Termites in Idaho (How common are they, what types + MORE)


If you’re trying to learn about termites in Idaho, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll show you the termite threat level in Idaho, the types of termites in Idaho, and some resources Idahoans can use to deal with termites.

If you’re interested in a specific aspect of Idaho’s termites, check the table of contents and skip ahead to a relevant section. If you can’t find what you need, send me a message or a comment. I do my best to respond to everyone.

Types of Idaho termites

In this section, I’ll discuss the types of termites in Idaho and how much of a threat the different types of termites pose to Idahoans.

Are there termites in Idaho?

Yes, termites are active in most of Idaho. They’re found in Boise, Blackfoot, Coeur d’Alene, Chubbuck, Pocatello, Moscow, Twin Falls, most other towns, and in rural areas across most of Idaho.

According to the USDA, there is slight to moderate termite activity in all but the easternmost part of Idaho, which has none to slight subterranean termite activity.

Termite damaged stud in Blackfoot Idaho
Termite damaged stud in Blackfoot, ID. Notice the hollowed-out termite galleries—a telltale sign of termite damage.

What types of termites live in Idaho?

Subterranean termites are prevalent in Idaho and cause the most damage there. Specifically, Idaho has western and arid-land subterranean termites.

Idaho also has some dampwood termites (the Nevada dampwood termite), but dampwood termites cause less damage in Idaho because they require high moisture, and Idaho is quite dry.

Drywood termites aren’t native to Idaho, so you generally don’t need to worry about them. But drywood termites can be transported into Idahoan homes via secondhand furniture, so inspect any older furniture you buy for termites.

Idaho drywood termites

As mentioned above, while drywood termites aren’t native to Idaho, they are sometimes found there.

The occasional cases where drywood termites are found in Idaho are usually when folks unwittingly transported them into Idaho after buying used furniture from a place where drywood termites are common, like the Southwest United States.

You can learn some tips for checking used furniture for termites here, but generally, you can perform your own quick inspection for termites in used furniture by tapping it in different places (a termite tap test).

When you tap it, termite-infested wood will sound quite different than solid wood furniture. It will sound less solid.

You can also look for any frass (droppings) piles lying around the furniture (though if you buy second-hand furniture from a store, you might not see these).

They look a bit like sawdust, but have more of a pellet shape. You can learn all about identifying termite droppings here.

If you find termites in furniture that you don’t want to throw out, contact a pest control professional in Idaho to discuss your options.

Sometimes you can conduct a spot treatment (for localized infestations).

Other times, you’ll need broader treatment.

If you accidentally brought drywood termites into your home and they were able to establish their colony in your home, you might have to search more for an Idahoan pest control company that has experience fumigating for drywood termites since drywood termites are not native to Idaho.

Idaho subterranean termites

The most common underground termites found in Idaho are Western subterranean termites (Reticulitermes hesperus) and arid-land subterranean termites (Reticulitermes tibialis).

Here is a video of Western subterranean termite alates emerging from the ground. Finding Western subterranean termite swarmers is a sign of a mature termite colony nearby.

Idaho dampwood termites

The Nevada dampwood termites that live in Idaho (Zootermopsis nevadensis) don’t make the mud shelter tubes that subterranean termites do, making it more difficult for homeowners in Idaho to spot them.

Unfortunately, Dampwood termites can remain undetected inside wood for years because they plug the openings they make in wood to preserve moisture inside the wood. They tend to be forest-dwelling termites and primarily live in Oregon, Washington, and California.

Here’s a video of some dampwood termites if you want an idea of what they look like.

Nevada Dampwood Termites (Zootermopsis nevadensis) are commonly found in Idaho

The good news is that dampwood termites, as their name suggests, need moist wood to survive. Since Idaho is a fairly dry state, dampwood termites cause significantly less damage than subterranean termites.

Are there any invasive termite species in Idaho?

Formosan termites are the primary invasive termites in the USA. Thankfully, they’ve not been identified in Idaho, which is likely because Formosan termites seem to prefer the warmer climates of the Southern US states.

What do termites in Idaho look like?

Subterranean termites (common in Idaho) are sometimes confused for ‘white ants’. Their worker termites are about the same size and similarly shaped and the workers are usually white. They can also be darker brown, reddish, or black, often dependent on what they eat. You might also see termite alates (winged termites) which look like flying ants. If you’re unsure, contact a pest control pro.

Western subterranean termite swarmers in Lewiston Idaho
Group of western subterranean termites emerging from the ground in Lewiston, Idaho

Signs of termites in Idaho

There are several signs of termites in Idaho that any homeowner can learn to identify. Since Idaho mainly has subterranean termites, the primary evidence of subterranean termite activity in Idaho you should look for is:

  1. Termite mud tubes (aka termite shelter tubes)
  2. Damaged drywall paper
  3. Swarmers or discarded termite wings (These are reproductively mature, flying termites. They look quite a bit like flying ants)
  4. Damage behind bubbled and peeling paint

The most commonly encountered Dampwood termite evidence in Idaho is discarded wings or Dampwood termite alates themselves.

