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Why don’t exterminators ‘tent’ houses in the Wilmington area?

Will Drabold
StarNews

Tenting houses is done when fumigating a building to kill termites, according to two local exterminators. But not the kind of termites we have here.

The termites in the Wilmington area are eastern subterranean termites that live underground, not in the wood of a residence or business, said Scott Szabo, branch manager for Economy Exterminators in Wilmington.

“Usually when you tent a home it’s for drywood termites,” Szabo said. Economy Exterminators has not fumigated any homes in Wilmington, though Szabo is not sure it has never been done here.

A fumigation is also more costly than other treatment methods, costing between $4,000 and $8,000 to tent and fumigate a house, he added.

“Based on the type of termites we have in eastern North Carolina, fumigation is not required or effective,” said Robert Martin, the Orkin branch manager in New Bern. “Fumigation is needed for termites in the south.”

Here, treating subterranean termites typically requires applying liquid poison to the soil near a home where the termite colonies exist, Szabo said.

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