One of the first questions homeowners often ask after finding out they have a termite problem is “How much will termite treatment cost me?” And usually after hearing a quoted price for an inspection and subsequent treatment they ask “Why does termite treatment cost so much? Aren’t there any cheaper alternatives for getting rid of termites?”
This is understandable because termite control and extermination is something that most homeowners do not think about much until they discover they have an infestation and at that point the projected cost of termite removal and repairing the damage is often quite high. According to Terminix a national extermination company, the average price is of getting rid of termites and the complete repair of the damage caused by them is $8,644.
Your Complete Guide to Termite Treatment Costs and Prices
Much higher than most people would expect. If this happens to you, you may be left scrambling trying to figure out what your options are and how you can save money.
If you are in the unfortunate situation of being a homeowner or property owner who recently discovered signs of termites in your home or a structure you own, you probably have many questions because most people do not give much thought to the damage that termites can cause until they abruptly discover the damage. If this is your case, trust me, you are not alone.
The price of getting your house treated for a termite infestation may vary greatly from what your friend or family member paid previously.
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How can the price of termite treatment be so low for one person and be so high for another person within the same city?
The total amount you will pay to get rid of termites depends on many factors but the six main factors are listed below:
- The size of the termite infestation in your home or structure
- The age of the infestation
- The location of the infestation
- The type of termites present (There are two main types of termites in North America)
- The type of treatment used to exterminate these pests
- The type of service used (Whether you opt for local, national, or do-it-yourself pest control)
Frequently Asked Questions About Termites
Before we dig into the costs associated with treating your house for termites we wanted to let you know about out FAQ section and other sections of the site so you can find what your looking for quickly.
We made a Termite Frequently Asked Questions section you can check out to find the answers to many of the specific questions you may have regarding infestation and termites in general.
If you have a question that is not answered there, feel free to contact us or leave a comment and we will do our best to answer it accurately and in a timely manner. Take some time and browse around there, you will learn some interesting facts about these tiny creatures.
It is the goal of this website to provide you a thorough and authoritative resource for understanding the costs associated with termite treatment. We also aim to provide you with alternatives to hiring a pest control professional should you decide you want to tackle this problem yourself. Most homeowners termite problems fall into one of the two following categories… or both:
- Protection and Coverage Against Future Termite Infestations
- Getting Rid of Termites Now
It is worth noting now, that it is much cheaper in the long run invest some time and resources into preventing termites in the first place but we will explain more of that later. For now lets get into the first step of termite treatment.
Know Your Enemy – A Thorough Inspection
The first step to an effective termite eradication is a thorough inspection. Much like diagnosing a mechanical malfunction in your automobile or a bug on your computer, you have to fully understand the source of your problem before you can come up with a plan of attack.
There are methods you can use to detect signs of termites by yourself and we will get to those in a bit, however, you should be warned that relying solely on these can put your home at serous risk of not being treated in a manner that kills all the termites present and that prevents a return infestation.
Why is DIY (Do It Yourself) termite inspection such a gamble?
Termites are not readily visible creatures. They live inside wood in tiny tunnels they are eating away at to feed and expand their colonies. Most people will not see any type of evidence of termite presence until approximately 5 years into an infestation.
First Sign Of Termites – Termite Frass (Droppings)
This is the average time it takes for termites to eat and excrete enough frass (termite excrement) before they feel the need to do some spring cleaning of their network of tunnels.
When this time comes they will create tiny holes (known as pinholes) and push out their frass (excrement) to free up space in their colony. This frass is often mistaken for small piles of sawdust so many home-owners overlook it.
Try not to make this mistake. Learn how to identify termite frass and you could save thousands of dollars. If you spot a small pile of saw-dust like material before you seep or vacuum it up take a closer look.
Examine it more closely to see if the individual pieces appear like granular pellets, a sharp contrast to the slivers and splinter-like shape of saw dust.
Take a look at the picture below to get a good idea of the difference between termite frass and regular sawdust. You can also check out this article about termite frass for more information. If you are still having a hard time determining the difference between the two, you could always take a sample and leave the pile where it is. You can then take this sample to a pest control professional in your area or have them stop by your home to take a look.
Second Sign of Termites – Termite Pinholes
So if you ever find what appears to be termite excrement (frass) or think maybe you have seen some in the past but mistakenly cleaned it up then the next thing you want to do is look for a termite “pinhole.”
These are usually about the size of holes left walls from picture frame nails, a few millimeters at most. They are sometimes in the ceiling or sometimes in the wall, but they will always be above the location of the termite droppings since termites use gravity to help them push out their tiny droppings.
