How much does it cost to get rid of termites in California?

National Average Range:
$420 - $2,000

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Updated: August 19, 2022

Reviewed by Irene Pomares remodeling expert. Written by

To provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date cost figures, we gather information from a variety of pricing databases, licensed contractors, and industry experts.

Termites are responsible for an incredible amount of damage to homes throughout the United States each year. They are a significant menace for homeowners throughout California. Termite infestations can cost thousands of dollars to remedy because a homeowner may not realize their home is infested until the damage is severe. Termites eat wood, which means that any home with wood framing is vulnerable to infestation. Termites will even feast on wood furniture.

Almost two dozen termite species live in California. However, it is just a select few that regularly attack homes. Treating a termite infestation generally ranges from $420 to $2,000 in California. The average cost of termite treatment in California is $650, which would equal a full liquid treatment around a 2,500 sq.ft. home. On the low end, you will pay approximately $330 for an inspection and barrier treatment around a garage. On the high end, you will pay around $7,600 for a full house tenting and barrier protection on a 2,500 sq.ft. home.

Cost of Termite Treatment in California

Average Cost of Termite Treatment in California
National average cost$650
Average range$420-$2,000
Low end$330
High end$7,600

Tent vs No Tent Termite Treatment in California Cost

If you have ever driven down a neighborhood street in California, you have probably seen a house with a large striped tent covering it. This is a tenting treatment for termites where the exterminator seals the house and floods the interior with heat or sulfuryl fluoride, an odorless gas that targets a termite’s nervous system. Tenting is one type of treatment. The other type does not require a tent and is a tentless spot or barrier treatment designed to target colonies that live under the ground.

The severity, type, and location of your termite infestation influence the style of treatment your exterminator recommends. Tenting is very common in California, but not every termite infestation requires it. Nationwide, tenting a house costs between $3 and $15 per linear foot. In California, the average cost increases to $3.36 to $18.40 per linear foot. If your exterminator recommends a tentless treatment, you will pay $1.30 to $4.35 per sq.ft. in California. The national average is slightly lower at $1 to $3.

Average cost of tent and tentless termite treatment in California and the US (mobile)

Treatment TypeCalifornia Average CostNational Average Cost
Tent$1.30 - $4.35/sq.ft.$1 - $3/sq.ft.
Tentless$3.36 - $18.40/linear foot$3 - $16/linear foot

Tent a House for Termites in California

The success rate for tenting is very high, and it almost always yields excellent results. Costs range from $1.30 to $4.35 per sq.ft. in California compared to $1 to $3 per sq.ft. nationwide. Fumigation requires the homeowner to leave the home during the treatment. However, it is a fast and effective option that does not require the homeowner to wait a year or several months for complete termite eradication. Another benefit of using gas or heat is that it gets to places around the house that spot treatment cannot reach. One of the bonus benefits of tenting is that the process also eliminates other infestations.

Termite Treatment Without Tenting

Tentless termite treatments in California feature a wide variety of methods that include micro treatments, barrier control, bait systems, and liquid termiticides at the perimeter. Costs range from $3.36 to $18.40 per linear foot in California compared to $3 to $16 linear foot nationwide. If leaving the home might cause significant inconvenience, homeowners may opt for tentless termite treatments. Some in California consider tentless treatments a more eco-friendly option for treating termites. A tentless termite treatment plan may include multiple types of treatments. For example, the treatment company might place bait throughout the home and liquid treatments at the perimeter.

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Cost of Termite Treatment in California per Square Foot

One of the primary influencers for the cost of termite removal using tenting is the size of the home, varying from $1.30 to $4.35 per sq.ft. The cost of termite treatment in California varies from $920 to $13,440. The national average ranges from $1,000 to $9,000. More house means more product. However, the higher cost of living in California versus the nation also means an increase in the average cost over the national average. Houses in California range from cozy 1,000 sq.ft. bungalows to impressively sized mansions. You will find the most common sizes for houses and their termite extermination costs in the table below. Prices may decrease or increase beyond these ranges for very small houses or large mansions.

Cost of termite treatment by house size in California and in the US (mobile)

Square FootageCalifornia Average CostNational Average Cost
800 sq. ft.$1,040 - $3,480$800 - $2,400
1,000 sq.ft.$1,300 - $4,350$1,000 - $3,000
1,500 sq.ft.$1,950 - $6,525$1,500 - $4,500
1,800 sq.ft.$2,340 - $7,830$1,800 - $5,400
2,000 sq.ft.$2,600 - $8,700$2,000 - $6,000
2,500 sq.ft.$2,250 - $10,875$2,500 - $7,500
3,000 sq.ft.$3,900 - $13,050$3,000 - $9,000

Average Cost of Termite Treatment in California per Linear Foot

Tentless extermination options are priced by the linear foot and range from $3.36 to $18.40 per linear foot. In California, the average total cost is $445 to $7,370. The national average ranges from $300 to $6,400. Prices for tentless treatment in California are higher than the national average because the cost of many services in the state is above average. It is possible to treat small infestations in California houses with spot treatments. Still, there is a lower chance of success in removing all termites from a structure. However, tentless barrier treatments are very effective in keeping your property termite-free. Tentless treatments are often a part of yearly, quarterly, or monthly termite treatment plans.

