The simplest definition of termites defines it as an insect that dwells together in a large group and eats wood. In other parts of the world, their presence is essential for recycling wood and plant matter. However, when it comes to our residences, we do not want these wood-eating pests to gain entry, as they can eat our property’s structure, which compromises the house’s stability. Also, termites will eventually target anything made of wood inside the home, such as furniture.
There are various ways to treat termites, each with a corresponding cost, depending on the infestation’s severity, where it is located, and the method used. In most cases, homes are treated with a linear foot, 2,500 sq. ft. house with a footprint of 24′ x 50′ has 148 linear feet to cover, with an average cost ranging from $600 to $2,400. Most homeowners spend about $1,500 on chemical treatment. Overall costs are affected by the size of the house, the area to be covered, the type of foundation, and the infestation’s extent, whether it is located throughout the entire structure.
What are the signs of termite activity?
If you find any of these, you may have a termite infestation in your home:
- Mud tunnels: termites build mud tubes to keep them moisturized while searching for food. You might see these tubes on your foundation.
- Termite wings: Swarmers or winged termites leave their wings behind; this may be your only sign that you have termites.
- Termite drops: they are also called strawberries and are made of colored wood.
- Swarmers appear at different times depending on the species of termites. Subterranean termites usually swarm in the spring; dry wood termites are not as predictable.
If you have a termite infestation, the whole house needs to be treated because the termites work in colonies that spread quickly and attack various areas in your home. After full house treatment, spot treatment can be performed as a follow-up, particularly to termite fortresses. Besides, professional pest control companies may not guarantee their work unless they treat the entire house.
Cost of Termite Control Treatments
Several termite treatments are currently offered: liquid termiticide, termite bait, heat treatment and fumigation.
If your problem is limited to a small area, you may be able to have a micro-treatment done. This uses heat instead of chemicals or baiting to treat a small area before the problem spreads. It costs about $1,150 on average, and each termite control company has different scopes for the size of the situation they can deal with using this method.
In liquid termiticide, the liquid is sprayed onto a foundation with a saturation coat not only to repel but kill the termites. Recent formulas such as Termidor are not lethal and repulsive; however, liquid treatment is quite efficient. This has a cost range of $4-$16 per linear foot, with most paying about $10 per linear foot, which comes to about $1,500 for a home with 148 linear feet.
Termite Baiting Cost
Termite baits are made up of paper, cardboard and other wood-related “food” treated with a slow-acting lethal substance. It is placed in a tubular canister and buried beneath the ground, away from the structure. The termites go to the bait, eat it and bring it back to the nest, and gradually the colony dies away. Depending on the situation, a combination of both liquid and bait applications will be used by individual pest control companies. According to the size, baiting at 2,500 sq. ft. home ranges from $800-$3,200, depending on the amount and type of termite bait systems – with most homes ranging from $2,000.
Sentricon is the most common non-liquid bait method. Drilling or trenching is not required, and the bait areas are very discreet. It is more commonly used for subterranean termites.
Fumigation or tents are commonly used in some regions, especially when you have drywood termites that cannot be exterminated using other methods. Typically, the house has been in a tent for several days. A toxic fumigant that kills the termites is used. People and pets will need to move out of their homes during this process. There’s a tight seal on the house, not only to kill the termites but to keep your neighbors from getting sick. Fumigation averages $10-$20 per linear foot 2 for a home with 148 linear feet, which would have a median cost of $2,220.
Heat treatment is one way to rid your home of termites. During this process, your house is being tempted to keep the heat inside. The positive part of this treatment is that it does not use any chemicals. The structure is heated so that the core of all wood products reaches 120 degrees; it is then kept at that temperature for 33 minutes. Treatment is effective and less toxic for the environment. People and pets will usually only have to leave their homes for a few hours rather than days. Disadvantages may result in heat damage to the heat-sensitive products that you may have at home. This treatment is going to cost about $1 a square foot. So it was a 1,600 sq. ft. house would have cost $1,600, while it would have cost 2,500 sq. ft. home would have cost you $2,500.
Labor Costs of Termite Treatment
It’s crucial to find a reputable pest control professional that you can trust. Some of the professionals offer a free inspection, while others charge for it. Typical inspection costs range from $120 to $350, depending on the house and yard size. A reputable licensing and termite company will be your best choice.