Take a look around your house for the signals of termite activity. Particularly pay close attention to window sills, door sills, wooden trim, your porch, and any areas where you have historically had water leaks or damage as those are vulnerable to entry of termites.
Third Sign of Termites – Termite Mud Tubes
Another sign of termites that you can spot by yourself is termite mud tubes or mud tunnels. These are a sign of subterranean termites, so depending on where you live this may not be applicable. These can typically be found near the foundation of your home on the exterior. Check out the picture below to get an idea of what these look like.
Forth Sign of Termites – Discarded Termite Wings and Swarmers
The final blatant evidence of termites in you home is discovering discarded termite wings or the winged adult termites themselves. This is typical of drywood termites so again, depending on where you live this may not be applicable to you.
So what exactly are winged termites? They are simply a type of adult staged termite. They appear in large groups known as “termite swarmers” when it is time for them to “sprout wings and fly away” in search of starting a new colony.
So what does it mean if you find winged termites in your home? One of two things… Either these tiny pests are trying to find entry into your house or worse, they have already infested your home long enough to mature and take of in search of better real-estate. The second scenario is worse because it is typically an indicator they have been present for quite some time.
There are other indicators of termites and methods to detect their presence in your home but many of these require the talent and experience of a professional etymologist. However with the above four indicators of termites you can spot signs of problems before they get too big.
Something you can do is write yourself a reminder to do your own home inspection at least four times a year on your gmail or yahoo calendar so you receive an automatic email quarterly to conduct your termite inspections.
Again this is not a full solution but it is something you can do yourself if you live in an area of low risk for termites or if you are strapped for cash at the moment
If you live in an area prone to termite damage then it is a good idea to get an inspection done at least once a year. The average inspection by a pest control professional will cost you from $75 to $500 depending on the age and size of your house or property. Sometimes a termite inspector will perform the first inspection for free working under the assumption they will be hired by your for more inspections later on.
Again, the average total cost for repair of termite damage and complete eradication is $8,644. You can see by this that getting at least an annual inspection by an experienced inspector is an economically sound decision.
You Have Termites In Your Home, What Now?
Now that we have covered the nitty gritty of doing an inspection lets move on to what you must consider if you are unfortunate enough to discover your home or structure has become a home to a colony of termites as well.
Either you or the pest exterminator must factor in several things before determining how much your bill is going to be.
First on the list is accurately identifying which type of termites you are dealing with. Some areas of the world have multiple species present in the same areas, although many only have one. The two main categories of termites are drywood termites and subterranean termites. Usually drywood termite treatments are cheaper than subterranean termite control, but it can very well be the other way around as well. Again it all depends on the damage done, type of infestation present, and the types of treatment methods at the disposal of either yourself or the pest control service you plan on hiring.
Next, the pest inspector or yourself must attempt to accurately identify the age and location of the colony as well as the extent of damage in infested areas. This is where the tools of a pro such as termite radars, fiber optical borescopes, and many others surpass your ability to properly assess the situation.
For example, if it is determined the termite colony is only a few years old and is confined to your window sill, spot or surgical treatment may be adequate enough to get rid of the infestation. You may then have the replacement wood treated with chemicals in order to prevent a repeat infestation.
However, the termite colony may be more than a decade old and very extensive to the point where a fumigation of the entire house is the the only option to adequately address your termite problem. This is why it is key that you or the termite specialist properly identify the type of termite and the extent and age of the infestation.
Learn all About Termite Treatment Costs For Different Types of Termite Inspections, Control Methods, and Exterminations
Many people not have know very much about termites until they experience the unfortunate problem of discovering the decay and destruction that termites can cause when left unchecked. I hope this is not you’re your situation but if you came to our website then the chances are that you have discovered that you have termites either in your home, another building or structure on your property, your wooden fence, or even perhaps in some wooden furniture you own.
Fortunately there are measures that you can take for both preventing termites and to getting rid of termites in the event that discover you have them. After discovering these little “white ants” have been eating away at something of value to you, your first question will inevitably be “how much does termite treatment cost?”
Before we dig into that let’s cover a topic that you should know about and apply this knowledge to your situation. Before you go researching the price to treat termite infestations you should first have a solid understanding of the termites that have invaded your home.
What You Should Do Before Considering Termite Treatment
- How much of your home or structure is affected by an infestation?
- Do you even know what a termite looks like?
- Do you know how much of your structure has been infested by termites?
