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How much does termite treatment cost?

Plan to spend at least a grand for most solutions

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Termites are more than just a nuisance — a termite infestation, if left untreated, can lead to costly repairs and compromise the structural integrity of your home. If you’re dealing with termites, it’s important to address termite infestations promptly to protect your investment and ensure the safety of your property.

Key insights

  • The cost of termite treatment depends on factors like treatment type, home size and location, number of treatments and the size of the infestation.
  • You have a few termite treatment options, including liquid, bait, heat, chemical and gas fumigation treatments.
  • You might be dealing with subterranean, drywood, dampwood or Formosan termites — knowing which is essential to choosing the most effective treatment method.
  • To prevent a termite infestation, you should perform regular inspections, control moisture in your home, properly ventilate your space and seal any gaps in your walls, ceilings and floors.

Cost by treatment type

If your infestation is widespread, there are several methods you can use to treat it, including liquid treatment, bait treatment, heat treatment, chemical treatment and fumigation treatment. Effectiveness and cost depend on which method you choose.

Liquid termite treatment

Liquid treatment involves applying a termite-killing solution around the perimeter of a structure, creating a barrier to prevent termites from entering. You can apply this treatment to soil around your home or directly to wood surfaces.

According to Charlotte Granville, a remodeling specialist for Fixr, a website that specializes in home improvement resources: “If the infestation is contained to the exterior walls, a perimeter application is usually the most practical and cost-effective treatment. A perimeter application is priced based on the linear footage of the home’s perimeter, and typically costs between $4 and $16 per linear foot.”

» MORE: What is a linear foot?

Bait termite treatment

To treat termites with bait, you’ll place bait stations in strategic locations around your property to attract the insects. Termite bait contains a slow-acting poison that can eliminate a colony over time.

You’ll have to monitor and replace these bait stations periodically. The average cost for bait treatment for termites ranges from $1,500 to $3,000 per home.

Heat treatment for termites

Especially if you’re dealing with a localized infestation (e.g., in your furniture or other small areas in your home), you can treat termites with heat. With this option, an exterminator covers the area to trap in warmth and heats the structure to at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature that’s lethal to termites.

The average cost for a heat treatment ranges from $1,000 to $2,500, depending on the size of the area you need treated.

Chemical termite treatment

You can also use chemicals to create a toxic environment for termites in your home. This option is highly effective but may take multiple applications and requires that occupants leave the home. The average cost for chemical fumigation termite treatment ranges from $1,500 to $3,000 for an entire home.

Gas fumigation termite treatment

Gas termite treatment, also known as fumigation, involves sealing off a structure and filling it with a lethal gas to kill termites. This treatment is highly effective but requires you to vacate the premises for several days. The average cost for gas termite treatment ranges from $1,200 to $2,500 for a single-family home.

Termite treatment cost factors

Several factors influence the cost of termite treatment, including your home size, the treatment type you choose, your location, the number of treatments required and the size of the infestation.

  • Home size: Larger homes typically require more materials and labor for treatment, resulting in higher costs.
  • Treatment type: The right treatment varies by situation, and the treatment you choose impacts the overall cost.
  • Location: Regional differences in labor rates and the prevalence of certain termite species can affect treatment costs.
  • Number of treatments: Some infestations may require multiple treatments to fully eradicate the problem; more applications mean higher costs.
  • Size of infestation: Larger infestations generally require more extensive treatment and result in higher costs.

Termite damage repair costs

Termite infestations can result in both structural and cosmetic damage to your property. Repair costs vary depending on the extent of the damage and the materials needed for repairs.

Structural damage by termites

Structural damage caused by termites can be extensive and may include damage to support beams, floor joists and other load-bearing elements of a building. Repairing structural damage is often expensive and may cost from a few thousand dollars for minor repairs to tens of thousands for more severe damage.

Cosmetic damage by termites

Cosmetic issues due to a termite infestation may include damaged drywall, baseboards and trim. While these aren’t as costly to repair as structural issues, cosmetic repairs can still add up, with costs ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

Types of termites

There are several types of termites in the U.S., each with unique characteristics and habitat preferences. The most common types of termites found in the U.S. are subterranean, drywood, dampwood and Formosan termites.

