Subterranean termite treatments have undergone remarkable advancement throughout the years. New innovations in termiticides and termite barriers have made it possible for pest control professionals to both curb populations of termites that are living in local soils and effectively address termites that are already foraging inside of the home. Given the vast differences that can exist between building structures, accessibility, soil qualities and other factors, however, the average subterranean termite treatment cost can vary greatly from one property to the next. Moreover, any successful treatment will often involve more elements than most homeowners initially suspect.
Addressing A Three-Fold Problem
There are three primary problems that all homeowners with subterranean termites face. These include colonies of termites that are foraging inside of the home, termites that are busy migrating into the home through the surrounding soils and various property features that increase the desirability of the building structure and surrounding soils to termites. Thus, when calculating the costs of treating subterranean termites, homeowners have to consider this as a multi-pronged effort. Using chemicals to address affected building materials only will not prevent termites living in the soil from relocating to other areas of the building structure and foraging there. A failure to address moisture issues, areas of direct wood to ground contact around the home and to eliminate landscaping features that attract and support termites (such as wood mulch or old, rotten tree stumps), will diminish the long-term efficacy of the overall treatment plan.
Using Barriers To Treat Subterranean Termites
Termite barriers are most effective and least costly when these are put in place during the actual construction of new buildings. Even seasoned pest control professionals can have a hard time covering areas beneath an existing building structure when applying termite barriers. Thus, these treatments may result in areas of vulnerability and must therefore be used in conjunction with other methods for addressing termite populations in soils. A drill-through-slab application of termite barrier products can range in cost from $1,200 to $2,000, depending on the square footage of the treatment area.
Treating Subterranean Termites With Baiting Systems
Baiting systems can be both costly and time-consuming, but they can also be very effective. With termite bait, the major challenge is ensuring that bait discovery occurs in a timely fashion so that the damages caused by foraging are minimized. Termites share both secretions and saliva through a social and food sharing process known as trophallaxis. Thus, once bait systems are discovered, the included poisons can be passed throughout the entire colony within a very nominal amount of time. Bait extermination for a 1,250 square foot home can cost between $1,500 and $1,750 while bait extermination for a 2,500 square foot home often starts at $3,000. These costs, however, are nominal considering that an aggressive termite colony can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damages in mere months if left unchecked.
The Application Of Repellent And Non-Repellent Chemicals
Non-repellent chemicals cannot be detected by subterranean termites. Moreover, much like baiting systems, these are designed to be passed throughout the colony by trophallaxis. Repellent chemicals, however, are toxic to termites but not harmful to humans or other mammals. Thus, both treatment methods certainly have their own appeal.
Chemical fumigation efforts are typically priced by the linear foot and are often comparable to the costs of using baiting systems. The use of fumigation methods is frequently essential for targeting termites living within the actual building structure, whereas in-soil chemicals, barriers and baiting systems typically target termites living in the soil around the building. Due to this fact, the total cost of subterranean termites treatment will reflect a multi-pronged approach. Pest control professionals and homeowners with previous termite experience know that this is the best way to ensure the long-term efficacy of the treatment plan.
Ongoing Property Maintenance
One of the greatest factors affecting the cost of subterranean termite treatments is the fact that these bugs can thrive in the natural environment, in spite of localized treatment efforts. Killing one colony of termites in or around the home is not sufficient for staving off future infestations. This is especially true when baiting systems are used and when termite barriers have areas of vulnerability.
In order to remain effective over the long-term, a subterranean termite treatment requires the implementation of a comprehensive and diligent maintenance plan. This maintenance can include but is not limited to:
- Efforts to identify and resolve all structural and plumbing leaks in a timely fashion
- The removal or containment of wood features at the property exterior such as wood, landscaping mulch and stored firewood
- The avoidance of direct wood to ground contact at outside structures like porches and patios
- Covering or eliminating standing bodies of waters
Pest control professionals help their clients implement affordable plans that provide long-lasting results. They know how to best structure multi-pronged efforts according to the needs and layout of individual properties. Moreover, they are capable of identifying all of the structural and landscaping features that must be addressed as part of the immediate and ongoing maintenance plan.