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(Liquid perimeter treatment on a 2,500 sq.ft. home)
(Barrier treatment on the foundation of a new garage)
(heat treatment of a 2,500 sq.ft. home with barrier protection outside the walls)
Cost to hire a termite exterminator varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from animal/pest control specialists in your city.
The simplest definition of a termite describes it as an insect that lives in large social groups and eats wood. In some parts of the world their presence is important to recycle wood and plant matter. However, when it comes to our homes, we do not want these wood-eating bugs to enter as they can eat the structure of our property compromising the stability of the house. In addition, termites will eventually target anything constructed of wood inside the home such as furnishings.
There are many ways to treat termites, and each has its own costs, depending on the size of the infestation, where they are located, and the method used. Perimeter treatments are the most common, but heat, fumigation, baiting, and barriers may also be used. This can lead to a wide range of costs.
The average cost to treat a home for termites is $300 to $1,200, with most people paying around $520 for a liquid perimeter treatment on a 2,500 sq.ft. home. The low cost for this project would be $240 for treating the foundation of a new garage with a barrier. The high cost would be $6,500 for heat treatment of a 2,500 sq.ft. home with barrier protection added to the outside walls.
|Termite Treatment Costs|
|National average cost||$520|
Several ways may be used to treat a home for termites. If they are contained in the exterior walls, then a perimeter application makes the most sense and is the cheapest method of treating a home. This method is calculated in linear feet and measures your home’s footprint to get costs. Several different methods may be used on the perimeter, including liquid repellants, baits that contain poison, as well as liquid and physical barriers that they cannot cross. These methods have a combined cost range of $3 to $16 a linear foot. Below are some of the common linear footages that you may treat, along with their average treatment costs.
|Perimeter Size||Average Cost to Treat|
|100 Linear Feet||$300 - $1,600|
|150 Linear Feet||$450 - $2,400|
|200 Linear Feet||$600 - $3,200|
|250 Linear Feet||$750 - $4,000|
|300 Linear Feet||$900 - $4,800|
|400 Linear Feet||$1,200 - $6,400|
If the infestation in your home is severe, and you have drywood termites on your interior, you may need to have a whole house treatment of either heat or fumigation rather than a perimeter treatment. If this is the case, your treatment will be priced by the square foot, with $1 to $3 a sq.ft. being a common cost. Below are the average costs for whole house treatment, based on the size of a home.
|1,000 sq.ft.||$1,000 - $3,000|
|1,500 sq.ft.||$1,500 - $4,500|
|1,800 sq.ft.||$1,800 - $5,400|
|2,000 sq.ft.||$2,000 - $6,000|
|3,000 sq.ft.||$3,000 - $9,000|
Termite control is also priced according to the type of treatment. Some treatments take place on the exterior of the home and are priced by the linear foot. These are usually done to take care of subterranean termites. Those that infest the interior of the home are known as drywood. They need different methods to exterminate them. These methods are generally priced by the sq.ft.
In rare instances, you may have a small area that is infested. If this is the case, you can have a micro-treatment done. This is more costly per foot but is generally effective at dealing with small issues. The type of treatment you receive impacts your total costs. Not every type will be right for every circumstance. Your exterminator may recommend one over another for any given job.
The costs shown below are for each treatment based on either linear or square footage, depending on how that treatment is administered and priced.
|Treatment Type||Average Cost|
|Fumigation/Tenting||$1 - $3/sq.ft.|
|Heat||$1 - $3/sq.ft.|
|Micro Treatment||$6 - $8/sq.ft.|
|Liquid Treatment||$3 - $10/linear foot|
|Baiting||$8 - $12/linear foot|
|Barrier Control||$10 - $16/linear foot|
Tenting is also called fumigation. Fumigation costs $1 to $3 a sq.ft. This method is used for drywood, which are interior termites, and treats the entire home at once. Your home is essentially placed inside a large, plastic tent. Chemicals are then released inside the tent, which kills the termites inside. This method requires that you vacate your home for several days. Once treatment is complete and the tent is removed, the home cannot be entered for about four days while the chemicals disperse.