Chemicals used for treatment cost an average of $10 per linear foot. So, for a house with 148 linear feet, treatment would cost an average of about $1,500, including labor. However, it also depends on the size of your yard and the severity of the infestation. The cost of the annual maintenance plan is between $150-$200.
Cost of the Termite Protection Plan
If you get termites once, you can get them again. Therefore, some termite treatment companies offer a protection plan that includes an annual termite inspection and repeated treatment, as necessary, to help fend off termites from making themselves comfortable at home. The average cost of these protection plans is about $1,000, which can be saved if you have a significant issue.
Cost of Termite Prevention
In other cases, you may stop termites from entering your home by applying a liquid termiticide to the foundation of your home. This has a cost of about $5/linear foot in most cases or about $740 for most residences. In other cases, it can be added to the new construction of areas such as garages or outbuildings and updated annually at a much lower cost of around $200 for small buildings. This can help keep termite colonies from holding back and preventing many structural damage and repair costs.
Termite Inspection Cost
If you don’t know what type of termites you may have, have an inspection or testing performed. This is a one-time visit, with an average fee of between $120 and $350. If you choose to receive treatment after this, some companies will pay the final cost.
Types of Termite
There are six different types of termite. Most of them need moisture and go wherever food is, often the wood structure of your house and your wood furniture. Those who live underground are going to build mud tunnels up your foundation and inside 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 can help you identify the kind you have if you suspect a termite infestation:
- Dampwood: they are locating their colonies in damp, decaying wood.
- Drywood: to create colonies in wood, they need very little moisture.
- Formosan: nests in the soil and comes into contact with the wood through the ground.
- Subterranean: they live in underground colonies; they need water to survive.
- Conehead: a termite of drywood.
- Desert: susceptible to loss of water.
Treatment Cost For Subterranean Termites
Subterranean termites are usually treated with bait, with Sentricon being the most common. Costs may vary according to the colony’s size and the size of the property or area being treated. Prices start at about $800 on average for this type of treatment.
Termite Damage Repair Costs
Treating the termites is only the first step. Killing or eliminating termites does not compensate for the damage that has been done. Therefore, after termite treatment services, you may have additional costs to repair the damage. The average price to most homeowners for repairs after an infestation is around $3,000 but may be as high as $8,000 in more extreme situations.
Is it okay to do DIY termite treatment?
Some treatments are marketed for DIY to get rid of termites, but this is not commonly recommended. The amount of chemicals required is often not safe for people to apply without professional knowledge and safety techniques. You may also not be aware of the extent of the problem or the proper method of dealing with the type of termites you have. Treating what you believe to be a problem and not realizing that the colony may be larger than you first thought may mean that you are delaying the inevitable and, at the same time, acquiring more damage.
The termite monitoring station is a small specialized container that penetrates the soil. You place untreated wood in the box to monitor. Inspect the monitoring stations for the presence of termites every month. If termites are present, you will trade untreated wood for wood treated with a slow-acting termite growth inhibitor such as noviflumuron. Termite bait stations cost about $30 apiece. It would also help if you bought a bait that costs an average of $135 for a box of 6.
Annual Termite Treatment Plan
Most termite control companies will offer you an annual treatment plan ($150-$300 per year). After initial treatment, a pest professional or exterminator can recheck your home and make further suggestions or take action to treat you too. Spot treatments and checks will be considered as part of the annual plan.
The term of reappearance. While effective treatment is expected to last up to five years, termites may return in a few instances. If there are large colonies in your area (your yard), you will need to use the monitoring stations to check the termites. Another cause may be that the initial treatment was not a thorough coverage of the foundation. Termites are very aggressive and will do whatever it takes to find food in your home. It may be a great idea to have a retreat after the first treatment to ensure that every area has been saturated.
Seasons and infestations. Spring is the best time to detect infestations. This is the time when the termites are swarming. You may see wings, or you may see a swarm, a key indicator. Insurance coverage does not cover damage to termites. Most homeowner’s policies will include a clause stating that it does not explicitly cover damage to termites because they consider it preventable.
Location. Termites love warmer climates and higher humidity. Remember, they need some moisture to thrive. There is nowhere; however, that is entirely immune. In the US, the most significant risk of damage to termite remains in the southeast, from North Carolina to central Texas and south to the Gulf Coast, Florida, and California. The plains have the least impact on termites.