Understanding Spraying vs Fumigation

Understanding Spraying vs Fumigation in Vancouver – Why Spraying is the Better Option

Pest problems can disrupt life at home and work. Vancouver homeowners and business owners often struggle with invasions from insects, rodents, and wildlife. When pests infest your property, you need an effective solution to eliminate them. But treatment methods vary, and choosing the right approach is key. Spraying and fumigation represent two common pest control techniques for residential and commercial buildings in the Vancouver area. But what’s the difference, and is one better than the other? Here’s what Vancouverites need to know about available pest control services to rid their houses, apartments, offices and other spaces of common pest infestations.

Key Differences Between Pest Control Spraying and Fumigation

The primary differences between spraying and fumigation are the types of chemicals used, the method of application, and the types of pests they are intended for. Before deciding on treatment methods, read below to understand what each technique entails.

Pest Control Spraying 

Pest control spraying, also called general pest control spraying, involves applying targeted chemical pesticides in an interior space or along a building’s perimeter to kill and prevent common household pests. Expert pest control technicians use special equipment to spray pesticides on known or suspected pest harborage sites, nesting areas, and entry points inside a home or building. The types of pests controlled via interior spraying include:

  • Cockroaches
  • Ants
  • Spiders
  • Stink bugs
  • Carpet beetles
  • Pantry pests like moths and weevils.

Technicians may also spray insecticides and repellents outside a home or building’s foundation and landscaping to create a protective barrier against additional invaders. This can deter pests like:

  • Carpenter ants
  • Clover mites
  • Centipedes and millipedes
  • Occasional invaders like mice, bats, raccoons, or opossums

Depending on the infestation, follow-up spraying is usually required after a few weeks or months to kill newly hatched generations. Annual or bi-annual preventative spraying may also be recommended, especially in older buildings.


Fumigation is a type of whole-structure treatment that involves “tenting” a home or building then filling it with poisonous gases called fumigants to suffocate and kill pests. It aims to eliminate all living pests inside, including difficult infestations of:

  • Termites
  • Bed bugs
  • Cockroaches
  • Rodents
  • Stored food moth pests.

The most common fumigant used is sulfuryl fluoride, which turns into sulfur dioxide and hydrogen fluoride as it breaks down. Prior to fumigation, residents must completely vacate the building after extensive preparation, removing or protecting food, medications, and sensitive items. The structure is then sealed before injecting fumigant under tarps or tents. The gases permeate through walls, furniture, wood structures, and belongings left behind. No one can safely re-enter for 1 to 5 days depending on the building size. After aeration, a pest control team checks to confirm successful eradication before residents return. Further cleaning and airing out is required post-fumigation.

Why Pest Control Spraying is Usually Better Than Fumigation

When considering how to address household and business pest problems in Vancouver, spraying is better than fumigation in most cases for a few key reasons:

1. Spraying is More Targeted and Effective

General pest control spraying allows for a customized, targeted approach depending on the type and extent of an infestation. Solutions can be tailored to the pest’s behaviours and areas of the home or building affected.

With fumigation, even if the pest issue affects a limited area, the entire building interior is subjected to heavy doses of chemicals. Attempting to penetrate walls with gases to kill all possible pests also makes it less efficient. Gases may fail to reach pests ensconced deep inside walls and wood framing.

2. Spraying is Cheaper, Less Disruptive, and Less Risky

Fumigating a residential home or commercial space requires intensive prep work to protect belongings and avoid health hazards. Residents and employees must fully vacate the building for days, find temporary accommodations for people and pets, discard perishable foods, and work through logistics to redirect mail and pause services. There is also a higher risk if the building did not get adequate sealing and ventilation before human re-entry. Lingering fumigant gases can be extremely dangerous.

These hassles, safety risks, and business operation disruptions make fumigation highly intrusive and costly. With spraying, residents can often remain in unaffected areas of their home during and after treatment since applications are limited to known infestation zones. It poses little to no health risk when basic precautions are taken.

3. Spraying is Safer for People, Pets, and the Environment

Modern pesticides used for interior spraying have low toxicity to humans and animals when label directions are followed. New “green” chemicals continue to replace more harsh formulas. Water-based sprays readily break down through exposure to light and air.

On the other hand, fumigants by nature are highly toxic gases designed to suffocate all living things. Any leaks or residues can endanger health. Their breakdown also releases compounds like fluoride known to persist in the environment. Due to lower risk and impact, spraying is the greener, more sustainable option suitable for environmentally conscious Vancouver homeowners.

