photo credit: RBerteig

A home covered by a big fumigation tent is a tempting target to burglars willing to risk breathing toxic air for the chance to rob the property of its valuables.

Tented homes are easy, unsecured targets. Homeowners would never think of leaving for several days with windows wide open, but that’s what happens when a home is fumigated. Windows must be open so the insecticide pumped into the home can disperse. Tenting companies often ask homeowners to turn off security systems during the three days of tenting so workers can come in and out. Burglars know the fumigation routine. For them, it’s just a matter of cutting an opening in the tent, putting on a respiratory mask (or not) and entering through an unlocked window.


Most fumigation contracts state that it is up to the homeowners, not the extermination company, to ensure that the property is secure. Instead of parking yourself in your home’s driveway and monitoring who is coming and going for three days, here are alternative security measures.

–ask neighbors to be on the lookout for suspicious activity

–consider hiring a security guard company to patrol the property during fumigation

–alert the police and ask for extra patrols in the neighborhood

–remove valuables—take them with you or put them in a safety deposit box

–add security cameras inside the home so you can remotely monitor who is coming and going