Heat treatments cost between $1 and $3 a sq.ft. This method also targets the drywood type and treats your whole home at one time. During this process, the home is placed in a tent similar to fumigation methods, but no chemicals are used. The entire house is heated so that the core of all wood products reaches 120 degrees; it is then held at that temperature for 33 minutes. The treatment is effective and less toxic to the environment. People and pets will typically only have to vacate the home for a few hours rather than days. Drawbacks may come in heat damage to heat sensitive products you may have in your home.
The cost of micro treatment is typically $6 to $8 a sq.ft. Micro treatment is actually a group of different methods. They are done to help control termites in a small area. If you have a small building or a section of a home that is impacted, but they have not yet spread, you can use micro treatments in that one area. Treatments may include heat, microwave guns, or spot treatments with liquid termiticide. The exact method can vary based on the exact location in the area and the type of termites.
The cost of liquid termite treatments are $3 to $10 a linear foot. These are methods used to deal with the subterranean variety and are applied to the perimeter of your home. There are a few different liquid treatments. Some are termiticides, meaning that they kill those who come in contact with it. Some types are repellants, meaning that the termites will not cross the barrier. This is the most common and effective method, as they must move between your home and the soil to be healthy. If they cannot cross the barrier, they will eventually die off even if they never eat poison.
Termite baiting cost or termite soil treatment costs are $8 to $12 per linear foot, depending on the number and type of bait. The bait is paper, cardboard, and other wood related “food” that has been treated with a slow acting lethal substance. It is put in a tubular container and buried underground away from the structure. They migrate to the bait, eat it and bring it back to the nest and gradually the colony dies off. Depending on the situation, some pest control companies will use a combination of both liquid and bait applications. Sentricon is the most common method of non-liquid baiting. It does not require drilling or trenching, and the bait areas are very discreet. This is more commonly used for subterranean termites.
The cost of barrier treatments for termite control is $10 to $16 a linear foot. Barrier treatments are a method of keeping termites out of your home and may be used on new construction or after other methods have been used to remove or kill them. Barriers are used on the perimeter of the home and may be made of many substances. Some are made of sand, while others may use treated wood in the construction of the home or area. Barriers can also be useful for homes with minor subterranean termite infestations. The termites inside cannot cross the barrier to leave and will die off without soil. These methods are often used in areas that see a lot of activity because once the barrier is up, future treatments are generally not needed.
Termite control comes in various options depending on the company you choose and what type of coverage you are looking to purchase. Keep in mind that once your treatment is complete, liquid treatments are supposed to last five years before they need to be reapplied. Many treatments may only need to be applied or conducted once. Major infestations may require monthly visits or annual rechecks to make sure the insects have not returned. Some companies may offer monthly, quarterly, and annual rechecks, particularly if you use bait-style treatments. Depending on the company and treatment plan you use, you may have more ongoing costs. Not every company offers every plan. Some may offer a once yearly recheck, while some may offer monthly or quarterly visits to inspect and replace bait. Many costs depend on how often the company returns and what they do on that visit. These may range from $175 to $1,500 annually for everything from a basic inspection plan up to a termite bond.
|Frequency||Cost per Year|
|Monthly||$300 - $540|
|Quarterly||$400 - $1,200|
|Yearly||$175 - $1,500|
|One-Time||$900 - $1,200|
The cost runs from $300 to $540 a year for monthly treatment. Bait systems are typically the type of treatment that is paid monthly. The bait is buried in the ground, and the expert returns monthly to check. The initial cost for the bait system at a rate of $40 to $50 for each unit or by the linear foot at $8 to $12 may be charged. Monthly treatment may be recommended once termites are eradicated to maintain a pest-free home if bait methods were used. Many monthly visits may only take a few minutes to inspect and replace bait. So, your monthly costs will typically be fairly low, but you get the peace of mind of having ongoing monitoring of your property. This method can help catch new infestations before they get out of hand, so they are more costly than a one time yearly inspection.
