Termite treatment and inspection costs depend on some different factors; we will go through the list, so you know exactly what to expect and how much you will need to spend.
What Termite Inspection Will Cost You?
Contact local pest control companies to determine which ones offer a free inspection and treatment quotes if you believe you have a termite infestation. Main reasons for a termite inspection are:
- A requirement in the process of buying a home – $65 – $100
- A quote for prevention or eradication – free
- As a contracted annual inspection or termite bond – from $200 to $300
- A follow-up inspection to conclude infestations were abolished – usually free
Inspection Techniques and Methods
Technicians should be trained in termite biology, infestation recognition, local building regulations, inspection techniques and control measures. The licensed pest control professional should inspect for all wood-destroying organisms which include subterranean termites, drywood termites, dampwood termites, beetles, carpenter ants and carpenter bees. As homeowners, we depend on professionals to thoroughly and professionally inspect our property inside and out and provide a plan of action so we can make an informed decision on how to proceed with eradication if necessary.
Most technicians start inside – this is a good sign that your contractor knows what they’re doing – not bringing dirt inside from an outside inspection to start off. They will work either clockwise or counter-clockwise around your home, leaving stickers where they have inspected or noting previous sticker or drilled treatment holes. Professionals will draw a rough diagram of your home and note where they found indications of infestations or previous treatment; they can then communicate to you without skipping anything.
Inspectors should tell you where they located termites, any termite damage, and conditions that are conducive to a future infestation. A home diagram will include the foundation type, inside and outside wall cladding, roofing type, and any other structures that touch or are close to your home including sheds, fences, patios, additions, and porches, include any large trees or stumps, water features, wells, ponds, swimming pools, lakes, and streams. Further read (PDF)…
The professional should begin by interviewing the homeowner about concerns and any evidence you have come across indicating termite activity. In reading this guide, you are now quite knowledgeable about termite activity and can determine if your inspector does a good job.
Tools your inspection will bring are inspection forms or graph paper, flashlight, screwdriver, ice pick, inspection mirror, mason hammer, moisture meter, tape measure, ladder and a camera. The inspector’s arsenal may also include moisture meters, listening devices, thermal imaging devices, microwave movement detectors, odor detectors and borescopes. Due to the cryptic nature of termites, they stay well hidden, and even the most experienced termite inspector can miss a small infestation or regard a previous infestation as current.
Inspecting for Drywood Termite Infestation Signs
Termite professionals that inspect for drywood termites will start with the exterior of the home, this species when swarming will land on the roof and walk down to find an entry at the ends of shingles, eaves, wooden siding, exterior trim, door trim, porch roofs, supports, stair carriages, and trellises.
Drywood termite damage can rarely be detected on the surface of the wood so when inspecting inside you or your professional must take great care to examine trouble areas. This include:
- door and window frames
- the perimeter of the wood flooring
- windowsills for frass
- exposed beams
- wood paneling
- places near water heaters and furnaces (warm places)
- blistering paint
Usually, pest control companies offer a ‘termite bond’ which is a contract between the homeowner and the company stating how often they will inspect and treat for termites. By securing a bond you have the pest control company on retainer, this may include only retreatment or repair guarantees at no additional charge. A yearly termite bond will cost $200 – $400 with conditions that vary from location to location.
Factors Which Affect the Cost of Treatment
Size of Infestation
Age of Infestation
The age of the colony is taken into consideration. A new colony less than five years old is just getting started – there will be very few signs of damage. Treatment would be replacing the affected wood and chemical treating, and retreat within six months.
Whereas if a colony that has been established for 15-20 years and have consumed a lot of wood and reproduced to the point of swarming every year to start new colonies – that’s trouble. Treatment would be tenting and fumigation, chemical treatment, replacing wood or a combination of these methods.
Location of Infestation
The main locations for subterranean termite infestations occur around moisture – leaky pipes, air conditioner drips, gutters, and any rotting wood. Drywoods infestation occurs around the roof and eaves areas, where they land from flight and begin new colonies. Drywood termites also get in through infested furniture brought in by the unsuspecting homeowner.
Type of Termite Present
Drywood and Subterranean termites are the two types that infest homes in the United States. One flies in the other tunnels in and although they are the same species they are as different as day and night. Drywoods need very little moisture where subterranean termites thrive on moisture. The cost of treatment for both kinds of termites is about the same for a good size infestation, whether your home needs to be tented or your grounds need to be chemically treated.