When Fumigation May Be Needed

Despite its risks and disruption, fumigation may be the suitable pest control solution in specific situations:

Severe Infestations: When dealing with widespread, severe infestations of termites, cockroaches, or notoriously difficult pests like bed bugs, fumigation is sometimes the only way to fully eliminate the problem across an entire building.

Whole Building Treatments: If pests have spread widely across a large commercial property with multiple connected units, fumigating the entire structure may be needed.

Pest Prevention: Storage facilities, food processing plants, or restaurants may fumigate on an annual or semi-annual basis as preventative maintenance even without active infestations. However, while fumigation has its place for whole-building treatments, spraying works better for more common residential and commercial pest control needs.

Working With a Professional Pest Control Company

Vancouver homeowners and business owners should partner with a licensed pest control provider when faced with any level of pest infestation rather than attempting do-it-yourself treatments. Here’s why professional pest control is so important:

Proper Identification: Technicians are experts at detecting pests and properly identifying them down to species level. Different bugs require different solutions.

Informed Recommendations: They objectively evaluate the extent of an infestation then gauge whether spraying, fumigation, or other methods are needed to successfully eliminate it.

Customized Solutions: A good pest control company will discuss treatment options aligned with your budget, schedule limitations, and environmental preferences.

Proper Application: Reliable pest control teams have the equipment, certified technicians, and application methods that adhere to product specifications for effectiveness and safety.

Follow-up Support: They’ll monitor results and perform additional treatments if needed to ensure pests are fully eradicated.

FAQs About Pest Control Spraying and Fumigation

How long does spraying treatment last?

Depending on materials used and the level of infestation, spraying effectiveness can last 30 to 90 days indoors and up to a year for exterior treatments. But follow-up visits every 2 to 4 weeks are usually needed to break pest breeding cycles.

Will spraying harm my pets?

We recommend keeping pets out of direct spray zones during treatment. Once liquids have dried thoroughly, residues present very low risks to pets. Ask us at All Green Pest Control about sprays that are low-risk to pets and children.

Should spraying be used for bed bugs?

Yes, spraying is highly effective for bed bugs when combined with other mechanical tactics like steam, vacuuming, linens washing, and mattress encasements. Contact sprays, growth regulators, and dusting powders target bed bug harborages extremely well.

What pests does fumigation kill?

Fumigation kills all life stages of pests – adults, juveniles, eggs and larvae. It is effective against insects like bed bugs, cockroaches, ants, and termites as well as rodents like rats and mice if a full building is tented.

How much does pest fumigation cost in Vancouver?

Due to the labour and materials involved, fumigation typically costs $4-8 per square foot for homes and $3-6 per square foot for commercial properties in Vancouver. Depending on the size, whole structure fumigation can easily cost $3,000 and exceed $25,000 for large buildings.

How much does pest spraying cost in Vancouver?

Pest spraying in Vancouver can cost as little as $275 for a house under 1,500 square feet, depending on the type of pest and the infestation level. Ant removal, for example, may cost less than wasp extermination. Overall, compared to fumigation, spraying is extremely affordable.

Is spraying safe for pregnant women?

Our technicians at All Green Pest Control follow strict protocols regarding restricted products and ventilation to ensure minimal risk, but we do recommend pregnant women vacate during actual spraying. Once liquids have dried, there is very little exposure risk.

Why Choose All Green Pest Control 

All Green Pest Control Ltd is a family-owned pest control company serving Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, and surrounding metro area communities since 2014. We provide affordable pest control spraying and fumigation services to residential and commercial clients. Our pest prevention and elimination expertise includes:

  • General household pest control
  • Rodent removal and exclusion
  • Cockroach and ant treatments
  • Control of stored food pests
  • Bed bug elimination
  • Termite detection and fumigation

The All Green Pest Control team believes in using an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. Our technicians assess each unique situation to determine the best combination of mechanical, physical, and chemical controls suited to the client’s needs. Our IPM methods prioritize non-chemical options first whenever appropriate, using the latest environmentally-friendly products and application methods. Clients benefit from effective treatments safe for their family, pets, property and the planet.

Give us a call today at (604) 990-0100 to schedule your inspection and discuss customized solutions to rid your Vancouver home or business of destructive pests for good.

Looking for Professional Pest Control in Vancouver?

When faced with unwelcome pest infestations, Vancouver homeowners and businesses must weigh options between fumigation or spraying to eliminate the problem. In most cases, professional pest control spraying is the preferable approach for common household and workplace invaders. It poses lower risk, disruption and cost than fumigating an entire building.

Partner with a trusted local pest control provider like All Green Pest Control TD to inspect your property and create a tailored pest elimination plan. Call (604) 990-0100 to start ridding your Vancouver home or office of invasive bugs, rodents, or wildlife.

Contact Us for a FREE Quote