Some companies allow a quarterly treatment and payment plan at a rate of $400 to $1,200 yearly. The plan includes quarterly checks of bait systems, or in the case of liquid treatments, a thorough inspection to locate any infestation that should be treated. Quarterly treatments are recommended when a home is termite-free to ensure that there are no further issues. Quarterly plans are usually for homes that need more intensive inspections more regularly than the annual visit. Depending on what type of system you use, they may involve both interior and exterior inspections and replacement of bait or spot treatment as needed.
An annual contract costs $175 to $1,500, depending on the type of plan. Most pest control companies will want to get you onto an annual treatment plan. After the initial treatment, the pest professional can check your home again and make further suggestions or take action to treat again. Spot checks and treatments will be considered in an annual plan. This type of plan is mostly recommended in areas that see a lot of termite activity. Otherwise, you may want the peace of mind that comes with having regular checks. This plan starts after the initial treatment. So, you may have higher upfront costs before this plan kicks in. Low costs for this type of treatment plan are for yearly, thorough inspections of the entire property, while higher costs may be full, regular treatments such as updating baits and barriers, as well as full inspections. Each company may offer different things at an annual visit, which can impact the cost.
A one-time treatment is sometimes all that is required. The cost is usually around $900 to $1,200. The homeowner should be aware that they may return over time and that a regular application plan, or at the very least, an annual inspection, is the best choice. An annual inspection ensures that the presence of termites is caught before too much damage occurs. A regular application or bait plan prevents them altogether.
The average cost for termite treatments varies according to the level of infestation. This is because a small infestation will be treated differently than a large infestation. Mud tunnels or sighting one of these winged creatures is a sign of an infestation. Swarming may indicate a more intensive number of termites. Regardless of how many, it is always essential to get treatment immediately to avoid damage to your home. Professionals recommend an annual re-check and treatment once the pests have enjoyed the taste of your home.
|Size of Infestation||Cost|
|Small||$250 - $1,200|
|Medium||$400 - $1,500|
|Large||$1,200 - $4,500|
|Severe||$1,200 - $6,500|
A small infestation will cost you around $250 to $1,200. If caught early, the infestation starts small but, if left untreated, grows quickly. A micro-spray application can most likely be used to get in hard-to-reach areas where a smaller colony may appear. The cost of the treatment will be determined by the location and what type of treatment may be used. Sprays, microwaves, and heat can all be used for small infestations. Sometimes, adding barriers or bait prevents this small infestation from returning.
Slightly larger termite problems usually require a bait treatment which is more expensive at around $400 to $1,500. This pricing may include baiting or perimeter liquids. You may also require some interior micro treatments, depending on the type that is spotted. The size of the infested area and the type of treatment used impact the total cost. It is not uncommon for two or three methods to be used together to ensure total control of the issue.
Finding a large infestation is scary and expensive at $1,200 to $4,500 because tenting, significant perimeter work, or a combination of the two may be required. Tenting allows the entire house to be treated at once, which works best in a larger infestation. The homeowner should expect to vacate the house for several days as the tent will encompass the entire house, and chemicals will be released to kill the termites. Once this is done, a liquid or barrier treatment may be applied to the perimeter to help prevent the insects from returning.
A severe infestation means they are everywhere in your house and can cost as much as $1,200 to $6,500. The same type of treatment may be used as with a large infestation and only changes based on square footage. With a severe infestation, you generally have additional work that may need to be done to repair the damage done by the insects. In addition, you will want to treat the wood of the home or add some type of barrier to prevent their return in the future. This can lead to much higher costs overall.
Although there are over 2,000 varieties of termites throughout the world, only five types are frequently found in the U.S. Most of them need moisture and make a path to wherever the food is which frequently is the wood structure of your house and your wood furniture. Those that live underground will actually build mud tunnels up your foundation and into the wood structure. Others can live with little moisture and can be found in your attic or other dry wood places in your home. Knowing the different types may help you identify the type you have if you suspect an infestation. The average treatment cost based on the type of termite is $75 to $6,500, depending on the size of the infestation.
|Dampwood||$75 - $500|
|Subterranean||$250 - $1,500|
|Drywood||$1,000 - $6,500|
For Dampwood termite treatment, expect to pay $75 to $500. Larger creatures than other types, Dampwood specimens are true to their name and like damp wood. This means they only infest moist areas so are not as often seen in the walls or attic of homes. However, it isn’t an impossibility, so keeping outdoor spaces free of standing water and moisture is vital to keep these pests away from your home. The Dampwood type has a translucent orange-brown body with a darker head with horn-shaped mandibles on the front.
