Termite heat treatment costs (Reviews & Heat vs. Fumigation)

Termites, Drywood, Termite Treatments: Fumigation, Spot, Heat, Baits + More

Though the efficacy and price of termite heat treatment are close to the efficacy and price of termite tenting, these termite treatments have some significant differences.

We will explain more details about thermal termite tenting costs and some of the pros and cons of heat tenting and fumigation tenting so you can make an informed decision about how to treat your home for drywood termites.

If you’re curious prices of heat treatment for termites, answer a few questions below and we’ll get you free quotes from several companies

Video explaining termite heat treatment

What is Termite Heat Treatment?

Termite heat treatment (also known as thermal termite treatment) is a relatively new type of treatment. Previously, when a large area of a home was infested by termites, chemicals were considered the most reliable way to eradicate termites. However, specially trained termite control companies can now treat your home with heat (i.e. thermal treatment).

They create a tarp barrier around your home to capture the heat. Special precautions must be taken to protect certain areas of your home and certain items, mainly electronics, from the damage that can be caused by excessive heat.

Who Can Do Heat Fumigation for Termites?

Unless you happen to have the equipment and knowledge, termite fumigation is best left to termite control professionals.

Termite control professionals surround a building with a “tent” to trap the heat. They then hook up a large industrial heater and monitor it to ensure the heat stays at the level it needs to be for the proper amount of time. It normally takes around 8 hours of thermal treatment to kill termites with heat.

How Much Does Thermal Termite Treatment Cost?

Thermal termite treatment normally costs around $10 to $20 dollars per linear foot, meaning an average home’s heat treatment costs between $800 and $2500. 

Are There Potential Downfalls to Treating a Home With Heat?

Yes. If termite heat treatment is not conducted properly, different plastic or electric items can be damaged by the intense heat. For example, heat termite treatment could damage your TV or computer if you don’t take the right precautions.

You also need to vacate your home for around eight hours, which can be inconvenient.

Termite heat treatment vs fumigation

You might be wondering what advantages and disadvantages termite heat treatment has compared to termite fumigation. There are indeed pros and cons of both termite treatment methods.

Pros of Termite Heat Tenting

  • Must evacuate home for around 8 hours (compared to around 24 to 72 hours for termite fumigation)
  • No chemicals used

Cons of Termite Heat Tenting

  • Must evacuate home for around 8 hours (compared to around 24 to 72 hours for termite fumigation)
  • Since no chemicals are used, there is no protection against repeat termite infestations.

Pros of Termite Fumigation Tenting

  • Chemical fumigant residue offers some protection against repeat termite infestations.
  • Effective at exterminating termite infestations deep inside structural timber in buildings.
Video explaining costs of termite heat treatment compared to costs of termite fumigation

Cons of Termite Fumigation Tenting

  • Must evacuate home for around 24 to 72 hours (considerably longer than the 8-hour evacuation requirement for termite heat treatment)
  • There are some health concerns associated with some insecticides (there have been cases where inept pest companies use too much insecticide, which then caused health problems for homes’ inhabitants)

Does Thermal Treatment Work on All Types of Termites?

Heat treatment for termites is typically only used on drywood termites.

Since this process kills termites in your home by heating up the entire structure to a point that is fatal to the little critters, it is only useful for eradicating the types of termites that live only in the timber of your home.

Subterranean termite infestations can easily spring back up after a home undergoes heat fumigation since they almost always enter a home from underground.

Of course, any subterranean termites that are present in a home when undergoing heat termite treatment would be killed but it would not be long until the termites that stayed underground in their colony would re-infest the home.

Termite Heat Treatment Reviews

Further Termite Heat Treatment Resources

  1. Field Demonstration of Heat Technology to Mitigate Heat Sinks for Drywood Termite (Blattodea: Kalotermitidae) Management – NIH.gov
  2. Termites can’t hide from heat and essential oils, finds UCCE study – University of California Riverside

7 thoughts on “Termite heat treatment costs (Reviews & Heat vs. Fumigation)”

  1. I would like more info regarding heat treatment effects on engineered wood floors that are glued down/wallpaper, linoleum (both which are glued), pianos, painted furniture, furniture which is glued, plastic electronics panels, plastic components on appliances/electronics, plexiglass/lucite over pictures/frames, –
    **Building is both concrete/cement as well as wood and is a multi-unit condominium complex.

    • Denise, I can’t definitively answer how termite heat treatment will affect glued engineered wood floors, wallpaper, linoleum, pianos, painted furniture, glued furniture, plastic electronics panels, plastic components on appliances/electronics, and plexiglass/lucite over pictures/frames. What I know is that heat tenting for termites needs to heat internal wood to 125 degrees Fahrenheit, which can take 6-8 hours.

      To determine how this can affect glues in your items, I think you’d need to check what type of glues are in the different items you asked about and look up at what temperatures those glues begin to weaken. If that temperature is well over 125 degrees Fahrenheit, these items shouldn’t be damaged by heat tenting and vice versa. This article says most glues don’t break down until 120 to 180 degrees celcuis, which is 248 to 356 degrees Fahrenheit, so it seems most glues should be ok. But if you need to be sure, you’ll need to research what glue those individual items have and find their recommended temperature ranges.

  2. Hi,

    I got a Peloton bike and am wondering if the heat treatment could damage the bike screen which is basically a mini flat screen tv.
    The bike is 130 pounds and I can not move it out of the unit for the landlord to do the treatment and I am not sure what to do. Also I read the heat treatment could damage laminated furniture. This sucks because I own Ikea.

    Thank you

    • Hi Melanie,

      I recommend removing your Peloton bike prior to termite heat treatment because thermal termite treatment generally goes between 130 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit (the wood’s core temperature needs to be around 130 degrees Farenheit) and Peloton advises that their bikes shouldn’t be above 104 degrees.

      The Peloton may have other sensitive electronics possible, but it looks feasible to remove the screen from the bike.

      Regarding your Ikea furniture, you’ll want to temporarily move that if it’s laminated wood (which it often is, unfortunately).

      Ask you’re landlord if they have any solutions of where you can store your furniture during the heat treatment. Since the termite treatment is you’re landlord’s responsibility, they ought to work with you on this, but, of course, not all landlords are reasonable.

      I hope you find a good solution and come back and let us know about the process. It’ll help other folks going through similar situations.

    • Hi Linda,

      If any of your Christmas ornaments have glue, plastic, or paints, I’d recommend removing them prior to heat treatment. Unless you know exactly what glues, plastics, or paints are on them and how much heat each glue, plastic, or paint can handle, it’s better to play it safe than sorry. Many glues weaken when exposed to high heat (some plastic and paint does the same).


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