Type of Treatment Used (DYI vs. Professional)
|Expense||a starter kit costs less than a professional service. But this is good only for a one-time treatment, and homeowners need to buy additional baits and termiticide for the next treatment||service comes with a warranty, monitoring, and re-treatment throughout the service contract period. So in the long-run, going pro is the cheaper alternative|
|Convenience||purchase and apply at your convenience||scheduling conflicts, inconvenient for the homeowner, although the professional will accommodate the homeowner.|
|Knowledge||no experience, labeling instructions can be unclear, over or under treatment can occur, although information on the world wide web is at your fingertips||quickly able to identify and treat, can answer your questions, peace of mind|
|Risk||applying chemicals can be hazardous to people, pests, plants, and the environment – carefully read the labels||by hiring a professional most risk is removed for the homeowner|
|Effectiveness||for larger infections store-bought products can be ineffective, pests develop immunity over time, but for small problems they can work||knowledgeable about termites in area and latest products that can be more effective and environmentally friendly|
|Warrantees||returning the product to the store – you will not be able to return it after you used it – check the store return policy||inquire about warranties before hiring a company, they will usually return and treat for no charge if they are a good company and stand behind their work|
Treatment Cost for Subterranean Termites
The cost will depend on which treatment you choose:
- Liquid chemical barrier – up to $3000
- Baiting systems – up to $1600
- Natural Termite Treatments – $100 and up
These prices depend on the size of the infestation; above pricing is a average quote is for a 2000 sq ft home. The usual cost for treating a subterranean infection is within $1000 – $5000.
The subterranean termite nest is usually in the yard – just feet from your home and the specialist will look for the most relevant signs of termites: Mud Tubes, Wood Damage, Surface ‘Pinholes,’ Wings, AND infestation conducive conditions or conditions that will interfere with the inspection or treatment.
Drywood termite treatment cost:
Cost of treatment for drywood termites
- Tenting and fumigation: $2000 – $4000
- Wood replacement – prices are figured by the amount of wood to be replaced and where it is. If it is a structural beam or beams in your home, expect the price to be more.
- Chemical treatment of infected wood is charged by linear foot reaching $1500 or more
- The average cost for termite damage repair and complete eradication is close to $8500
For most homeowners drywood termite control is not a ‘Do It Yourself’ project, things that work for subterranean termites will not work for the drywood variety. Drywood pests never leave the wood they infest and never make contact with the soil – so unless they are swarming – you will have problems finding them deep within the wood.
Baiting is not an option with drywood termites, and sprays don’t work because drywoods are buried deep within the wood, and chemically treating the soil around your home won’t help either, these pests never make contact with the soil.
Drywood termite infestations are usually found when remodeling and limited treatment by drilling into the wood and injecting insecticide can be achieved at that time or replacing the infected wood entirely. When remodeling use pressure treated wood.
DIY Treatment Cost
Doing it yourself is a gamble, you will have to locate the problem areas, handle chemicals, constantly monitor and retreat. Even with a professional advising you on where to treat and how to administer the chemical – these buggers may only dig deeper into an untreated piece of wood in a new location.
Doing it yourself involves opening walls and drilling into the infected wood to introduce chemical treatments, or tenting for fumigation, leave these treatments to professionals who do this every day.
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Natural Remedies for termite extermination
- Borax – mix a teaspoon of powder with a cup of water and spray on
- Vinegar – a combination of lemon juice and vinegar
- Salt – inject a solution of salt water into the crack
- Orange Oil can also be injected into infested wood or rubbed on furniture
- Cayenne Pepper and oil paste mixture applied to affected area
- Soapy Water – sprayed in infected areas
- Neem Oil applied with a cotton ball
- Diatomaceous Earth sprinkled around the house
- Trap termites with wet cardboard
- Aloe Vera rubbed on
- Direct Sunlight on infected furniture will kill termites
Going the natural way will make you feel like you are kinder to our planet. Termites take constant maintenance no matter what way you go, and the natural way is definitely a commitment. Termites eat wood indiscriminately – they don’t know they are destroying our homes and structures.
Using a combination of treatments will probably be the best way to go. Installing baits for subterranean termites with natural, tasty wood will attract termites when you see the buggers in the bait traps administer a small amount of non-repellant pesticide. The termites in the trap will not detect the chemical and take it back to their colony, and after a couple of weeks that will be the end of it.
Drywood termites are more difficult to find and get rid of. Replacing any infested wood or furniture would be the first step, and using some natural remedies on wood after that. Drywood termites spend their lives deep inside the wood so getting to them won’t be easy. If you see frass on your floor or windowsill, the termites are well established, and without profession assistance, you will never know the extent of the damage or colonies.
Call a professional termite specialist – ask questions and tell them about your treatment concerns they will be happy to discuss your options, if not call someone else. In treating for termites you should be able to rely on your chosen contractor to guide you through the process, they know what works for termites in your area and what does not.