The average cost for subterranean termite treatment starts at around $250 to $1,500 on average for this type of treatment. Costs vary depending on how large the colony is and how large the property or area is that’s being treated. Subterranean specimens are usually treated using baits, with Sentricon being the most common. These can be found in every state except Alaska. They are one of the most destructive in the nation and are the creators of mud tunnels for protection. Formosan termites are a type of subterranean termite. This is the most aggressive, fastest-producing variety. Underground and aboveground colonies are huge and cause damage quickly, consuming up to 13 ounces of wood in a day. The Formosan termite is mainly found in the warm Southern states but has also been sighted in Hawaii, California, Arizona, and Texas. These pests are identified by a teardrop-shaped, orange-brown head.
Drywood termite control runs about $1,000 to $6,500. Even though they enjoy moist areas, the drywood type doesn’t require as much as other types and is not found in the soil. The pests are drawn to rotten, dead wood in wall supports and attic areas. They are distinct in that they have large cream-colored narrow wings that extend beyond the length of the body with an orange-brown body and head. These are seen mainly in Southern areas from North Carolina to the Gulf Coast and parts of California. One of the most common drywood termites is the Conehead termite. This variety is mainly seen in the southern part of Florida. It is an aggressive specimen that starts by living hidden and later builds nests in shrubs, trees, or buildings. They enjoy eating roots, trees, shrubs, lumber, paper, fence posts, and rails. Identifying the Conehead is easy as it has a unique round or oval-shaped brown ball for a head. They build wider tunnels than other termites.
Termites are sneaky creatures and are often called the silent killer. This is because they chew and eat the wood in your home and are not readily seen in many cases. There are some telltale signs of their presence and ways you can fend them off in various parts of your home. The cost to treat by location differs according to the difficulty of access, type of application required, and the extent of the infestation. Although it may seem natural to only treat in the space with an infestation, it is always wise to treat the whole house to be sure there are no other colonies present.
Keep in mind that the most common method of dealing with termites is a perimeter application, which treats the exterior of your home. Spot treating interior sections may be cheaper by the room but are often not as effective. This may mean that you ultimately need to spend more to treat the entire home at once. Below are the costs of treating various areas by themselves, as opposed to treating more generally.
|Lawn||$75 - $150|
|Shed||$75 - $150|
|Yard||$75 - $150|
|Pantry||$150 - $200|
|Garage||$150 - $500|
|Window Frame||$150 - $500|
|Carpet||$150 - $1,500|
|Bedroom||$200 - $300|
|Ceiling||$200 - $500|
|Kitchen||$300 - $600|
|Attic||$300 - $900|
|Floorboards||$500 - $700|
Finding termites in the lawn runs about $75 to $150 to get rid of them. Although they aren’t really interested in eating your lawn, their presence is dangerous to your home. The insects may use tiny bits of grass to build a nest and eventually make their way into your home in a quest for food. If you see them in your lawn, you should have your home inspected, and a preventative lawn treatment applied.
Termite extermination in the shed ranges from $75 to $150. Termites in the shed are typically only in wood sheds as this is their favorite product. However, do not take it for granted that termites in your shed aren’t a problem. They could be in your home as well. The pests may also be after the wood foundation, trees or shrubs, or nearby firewood. A complete home inspection and treatment is advisable if you see them in the shed.
To rid your yard of termites, you will pay $75 to $150. Yard treatment is usually done when the pests are spotted in the yard or garden. Although it is natural for these bugs to live in soil and eat plant material, it is a warning sign for the homeowner. Once the termites become bored with the current food selection, they head for your home and feast on whatever wood products they can find.