Cost of termite treatment by house perimeter in California and in the US (mobile)

Perimeter SizeCalifornia Average CostNational Average Cost
100 Linear Feet$335 - $1,840$300 - $1,600
150 Linear Feet$505 - $2,760$450 - $2,400
200 Linear Feet$670 - $3,680$600 - $3,200
250 Linear Feet$840 - $4,600$750 - $4,000
300 Linear Feet$1,010 - $5,520$900 - $4,800
400 Linear Feet$1,345 - $7,360$1,200 - $6,400

Cost of Termite Treatment in California by Frequency

Effective termite treatment in California may include a treatment plan where the exterminator returns at regular intervals to check for the reemergence of termites and the reapplication of treatment options like bait stations. Prices for various contracts in California range from $400 to $1,730. The frequency of the contract depends on the type of treatment. For example, bait stations are usually checked every few months, so you might choose a quarterly contract. On the other hand, a liquid termite treatment only needs checking once every five years, so a one-time visit every five years should suffice. After your home is tented, a yearly contract for an inspection and possible spot treatments is an excellent option.

Yearly cost of a yearly, quarterly, monthly, and one-time visit contract to exterminate termites in California and in the US (mobile)

FrequencyCalifornia Yearly CostNational Yearly Cost
Yearly Contract$200 - $465$175 - $400
One-Time Visit$235 - $555$200 - $480
Quarterly Contract$280 - $645$240 - $560
Monthly Contract$760 - $1,040$660 - $900

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Average Cost of Termite Treatment in California by Size of Infestation

Infestations range from minor to severe. It is often difficult to figure out the exact size of an infestation because termites often do their damage out of sight. They might live underground and create colonies or live inside wooden timbers inside the home. According to the Structural Pest Control Board in the State of California, swarming termites in the spring and fall usually indicate some level of infestation in the house. Termites are found throughout the state. All infestations may eventually become large and quite damaging.

Treatments range from $335 on the low end for a small infestation to $7,485 on the high end for a severe infestation. Keeping an eye out for an infestation, which may come in the form of swarmers or signs of damage to the wooden parts of the home, helps you catch an infestation before it creates structural instability. It is often best to simply assume you have some level of termite activity in your home. Even if it is slight, regular inspections help you avoid getting overrun. If you get to the point where you start to see termite droppings or signs of wood shavings, you could have a medium infestation. If you notice swollen wood panels on the floors or walls of your home, you could be dealing with a severe invasion of termites.

Cost to exterminate a small, medium, large, and severe termite infestation in California and the US (mobile)

Size of InfestationCalifornia Average CostNational Average Cost
Small$335 - $1,380$250 - $1,200
Medium$560 - $1,730$400 - $1,500
Large$1,456 - $5,185$1,200 - $4,500
Severe$1,565 - $7,485$1,200 - $6,500

Termite Treatment in California Cost by Type of Termite

A page published by the Department of Agriculture & Natural Resources at the University of California indicates that there are more than 2,600 species of termites worldwide and a few dozen in California. Infestations found in California homes include subterranean, drywood, and dampwood species, the most common throughout the state. Termite colonies range from just a few individuals to hundreds of thousands of insects. In the wild, some colonies approach millions of individuals.

Dampwood termites live in cool, humid areas and usually live along the coast of California. The cost to eradicate them in California ranges from $110 to $615. They may infest moist, decayed wood. In dampwood termite home infestations, replacing rotted or damp wood might be necessary to avoid a resurgence after treatment. Dampwood termites are not very common in California homes, but it is helpful to remain aware of them.

Subterranean termites are another threat to California homeowners. They are much more common than dampwood termites. The average cost to eradicate subterranean termites in California is $345 to $1,900. Getting rid of these termites depends on the size of the property and the level of the infestation. Subterranean termites are common across the state, from Riverside County in the south to the City of Redding in the north.

Drywood termites are common throughout California, and treating them costs between $1,175 and $7,580. If your home is in the southern part of California, you might see western drywood swarms between September and November. You might see a swarm a little earlier in the year if you are in the northern part of the state. California residents who live in the deserts may see night swarms of termites in the summer and early autumn. A swarm is definitive evidence of a drywood termite infestation.

Cost to exterminate dampwood, subterranean, and drywood termites in California and the US (mobile)

TypeCalifornia Average CostNational Average Cost
Dampwood$110 - $615$75 - $500
Subterranean$345 - $1,900$250 - $1,500
Drywood$1,175 - $7,580$1,000 - $6,500

Termite Inspection Cost in California

A termite inspection is one of the most valuable appointments you can make for your home when you live in California. An inspection should cost between $100 and $150. If your home is in a humid area where dampwood termites might attack or is in a warm area where subterranean and drywood termites might invade, a yearly inspection is helpful. If your home is not in a high-risk area, you can decrease the frequency to every two years. A termite inspection is also important but not mandatory by law when selling or purchasing a house.