You may have identified one area from the termite frass (saw dust like termite excrement) left behind but unfortunately you can’t see through wood. This means you don’t really know how far the termites have tunneled or what other areas of the house may be affected.
To get the most out of any kind of termite treatment it is critical that you have a good idea as to what areas of the structure are presently inhabited by the termite hive as well as what areas adjacent to the inhabited area my be vulnerable to be the next target of the termites. It is only after figuring this out that you will be able to effectively make a plan to kill the termites in your home.
Now to discover and analyze the damage you need to have a through termite inspection. Most people leave this to a professional because this is your home that you are dealing with. For most people the reward of a mind at ease that comes from professional termite inspections outweighs the alternative option of inspecting for termites yourself. Still, there are some people who would rather conduct their own inspection. That is fine but just ensure that you understand the risks if you choose to do so. This would probably be a better option for someone who lives in a relatively low termite threat region of the world as opposed to someone who lives in an area where termites are very common. By leaving termite inspections to professionals you save time and peace of mind in exchange for the price you pay for it.
But how much does a termite inspection cost? Well it ranges depending on what company you chose and of course how often you get one done. However most pest control companies will perform 1 termite inspection per year for free.
DIY Termite Inspection Requires Some Specific Termite Knowledge
But don’t worry we will help you learn what you need to know to battle termites on your own.
To learn more about termite entry points please check out illustrations near the bottom of this page from Ohio State University.
This may seem obvious to you but the first step in doing your own inspection is knowing what to look for and many people overlook this step. Some people confuse termites with ants. This is an understandable mistake since some ants such as carpenter ants also can be found eating the lumber in your home.
However although they look similar and in many ways behave the same way (hive-like behavior) ants and termites are different and treating them requires different methods. Because of this you need to correctly identify the pest that is destroying your home to effectively eliminate them.
Termites are often called “white ants” for reason. When termites are in their younger stage in life they look a lot like ants but are a whiter color. A key difference is that termites only have two sections to their body where ants have three. As they get older, most termites grow wings. Unfortunately for you if you are attempting to identify them, some ants grow wings as well. However, termite wings are typically longer. The key thing to look at is their body segments. The most common type of termite that is treated for in the states is called the subterranean termite although there are other species as well.
Okay so you know what a termite looks like, now what should you look for? What are some signs of termites?
There are several signs of an infestation although unfortunately they are often difficult to detect until significant damage has been done.
The most visible and later infestation stage signs include sagging floors and ceilings. The wood may appear to be rotting. Also look for termite feces (known as termite frass to professional exterminators). Another thing to be on the watch for are mud tunnels, which can usually be found at the base of your house.
So You Have Termites Feasting On Your Home… Now What?
Once you have found out how extensive of an infestation you have then you can make a better decision as to how much the treatment will cost you.
Different factors of choosing a termite company. Where you live is going to greatly affect the overall cost of your treatment. If you live in a larger city you will have multiple companies to chose from. If you live out in a rural area you may not be so lucky. For those that do have options here are some things to consider besides price.
- What requirements do the pest control companies in your state have? Some of these companies may not be required to pass certain certification in order to utilize potentially dangerous chemicals where in other states this is a must.
- Big Franchise or Ma and Pa Pest Control? A bigger national pest control company may come with a higher price tag but also a better product including highly trained and educated exterminators and a guaranteed treatment. On the other hand you may be able to find an equal or close to equal value out of a local exterminator for a cheaper price.
- Give them a call: After you narrow down your list; give a few give a few of the companies within your area a call to schedule an examination. Many companies will offer a free examination and then give you their suggested treatment plans and prices. From these you can compare and chose on what you feel to the best value for your situation. Remember every infestation is different so don’t necessarily compare the quotes they give you to those given to a friend or family member. The friend or family member may have had a significantly larger infestation or only a spot infestation (very localized infestation).
Before you decide on a company ensure you obtain the answers the these questions:
- Does the company guarantee their treatment for a specified time period? If so how long is it and does this seem acceptable to you?
- Does the company offer and kind of compensation for repairs you may need done within a specified time after your treatment? Many companies offer a one year guarantee and suggest getting an inspection and prevention treatment done annually afterward. Is there any kind of deal if you renew your contract after the year or if you renew for multiple years at a time?
- Can the company give you an insurance certificate?
- In the even that you are only getting bait treatment find out the distance between the bait stations and how often the company will perform their inspection.
For a nice overviews on the biology and control techniques of subterranean termites check out this article by North Carolina State University.