Getting rid of termites in the pantry runs from $150 to $200. As the pantry is usually in the kitchen, you may see them in the pantry. Don’t worry. They aren’t after your food. They are after the wood areas. Their presence is still alarming because replacing wood is more expensive than buying new food! Check for leaking pipes in or near the pantry that may have attracted the pests. Call a professional to rid the area of the pests.
You will pay $150 to $500 to rid your garage of termites. They can be found in the garage floor, the walls, the ceiling, and the wood supports. Even if the garage is an independent structure from your home, these bugs will find their way into your home at some point. They can wreak havoc on your garage if left untreated. They enjoy eating the wood parts of your garage and often find lumber located in the garage. Again, the best course of action is to call a professional to inspect and treat your garage and home.
Removing termites from the window frame will cost $150 to $500. Window frames that have termites in them are most likely made of wood. If you find some in your window frame, it is an indicator that you have an infestation. This is quite common as window frames are easily accessible and are a good entryway into the house. The window frame warps and is difficult to open or close. The homeowner needs to contact an expert to inspect the entire home and treat them.
Removing termites from carpet could cost $150 to $1,500. If you find these bugs under the carpet, it is concerning as this means they are in the foundation of your home. This isn’t as big of a problem if your foundation is concrete, concrete block, or brick. However, if it is wood, you have a situation. Regardless, treatment is vital as they may be in the wood supports, siding, or other areas of the home if you find them in the carpet. Immediately lining up an expert to come in and inspect is the best plan of action.
Getting rid of termites in the bedroom runs from $200 to $300. Termites in the bedroom are also a danger sign of further infestation. The pests enjoy feasting on the wood supports, paper, or areas where leaky pipes may be located. Whether they are swarming or found in the walls, baseboards, or ceiling, the creatures have made a home in your house. A phone call to your local exterminator is warranted if you see them in the bedroom.
The removal cost for termites on the ceiling is $200 to $500. Pencil-shaped tunnels on the ceiling are a sure sign of their presence. This is a nest on the ceiling and means they have set up house in your home. Additionally, if you see them falling from the ceiling, call a professional exterminator right away. These are most likely drywood termites and will cause damage to your place.
To remove termites from a kitchen, the cost runs from $300 to $600. The cost to treat them in the kitchen can be higher as they enjoy moisture often present in this location. To prevent infestations, fix leaky faucets immediately and clean up leaks under the refrigerator or other areas. A sunny kitchen is not a pleasant place for these bugs, so let in the sunshine! They eat cellulite readily available in real wood but engineered woods are not appealing to these creatures. If you see termites in the kitchen cabinets, call an exterminator right away, as this is a favorite among the creatures. If you see them in the kitchen sink, you should check under the cabinet for leaks.
The cost of removing termites from attics varies from $300 to $900. Attics are a favored place for them as they can feed undisturbed for a long time. Wood rafters and supports are a magnet for these pests and should be inspected and treated regularly to avoid damage and destruction. Keeping the crawl space free of moisture deters them from your attic.
Removing termites from floorboards is expensive at $500 to $700. Natural wood floorboards should be treated with chemicals to discourage termites. However, in older homes, the flooring may not have been treated. If the floor was built by hand from lumber, it might not be treated. As they love natural wood, they will be attracted to this type of flooring. Homes with untreated natural wood should be regularly inspected and treated with a preventative treatment.
The average cost of termite control, depending on the company, is $500 to $1,500. There are a wide variety of companies that offer this type of treatment and control. Each one has special nuances, so it is a good idea to research before deciding. Questions to ask include cost, warranty, customer service, repeat visits, and more.
|Pest Control Company||Cost|
|Orkin||$500 - $650|
|Terminix||$500 - $700|
|Ehrlich||$700 - $1,500|
|Western||$1,000 - $1,200|
Orkin termite control cost from $500 to $650. The company has over 70 years of experience with termite control and over 100 years of other types of pest control. Orkin offers the following treatment methods: Termidor liquid treatments, Sentricon bait and monitoring, dry foam, and Orkinfoam. They use a six-point system including investigation, protection, sealing, monitoring, reporting to the homeowner, and follow-up. Orkin offers free retreatment if they return. They also promise to refund your money if you aren’t satisfied and contact them within 30 days of treatment.