Termite mudtubes near water heater in Lewiston Idaho
These subterranean mud tubes were found on the wall behind a water heater near Boise, ID.

Idaho’s termite threat level, termite season, and treatment considerations

In this section, I’ll cover how commonly termites are found in Idaho, the seasons where termites are more active in Idaho, and different termite treatment options in Idaho.

Are termites common in Idaho?

Termite activity is slight to moderate in all but the easternmost portion of Idaho, so, yes, termites are common in most of Idaho. According to the USDA, the easternmost part of Idaho has no to slight termite activity but that doesn’t mean you should consider your home immune to termites if you live in eastern Idaho.

probability of getting termites in Idaho USDA data
USDA map of termite risk in Idaho. You can see most of Idaho has a slight to moderate termite risk while the easternmost part of Idaho has “none” to “slight” termite risk.

Do I need termite protection in Idaho?

There is some termite risk no matter where you live in Idaho, so all Idahoans should follow basic termite prevention strategies. If you live anywhere but the easternmost part of Idaho, you should have termite protection, since the risk of termites there is slight to moderate.

If you live in the easternmost portion of Idaho, you might not need termite protection since the termite risk is none to slight, but you’d be gambling a bit on your home by foregoing protection. It’s wise to at least get an annual termite inspection. Below is a video of a home in eastern Idaho (Idaho Falls, Idaho) that had serious termite damage.

map of relative probability of termite infestations in the United States (from U.S. Department of Agriculture)
In this USDA map of termite risk in the US, you can see that all of Idaho has some risk of subterranean termites. Most of Idaho has a slight to moderate termite threat level but a small portion of Eastern Idaho has a none to slight termite threat level.

When is termite season in Idaho?

Subterranean termites (the most common type in Idaho) are most active during Idaho’s rainy seasons. Unfortunately, this means Idaho’s termites are quite active in fall, winter, and spring. Even though they slow down in the dryer Idaho summers, subterranean termites eat wood all year, meaning they don’t really have a season.

When do termites swarm in Idaho?

In all states, termites often swarm after rainfall on warm days. Given Idaho’s rainy seasons, this means termites can swarm in fall, winter, and spring.

Though they can swarm anytime, Western subterranean termites normally swarm in Idaho in the daytime during the rainy season, meaning fall, winter, and spring.

Arid-land subterranean termites often swarm in Idaho in the daytime during spring and fall.

Nevada dampwood termites often swarm in Idaho in the evening during springtime.

Termites sometimes swarm in heated buildings during the winter too (assuming they’re already infesting a building).

How often should you treat termites in Idaho?

Subterranean termite treatment generally lasts reliably for around five years. Termites can occasionally, however, find a way through a termiticide trench barrier, so it is good to get an annual termite inspection to monitor for potential termite activity.

Do I need a termite bond if I live in Idaho?

You don’t necessarily need a termite bond if you live in Idaho but you may want one, particularly if you live anywhere but the easternmost part of Idaho since most of Idaho has a slight to moderate risk of termite activity.

Termite bonds act as insurance against termite damage in Idaho. Termite bonds typically require an initial termite treatment and inspection to ensure your property is termite-free and a subsequent annual fee, inspection, and follow-on termite treatments as necessary. You can learn more about termite coverage warranties and bonds here.

Do most homes in Idaho have termites?

It is not likely that most homes in Idaho have termites but most homes in Idaho are at significant enough risk for termite infestations that they ought to implement termite protection. It’s best to discuss how to do this with a pest control professional but protecting against subterranean termites typically involves termite trenching (soil barrier) and termite bait monitoring systems.

How much do termite inspections in Idaho cost?

You can expect to pay around $100 to $150 for a termite pre-home sale termite inspection in Idaho. Larger homes may be a bit more, smaller homes a bit less. Commercial building termite inspections will be significantly more, again, dependent on the building size.

If you found what you think are termites or suspected signs of termites around your home and don’t need an official termite inspection report for a real estate sale, termite control experts in Idaho will often conduct such inspections for free.

They’ll then likely recommend termite treatment options and give you a price quote for these.

Resources for dealing with Idaho termites

Next, I’m sharing some additional resources that Idahoans dealing with termites can consult for more details about termite control in Idaho.

I share some of Idaho’s university extensions (great resources for all sorts of Idaho pest control issues), some legal considerations for Idaho termites, and how to research and get in touch with companies licensed in Idaho for termite control.

Idaho’s university extensions

Other Idaho termite websites

Idaho termite law

If you need legal advice about termite issues in Idaho, consult a lawyer. (I’m not a legal expert).

Here are some of the relevant regulatory and legal issues about termites in Idaho though.

Idaho’s termiticide regulations are derived from the Idaho Pesticide Act of 1976 which is administered by the ISDA.

