessible areas.

The answer really depends on the kind of termite infestation you have. But termite tenting may have a better argument because it is overall more effective when compared to spot treatment. The only downside is that it requires so much time and effort.

Other methods you can try

If you are not sure whether to go for spot treatment or termite tenting, here are other termite control methods you can try.

  • Call pest control professionals. The best way to know about other termite control methods is by consulting pest control professionals. Get your termite problem checked and let the professionals decide what kind of method is needed for your specific case. You may even end up with spot treatment or termite tenting. There are other termite control methods out there though, like heat treatment.
  • Try home remedies but understand their limitations. It’s possible to DIY your way out of your termite problem. The idea is similar to spot treatment. You inject some kind of termiticide into the termite colony. The only difference is that you will make your own termiticide using accessible ingredients like dish soap and vinegar. Take a look at our article about these DIY methods. But remember that these methods only work on minor infestations. For severe infestations, it’s best to stick to conventional methods.
  • Prevent termites from thriving on your property. Prevention is always better than cure. Prevent termites from thriving on your property with pest control professionals. They can treat your home with termiticides with lasting effects. There are also things you can do on your own, like fixing plumbing issues and installing vapor barriers. The idea is to limit unnecessary moisture in your home because it attracts termites.
Dampwood termites are just some of the many kinds of termites that can infest your home.
Dampwood termites. Image source: Rudolf H. Scheffrahn, University of Florida

Spot treatment and termite tenting are both effective

It’s hard to say which one is really better because they have their own advantages. But there is a better argument for termite tenting because it is more effective. It just so happens that it is so complicated that it requires a lot of time and effort. With that said, both spot treatment and termite tenting are effective termite control methods, especially when you let licensed pest control professionals do them.

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