The cost for Terminix termite control ranges from $500 to $700 annually. Terminix has over 90 years of experience and offers over 47 locations throughout the United States. Their treatment plan consists of a three-step method. First, an inspection is done to locate any termites. Next, the appropriate application is determined. Finally, an annual follow-up is done to ensure the home remains clear of these bugs for the rest of the year. If any termites are present, the treatment is free and is included in your warranty.
Ehrlich termite control programs cost $700 to $1,500 annually. Their program includes a free inspection. The company has been around for over 90 years and offers 45 locations throughout the nation. Ehrlich offers four different types of treatment: baiting stations, liquid, fumigation, and spot treatments. Offering one of the best warranties in the industry, Ehrlich’s Termite Home Protection Plan provides for damage repair and replacement if they return after they treat your home.
Western Exterminator is a subsidiary of Rentokil and charges around $1,000 to $1,200 yearly. The company only offers service in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and Arizona. The process is started with a thorough free inspection, and then a customized plan is created for your home for prevention and infestation. Western provides several different methods, including fumigation, baiting and monitoring, and chemical barriers. The company also offers a home timber replacement warranty if they are found after treatment and cause damage to your home.
It is important to find a reputable pest control company that you can trust. Some professionals offer a free inspection, while others charge for it. Typically, the cost of termite inspection and treatment starts at $120 to $2,500, depending on the size of the house and yard. A reputable company with licensing and references will be your best choice.
The chemicals used for treatment cost on average $3 to $16 per linear foot. So, for an entire house with 148 linear feet the treatment would cost around $1,100 on average, including labor. But it also depends on the size of your yard and the severity of the infestation. The cost of an annual maintenance plan ranges between $175 and $400.
The cost of termite pretreatment for new construction varies according to what is being done. If the soil is treated before building, it runs as low as $200. If installing a bait system or treating before drywall is installed, it could cost as much as $2,500. For the pretreatment of the foundation, the horizontal barrier of this base is treated with a termiticide before the slab is poured. Any exposed wood would be treated along with a trenched area around the outside of the foundation. Proactive builders want to prevent the risk of future lawsuits concerning termites that may be present before construction starts. Using a pretreatment program eliminates the concern and keeps customers satisfied.
If you get termites once, you may get them again. Some companies, therefore, offer a protection plan that includes a yearly inspection and repeated treatments as necessary to help prevent them from making themselves comfortable in your home. Yearly protection cost programs have an average cost around $400 to 1,000, which can be a savings if you have a significant issue. This is different from a pretreatment plan as those are paid and carried out by the home’s original builder. A protection plan is purchased by the homeowner and must be renewed annually. Annual renewal can be as little as $100 to $125 but must be accompanied by a preventative treatment.
If you are unsure if you have termites or what type you may have, have an inspection or testing done. The average cost of this type of inspection for a one-time visit is $150 to $350. If you choose to have the treatment done after this, some companies roll the fee into the final costs. If you have regular termite service, an annual inspection cost is generally paid through a plan with the company and most likely won’t incur an extra charge. The inspectors usually look for wood damage, mud in construction joints, mud tubes, or even evidence of swarmers, they also check for any kind of structural damage to determine how much damage is present.
An emergency extermination visit could cost you as much as $100 to $200 extra. If it is the weekend, at night, on a holiday, or the infestation is extreme, no one wants to have to worry about termites and what damage they are doing while you sleep. Additionally, the longer you wait, the more damage they can do. Many companies are willing to make emergency visits but will charge extra. The professional will do a thorough inspection and present the best plan of action. Depending on the circumstances, treatment may be done immediately, or if possible, it may be scheduled later.