Subterranean termites are the most common and destructive type of termite. They live in colonies underground and require contact with soil to maintain their ideal moisture levels. Subterranean termites build mud tubes to travel between their colony and food sources (usually wood).
Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites don’t require contact with soil and can infest wood structures directly. They typically live in smaller colonies than subterranean termites and create small tunnels and chambers within the wood they infest. Drywood termites are more common in warmer climates.
As their name suggests, dampwood termites prefer wood with a high moisture content. They’re typically found in damp or decaying wood, such as logs or tree stumps. Dampwood termites are less likely to infest buildings if there’s not much moisture present in the structure.
Formosan termites are a highly aggressive and destructive species of subterranean termite. They’re originally from Asia but have established themselves in the southern U.S. in more recent years. Formosan termites are known for their large colonies and ability to cause extensive damage in a short amount of time.

Signs of termites

If you have a termite infestation, early detection is crucial. Some common signs of a termite infestation:

  • Mud tubes: Subterranean termites build mud tubes (pencil-size tunnels made of soil and wood particles) to travel between their colony and food sources. These tubes are often found along a home's foundation, walls or crawl spaces.
  • Discarded wings: Reproductive termites, also known as swarmers or alates, shed their wings after mating. Finding discarded wings near windows, doors or other entry points can be a sign of a termite infestation.
  • Termite swarms: Swarms of flying termites indicate a nearby termite colony (this usually only happens in the spring). If you see a swarm inside your home, it's likely that termites have already infested your property.
  • Damaged wood: Termites chew through wood, creating tunnels and chambers for travel. Over time, this can weaken the wood, giving it a hollow, blistered or honeycomb-patterned appearance. You may hear a hollow sound if you tap on infested wood.
  • Frass: Drywood termites produce frass, a mixture of wood particles and fecal matter, as they consume wood. Finding frass near wooden structures can be a sign of a drywood termite infestation.
  • Sagging or buckling floors: Subterranean termites can cause damage to the support structures underneath your flooring, leading to sagging or buckling floors.
  • Tight-fitting doors and windows: As termites consume wood, they produce moisture, which can cause wood to warp and make doors and windows harder to open and close.

If you notice any of these signs, have a professional termite control expert inspect your property and, if necessary, develop a treatment plan to eliminate the infestation.

How to prevent a termite infestation

If you live in an area with a high risk of termites, it might be a good idea to schedule professional termite inspections annually or more frequently.

In general, it’s smart to eliminate excess moisture around your home by fixing leaks, ensuring proper drainage and maintaining gutters and downspouts. You can also treat exposed wood with termite-resistant chemicals and avoid using mulch near your home's foundation.

Keep plants and shrubbery trimmed away from your home; otherwise, termites might be attracted to your perimeter. This happened to a reviewer on our site from California: “I was digging up a very old woody type of plant that was close to the house and I was trying to go for this root, I looked down and I saw some termites congregating on that root because it had turned to wood. I called Terminix immediately and they came out and took care of it.”

It’s also important to ensure proper ventilation in crawl spaces and the attic and seal gaps in your foundation, doors and windows.

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    How long does termite treatment last?

    Termite treatment can last anywhere from a few years to over a decade, depending on the treatment type and application. Regular inspections are essential to ensure the treatment remains effective, however.

    Can I treat my home for termites myself?

    While there are DIY termite treatment options available, it’s typically recommended to hire a professional to ensure the treatment is applied correctly and effectively.

    What is the most effective treatment for termites?

    The most effective treatment for termites depends on the type of termite you’re dealing with and the extent of the infestation. A combination of treatments may make the most sense, depending on how severe your infestation is. A professional termite control expert can evaluate your specific situation and recommend the most effective treatment method for your infestation.

    Can I sell a house with termites?

    Yes, you can sell a house with termites, but it may be more challenging and could impact the selling price. In most states, you’re legally required to disclose any known termite infestations or past termite damage to potential buyers; failure to disclose this information can lead to legal issues.

    Because potential buyers may be concerned about the costs of treatment and repairs, termite infestation or damage may lower your property value. Buyers may request that you deal with the infestation before closing or ask for a price reduction to cover these costs. Also, keep in mind that some mortgage lenders may require treatment before approving a loan.

    Is termite treatment covered by insurance or a home warranty?

    In most cases, termite treatment is not covered by homeowners insurance or a home warranty. Standard policies exclude damage caused by pests like termites, based on the notion that infestations and damage are preventable through regular maintenance and inspections. However, some insurance and warranty companies may offer additional coverage or endorsements for termite damage at an extra cost.

    » MORE: What does a home warranty cover?

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