The inspection takes around two hours and includes a close inspection of the interior and exterior of the property. The inspector looks closely at features like baseboards, closets, and anywhere plumbing exists, such as the kitchen and bathrooms. The inspector may examine trees on the property and determine whether the house is particularly vulnerable to infestation because of the home's location or yard features (like rotting wood).

Signs of Termites in California

Termites are a major concern for homeowners in California and are found throughout the state. If you own a home in California, it is best to assume you have termites or assume that you may get them. Regular inspections are incredibly helpful, but it is also important to conduct your own searches and remain aware of the signs of a termite infestation. Catching an infestation early means paying a lot less for termite treatment in California.

If you see swarming activity with termites flying around, that is a solid sign you have termites somewhere on your property. However, termites do not always swarm. It is not enough to simply look for them when they take flight. Also, keep an eye out for the physical signs they leave behind, like feces and mud tubes. You may see discarded wings even if you do not notice swarming. Warped wood and cracks in the walls are also potential signs of an infestation.

How Often Should You Treat for Termites in California?

When it comes to termites, California is one of the most heavily infested states. An article from The Los Angeles Times suggests that anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of homes in Southern California are infested. Treatments often occur during the sale of a house. It is common to see homes tented immediately before being placed on the real estate market. Homes that receive tenting treatment should not need another major treatment for four to five years; however, yearly inspections are a must. Homes that receive spot treatments should also get a yearly inspection and treatments every quarter, especially when bait traps are used.

How to Prevent Termites in California

While there is no way to prevent termite infestations completely, you can take steps to reduce the likelihood of an invasion. Termites eat wood, so it makes sense that removing wood from your property reduces the amount of food available for the termites. Try not to store wood on your property unless you need it for winter woodburning. To reduce the chance of dampwood termite infestations, make sure your home is free of damp wood. Fix leaky faucets. Do not allow water to pool at the foundation of the home. Keep a clean home that is free of clutter, so you do not miss any signs of infestation.

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Termite Bond

A termite bond is an agreement between a termite exterminator and a homeowner where the company will treat termites when and if they are found during an inspection. The cost generally ranges from $500 to $2,000. A bond agreement follows termite treatment and assures a homeowner that the exterminator will treat future infestations. Homeowners may find it valuable during the selling process to provide their buyers with a termite bond. It is important to note that some termite bond contracts require additional payments for certain removal services not covered under the contract. Always read the contract fully, so you know what is covered within it.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Termite season California. Termites are active in every season in California, but they are most active outside their nests during their swarms. Termites may swarm from June to November, depending on the type of termite and the weather. They tend to emerge in very thick swarms during heatwaves.
  • DIY. Treating a termite problem is not the same as setting out a few roach traps. Termite treatments are best handled by professionals. However, as a homeowner, you can help your exterminator by keeping an eye out for evidence of termites and contacting a professional as soon as you notice anything.
  • Insurance. Homeowners insurance does not cover termites. Generally, eradicating termites and other pests is the responsibility of the homeowner. You may consider an annual inspection or contract with a pest control company as a substitute for insurance.
  • Warranty plan. Traditional home warranties are typically only offered with newly constructed homes, and termite coverage is not frequently part of the plan. A company that treats your home for termites may offer a warranty on their service where they guarantee future treatments if the termites return within a stated period. In some cases, a termite warranty is actually a termite bond, but the terms are not always interchangeable.
  • Termite reappearance. A house hit once by termites is always a candidate for reinfestation. There is no permanent solution for termite removal. California homeowners need to remain vigilant against termite return. While a treatment like tenting completely eradicates them at the time of treatment, there is always the possibility they will come back.
  • Pre-construction treatment. New homes across the nation and in California are often treated for termites when they are initially constructed. Treatments commonly include termiticides poured into the soil before a slab foundation is poured. A chemical barrier laid before construction begins is one of the best ways to prevent termites.


  • How much is a termite inspection in California?

A termite inspection runs between $100 and $150. It is a small price to pay for peace of mind, particularly when buying a house in California.

  • How common are termites in California?

Termites are a very common problem in California. They are found in every county in the state, from the damp coastal forests to the inland deserts.

  • When do termites swarm in California?

Drywood termites usually swarm during the daytime from September to November. Desert homeowners may see swarms start earlier in June, particularly if they have subterranean termites, which usually make their appearance above ground in the summer. Dampwood termites swarm in the summer, too, but may emerge briefly during late-spring storms.

  • How much is termite treatment in California?

Termite treatment costs vary significantly based on the scope of treatment. However, the cost of fumigation in California starts at around $330 for small spot treatments and reaches $7,600 for tenting large homes.

  • How much does termite tenting cost in California?

You should expect to pay $1.30 to $4.35 per sq.ft. to fumigate a home in California for termites. A 2,500 sq.ft. house, for example, would cost between $3,250 and $10,875.