Treating the termites is just the first step. Killing or eliminating them does not repair the damage that has been done. You may, therefore, have additional costs after treatment to repair the damage to the house. The average cost for most homeowners for repairs after taking care of the infestation is around $3,000 but can be as high as $8,000 or more in extreme situations. The cost for termite damage to wood and other surfaces averages $4 to $7 per linear foot, with some areas such as crawl spaces costing as much as $100 per sq.ft. for repairs.
Drywall is the material commonly used for walls and ceilings in homes. The product is made with sheets of plaster and thick panels of paper. The cellulose in the sheetrock is attractive to them, too, so termite damage to drywall is a typical occurrence. The pests feed on the paper portion of the wall, so wall damage is very common.
As the insects love wood, damage to hardwood floors is also a frequent problem. Additionally, other areas with wood framing draw the pests to invade the home. Termite damage to a window frame or door frame isn’t unusual. Homeowners should call an expert immediately if they notice any wood shavings, droppings, wood blistering, or mud tubes in these areas.
Early signs of termites, if heeded, allow you to get them exterminated before damage occurs. Because of the urgency of knowing early on, homeowners should search for indications that these bugs are present in or around the house. The first thing you should look for are tunnels, eaten or hollowed wood or the bugs themselves, among other things.
If you have an infestation then the whole house needs to be treated because they work in colonies that quickly spread out and attack a variety of areas in your house. After a full house treatment, spot treatments can be done as follow-up in particular termite strongholds. In addition, pest control companies may not warranty their work if they do not treat the whole house. If you find any of these signs, it may indicate that you have an infestation in your home:
It may surprise you to know that termites are from the same family as roaches, Blattodea. They are often confused with ants but are the silent destroyers of thousands of wood surfaces. These winged creatures are over 130 million years old and can be found in nearly every area of the United States. Their types include the workers, soldiers, and reproductive males and females. They vary in size from 5mm to 26 mm, depending on the type. Most of them live only 10 to 24 months, except for the reproductive termites who live one to four years and the Queen who can live up to 25 years!
They are moisture lovers, except for drywood termites. They send out the swarmers as the weather warms in search of new places to find food. Once established, the reproductive kind mate and produce eggs. The eggs hatch into larvae. After up to three molts, they reach full maturity. At this point, they either become a worker, soldier, or a reproductive termite.
Termites nest where they eat. Some soil-based species build nests in the soil, while those living inside homes build nests there. They choose their nesting location based on where the food is located. Some nest in trees or shrubs and build tunnels to reach more food inside the home. Termites in your home usually build in hidden areas such as hardwood floors, furniture, and between joists and studs.
Most termites have a translucent body that is either white or orange-brown. They are generally about a ¼ to ½ inch long and have soft bodies. They feature straight or horned antennae that protrude from their heads. Worker termites are a light color, while swarmers tend to be darker, larger, and have wings. The dampwood species can be found in damp spaces such as a bathroom or basement, while drywood termites like dry wood in homes or apartments. Subterranean termites tend to be smaller than their counterparts, the drywood and dampwood types.
Termites do not bite, and they do not carry diseases. However, people with allergies or asthma may suffer from attacks in their presence. Irritants such as the dust or particles from their nests can get drawn into the HVAC system and cause an allergic or asthmatic reaction. Termites are unlikely to bite a pet. If they do, it isn’t terribly painful. Dogs or cats may eat them and not be affected in any way. Some pests are poisonous if eaten by a pet, but termites are not.
Termites are always looking for food. They are attracted to all kinds of wood, from wood beams, paper, fencing, wood siding, firewood, or even rotted lumber, among others. Foundation gaps should be sealed with caulk, as this is a great way for them to enter your home. Leaks under sinks, foundation, or shower floor, in walls or basements, and almost anywhere attract these wood-destroying organisms. Cracks in the foundation or siding can also allow for rainwater to seep in and invite these bugs to feast on your home. Using downspouts and gutters to direct rainwater away from the house and keeping shrubs and trees trimmed away from the home discourage them from entering the home.
