The Dangers of Fumigation and How To Avoid Them

Recently, a 10-year-old boy Peyton McCaughey and his family fell ill shortly after a Pest Control, sprayed their home in Florida, USA for termites on August 14. The family was told it was safe to return to their home two days later on August 16. The family immediately began feeling ill.

According to CNN, the boy’s uncle, Ed Gribben, said that everyone was vomiting, and Peyton’s condition was even worse. Gribben said Peyton had trouble standing and speaking, so the family took him to a local clinic where a doctor suspected poisoning from fumigation. It was later confirmed young Peyton is suffering from brain damage……

The chemicals used in fumigation process are of grave concerns and should not be taken lightly. Chemicals such as chlorpyrifos (causes neurological damage), sulfuryl fluoride, phosphine (extreme toxicity via inhalation) and methyl bromide (depletes the ozone layer) are widely used in fumigant.

From the studies that produced these findings, it would involve far higher concentrations than what you would be subjected to after having your house fumigated. But we need to take into account the fact that when fumigating, several chemicals are typically used at one time–and their interactions have never been fully measured, especially when it comes to kids.

In Nigeria many so-called fumigation experts do not warn their clients enough about the imminent danger the fumigation chemicals have on their health, even when they do, Nigerians are fond of taking precautionary measures lightly.

Take time to learn about the dangers of fumigating your home. Below, you’ll find 3 basic fumigation safety tips, along with detailed steps you should take in preparing for fumigation.


Ask the fumigator or his company for a written description of the chemicals that are used in their fumigation process and do your own research on what’s involved. If the company won’t provide the list, find another company that will


The most important factors in guarding against potential health hazards related to exposure of fumigation chemicals and gases. Here are some precautions for those planning to fumigate their homes:

  • Remove all people from the area to be fumigated
  • Remove all potted or hanging plants
  • Remove all pets from the house and even from the areas close enough to the fumigated area that chemical fumes could be present
  • All foods, including candy and chewing gum, foods in refrigerators and freezers must be removed, or sealed with tape in Nylofume bagsThe Dangers of Fumigation and How To Avoid Them
  • Remove, or seal in plastic bags, any food and medications that might be exposed to fumigation gases. Even your pet food
  • Remove vehicles from garages that may be attached to a house that is to be fumigated
  • Remove mattresses inside plastic covers, including baby mattresses.
  • Remove, or seal in plastic bags, any food and medications that might be exposed to fumigation gases.
  • All medicine not sealed in glass or metal containers must be removed
  • Dry dirt 12″ or more from the house foundation should be watered.
  • Turn off air conditioning units
  • Open drawers, cupboards, and closet doors prior to fumigation
  • Remove all jewelry, furs, swim suits
  • Remove or bag open soda bottles
  • Remove or bag alcoholic beverages with seals broken
  • Safes, vaults, lockers, cabinets must be unlocked and opened

It will not be necessary to wash dishes or bedding exposed to fumigation gases. Nor will it be necessary to remove makeup, soaps, detergents, etc. These items, even when used after exposure to fumigation gasses, are not likely to cause you harm.

 Re-Use of The Fumigated Area

When the fumigation period has passed, usually 15 to 30 hours, you should air out your house. This means all windows and doors should be opened. Fans should be used to exhaust chemical fumes that remain after initial fumigation. You may want to add a few more open-window days to the company’s safety timeline before moving your family back home. You should also take steps to ensure that a qualified person measures the levels of chemical fumes that may remain inside the house.

Fumigation Chemical Exposure Symptoms

Watch for symptoms of over-exposure to fumigation gases during and after fumigation, such as nausea, headaches, coughing, breathing difficulties, double vision, dizziness, and fatigue. People who have been exposed to these gases and who experience any of these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

If you intend to fumigate your home soon, take all the precautions mentioned above to protect your family, pets, and plants that might otherwise be harmed from fumigation gases.

Have you had issues with fumigation? Do you have other precautionary measures against fumigation hazards? Kindly share with us in the comment boxes below.

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