One of the first questions homeowners often ask after finding out they have a termite problem is, “How much will termite treatment cost me?”
Then, after hearing a quoted price for an inspection and subsequent treatment, folks’ next question is often, “Why does termite treatment cost so much? Aren’t there cheaper ways to get rid of termites?”
This is understandable because termite control and extermination is something that most homeowners do not think about until they discover they have an infestation.
At that point, the estimated cost of termite removal and repairing the damage they have caused is frequently higher than most people anticipate.
The average cost of eliminating termites, including a full repair of the damage they caused, is $8,644, according to Terminix, a reputable pest extermination company.
If you already know you need to contact a pest professional, you can get several free quotes from multiple companies by filling out a bit of info here. Otherwise, read on.
If you need to learn more about a specific aspect of termite treatment costs, skip to a section on our table of contents.
Complete guide to termite treatment prices
Much higher than most people would expect. If this happens to you, you may be left scrambling 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.
How can the price of termite treatment be cheap for one person and expensive for another person within the same city?
The total amount someone will be charged to get rid of termites depends on many factors. I’ve listed six main factors that will influence your overall cost. Keep in mind, however, that there are many more reasons your total price may vary from your neighbor’s cost:
- 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)
If you have a termite infestation this bad, your best option is probably fumigation, but it depends on how far they’ve spread.
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 our FAQ section and other sections of the site so you can find what you’re 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 with 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 if 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 to invest some time and resources into preventing termites in the first place, but we will explain more about that later. For now, let’s get into the first step of termite treatment.
Know your enemy (a thorough Inspection)
The first step to 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 serious risk of not being treated in a manner that kills all the termites present and prevents a return infestation.
Why is DIY (Do-It-Yourself) termite inspection such a gamble?
Termites are not readily visible creatures. They live inside the 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 signs of termites: Termite frass (aka termite 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 homeowners 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 sawdust-like material before you sweep 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 sawdust.
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 on 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 signs 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 the 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 signs 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.
Fourth Sign of Termites (Discarded termite wings & swarmers)
The final blatant evidence of termites in your 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 off in search of better real estate. The second scenario is worse because it is typically an indicator that 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.
In some cases, a termite inspector will carry out the initial inspection for free in the hopes that you will hire them again for subsequent inspections.
Again, the average total cost for the repair of termite damage and complete eradication is $8,644.
You can see from this that getting at least an annual inspection (around $100–$200) by an experienced inspector is an economically sound decision.
So, you have termites in your home—What now?
Now that we have covered the nitty-gritty of doing an inspection, let’s 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 area, 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, the 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 you 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, a spot or surgical treatment may be adequate 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 fumigation of the entire house is 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.
Subterranean termite coverage
The main goal of protecting your home against termites is wood preservation. Without protecting the lumber used to build your home, you’re leaving your house vulnerable to an infestation. The level of risk that you are at depends on several factors, including:
- What geographic region your house is located in?
- What type of lumber was used during your home’s construction
- How old your home is and when you purchased it
Termite treatment costs for different types of termite inspections, control methods, and exterminations
Many people don’t know 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 your situation, but if you’re here, 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 in some wooden furniture you own.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to both prevent termites and get rid of them in the event that you 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 (sawdust-like termite excrement) left behind, but unfortunately, you can’t see through the 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’s 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 may 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.
To discover and analyze the damage, you need to have a thorough termite inspection. Most people leave this to a professional because this is the home that they 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 them.
But how much does a termite inspection cost? Well, it varies depending on what company you choose and, of course how often you get one done. However, most pest control companies will perform one 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 the 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, can also be found gnawing 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 it.
Termites are often called “white ants” for a reason. When termites are in their younger stage in life they look a lot like ants but are a white color.
A key difference is that termites only have two sections to their bodies, whereas 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 in the United States is 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 (aka termite frass). Another thing to watch for is 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 influence 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 choose from. If you live 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 does your state have for pest control companies? Some of these companies may not be required to pass certain certifications in order to utilize potentially dangerous chemicals, whereas 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 they also often offer a better service, including highly trained and educated exterminators and guaranteed treatment. On the other hand, you may be able to find an equal or close to equal value of service from a local exterminator, for a significantly cheaper price, so I always recommend checking with local, smaller termite treatment companies.
- Give them a call: After you narrow down your list; give a few of the companies within your area a call to schedule a termite examination. Many companies will offer a free termite inspection and then give you their suggested treatment plans and prices. Once you have several quotes, you can compare and go with the company you feel is the best value for your situation. Remember, every infestation is different, so comparing the quotes you receive to those given to a friend or family member is likely a futile exercise. Your friend or family member may have had a significantly larger infestation or only a spot infestation (a very localized infestation), which may be more expensive or cheaper to treat than your specific termite infestation.
Before it gets to this point (a severely damaged post), treat termite infestations.
Before you decide on a company ensure you obtain the answers to these questions:
- Does the company guarantee its treatment for a specified period of time? If so, how long is it, and does this seem acceptable to you?
- Does the company offer any kind of compensation for repairs you may need to be 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 event that you are only getting bait treatment, find out the distance between the bait stations and how often the company will perform its inspection.
For a nice overview of the biology and control techniques of subterranean termites, check out this article by North Carolina State University.