The Idaho Pesticides and Chemigation Law (Chapter 34, Title 22,
Idaho Code)
and Rules Governing Pesticide and Chemigation Use and Application (IDAPA 02.03.03) are more laws and rules from the Idaho Pesticide Act of 1976. Idaho recommends all pesticide applicators (including termite companies) are familiar with these documents.

Idaho building code also has several requirements for new homes built in areas of Idaho with a significant termite threat. Section R318 covers these requirements. Though more detailed than this, the Idaho building code broadly requires the following:

  • Chemical termiticide treatment
  • Termite baiting systems installed
  • Pressure-preservative-treated wood
  • Naturally durable termite-resistant wood
  • Physical barriers in appropriate locations
  • Cold-formed steel framing

In many states, VA home loans often require a pest control inspection prior to receiving a loan. In Idaho, however, pest inspections are left to the judgment of independent VA appraisers.

I’d recommend getting a pest inspection regardless. You don’t want to purchase a home in Idaho with termite damage and only discover it years later (This happens more than you’d think).

Even though the termite risk is relatively low in Eastern Idaho, a home is too big of an investment to gamble on.

Just spend a few hundred bucks for an inspection before you make an offer on a home.

Is a termite inspection report required in Idaho?

A wood-destroying insect inspection (which includes termites) is required in Idaho for real estate transactions, including property sales and refinancing. According to Idaho law, these types of inspections must be conducted by an inspector with a valid Idaho commercial pesticide applicator license with a certification in termite control.

How long is termite inspection good for in Idaho?

Generally, it’s recommended to get an annual termite inspection. But if you find any evidence of termites around your home or property, you should request a termite inspection to have a termite professional check for infestations.

Idaho termite companies

Here is a list of some termite companies in Idaho. I recommend reading their reviews on the web and asking family, friends, and acquaintances to get an idea of their customer satisfaction.

  • Advanced Pest Control (Coeur D Alene, Idaho)
  • Affordable Pest Control (Meridian, ID)
  • All Pest Control (Caldwell, ID)
  • A-1 Pest Control (Idaho Falls, ID)
  • Best Pest Control, LLC (Boise, Idaho)
  • Crawford’s Pest Control (Boise, ID)
  • Dengo Wildlife Control (Boise, Idaho)
  • Gemtek Pest Control Inc (Boise, ID)
  • General Pest Control (Nampa, Idaho)
  • Green Guard Pest Control (Meridian, ID)
  • Integrity Pest Control (Meridian, ID)
  • Moxie Pest Control (Pocatello, ID)
  • Orkin (Boise, Idaho)
  • Scott’s Pest Control (Hansen, ID)
  • Senske Services (Idaho Falls, Idaho)
  • Star Pest Control (Idaho Falls, ID)
  • Terminix (Boise, Idaho)
  • Timberline Lawn & Pest (Idaho Falls, Idaho)
  • Top Gun Pest Control (Caldwell, ID)
  • TruGreen (Meridian, Idaho)
  • Western Exterminator Company (Garden City & Post Falls)
  • Willhide-N-Seek Pest Control (Boise, Idaho)

Additionally, you can ask around family, friends, and acquaintances for recommendations. It’s likely you know someone who has had termite treatment in Idaho.

If you can’t find anyone, however, who has hired an Idahoan termite control company (maybe you just moved to Idaho), then try searching on Facebook.

Quite a few folks voice their complaints or praise about termite companies there, so that can give you an idea about their service.

One more thing to keep in mind.

Many people have written to me and claimed they’ve received more personable, cheaper, and more effective termite treatment from smaller, family-owned pest control businesses than they did from the larger, national franchises.

So, make sure you consider the Ma and Pa termite companies in Idaho!

Don’t be off-put if they offer you a significantly lower price than a national termite franchise.

A lower price doesn’t always mean lower service quality when it comes to termite control.

Idaho pest control license

Before you commit to a termite control company, check to make sure they’re licensed in Idaho.

You can look up a pest control applicator with the Idaho State Department of Agriculture here by following:

  1. Enter their first or last name
  2. Enter their license number (either ask them for their pest control license number or check their website because many companies list it there)

The results show whether a pesticide applicator is licensed in Idaho or to whom a license number belongs.

If you use a termite control professional who is not licensed in Idaho, and their termite treatment is subpar, you’ll likely have fewer legal options of recourse (though you may have some, since they were performing unlicensed termite treatment).

Get several quotes from termite control professionals in Idaho

If you’d like quotes from several different Idahoan termite professionals, you can call around to different termite companies around where you live.

Or you can fill out this form and several professional termite companies will give you free, no-obligation price quotes.

However you go about it, I recommend always getting at least three inspections and written quotes from pest control companies in Idaho, so you can compare them and make sure you’re getting a good deal.

Getting at least three inspections also gives you consensus. It’s a bit like getting a second or third opinion from doctors before committing to surgery.

And keep in mind, the company that offers you the cheapest termite treatment isn’t necessarily the best (they may have terrible customer service) or the worst (they may be offering you a great deal because they have lower operating costs).

So, make sure to ask around for recommendations before you decide on which termite company in Idaho to use.

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