Some concern exists about the safety of certain products used to kill termites. While the chemicals used could kill a pet, they would only do so in larger doses. The treatments typically used in homes are very small increments meant to kill the pests but nothing else. Most companies ask that you keep pets and people away from areas that have been treated until they are dry. Fish tanks should be covered to prevent the chemicals from floating into the water. Bait systems are buried in the ground, so unless a dog is allowed to dig and dig, he won’t find them. The only real concern for pets and people is gas or chemical fumigation. In this case, everyone has to leave the house.
The only type of treatment that is safe for animals is a heat treatment as it doesn’t contain chemicals. It isn’t something that the pet could be present for as the temperature is too high, but it allows for immediate occupancy of the home after treatment.
In some cases, you may be able to prevent them from entering your home by applying a liquid termiticide to your home’s foundation. Termite prevention treatment costs run $3 to $16 per linear foot in most cases or about $750 to $4,000 for most homes. In other cases, you can have it added to new construction and updated yearly at a much lower cost of approximately $200. This can help keep a colony from taking hold and prevent a lot of damage and repair costs.
Termite prevention by the homeowner is valuable as well. Store firewood away from your home and never directly on the soil. Repair all leaks immediately and do not allow standing water underneath sinks the refrigerator, garage, or other areas. Install gutters and downspouts and grade your property to avoid standing water near the foundation. Keep crawl space free of humidity. Do not plant large trees or shrubs too close to your home and keep branches cut back.
The average cost of a termite bond runs from $500 to $2,000. This is generally used to ensure a new home buyer that the property has been treated and inspected for termites. This is more expensive than a contract as it is a more in-depth treatment and guarantees that they will not return for one year. If termites do show up, the bond protects the homeowner as retreatment is free, and in some cases, the damage is covered.
As dry or wet wood is their main staple of food, it is important to know how much it costs to treat wood. Dry wood costs around $400 to $2,000 to make a hole in the wood and inject termiticide. For damp wood, it is debatable as to whether the wood will be salvageable as once it is wet. It is hard to restore even without the termites. However, a small area could be covered by a micro-injection at $500 to $1,000.
A termite monitoring station is a small specialized container that penetrates the ground. To monitor, you place untreated wood in the container. Inspect the monitoring stations monthly to look for the presence of termites. If they are present, you will then trade out the untreated wood for wood treated with a slow-acting growth inhibitor such as noviflumuron. The monitoring stations cost about $40 each. In addition, you need to buy the bait which costs on average $135 for a box of 6.
When you weigh out the costs of damage repair of often $3,000 or more, termite protection is worth every penny. Entire homes have been destroyed by these pests, and homeowners insurance does not cover it.
A contract costs $175 to $1,500 annually. This includes inspection, treatment, and monitoring for further infestation.
Yes, you should always hire a professional to deal with them because the methods used may not be safe for DIY.
Not necessarily. This depends on the colony size, the type, and where they are located, but most exterminators can eradicate the problem.
Heat treatments may be the fastest guaranteed way to treat the problem. It takes about 8 hours. A tent is used, but instead of gas or chemicals, hot air is used to kill the insects. The occupants can return to the home without the three to five day wait with other tenting alternatives.
This depends on the type of treatment. It may take a few hours or several days, depending on the method used.
This depends on the type of treatment, but most maintenance plans treat yearly. Once they have infested your home, it is likely others may show up. Additionally, a termite plan is always a wise choice to protect your biggest investment.
No, not normally. It is thought that termites can be prevented with good maintenance.
There are some treatments marketed toward DIY for ridding your home of termites, but this is not generally recommended. The amount of chemicals needed is often not safe for people to apply on their own without the knowledge and safety techniques of professionals. In addition, you may not realize the extent of the problem or the proper method for dealing with the type of termites you have. Treating what you believe to be the problem, and not realizing that the colony may be larger than you first thought, may simply mean that you are delaying the inevitable and acquiring more damage at the same time.
(Liquid perimeter treatment on a 2,500 sq.ft. home)
(Barrier treatment on the foundation of a new garage)
(heat treatment of a 2,500 sq.ft. home with barrier protection outside the walls)
Cost to hire a termite exterminator varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from animal/pest control specialists in your city.