Average Termite Treatment Cost 2020
Termites are incredibly destructive little critters that can wreak havoc on wood-structures and cause billions of dollars worth of crop damage every year in the U.S. alone.
Termite damage effects an estimated 600,000 homes annually. According to the EPA, termites cause billions of dollars in structural damage each year. Property owners spend over two billion dollars on treating them.
Termites can cause significant damage in a relatively short time. If not taken care of, termite damage can cost you thousands of dollars to repair. Entire houses have been demolished in extreme cases because the damage was irreparable.
The cost of termite treatment depends on what type of treatment option you choose. The severity of the infestation, the size of the structure/area treated, the kind of termite infestation, and of course, the price quote of the company are all factors that go into calculating the cost of termite treatment.
Types of Termites
There are three types of termites native to the United States: Subterranean, Drywood, and Dampwood. The subterranean type is the one most commonly found. Thankfully, subterranean termite infestations are also the most treatable.
You can often take preventative measures to keep subterranean termites from ever entering a structure. Different types of termites require different extermination methods, and those treatment methods vary in cost.
Termite Prevention Cost vs. Termite Control Cost
Most of us have heard the old wisdom “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” This wisdom certainly applies to termite prevention.
Preventative treatments initially cost about the same as control treatments. Still, it is a good investment because you won’t have to pay additional repair costs for termite damage in the future.
There is a broad range in the cost of termite treatment. Treatment costs can range anywhere from $218 to $2,500. While this may seem like a large sum, repairing termite damage can cost an extra $8,000 on top of the initial cost of termite control, making preventative treatments more cost-effective in the long-term.
To break it down further, let’s take a look at some common types of preventative termite treatment used and their cost.
Termite Prevention Treatments and Costs
There are several types of termite prevention treatments available. Some procedures require you to hire a licensed professional while other treatments are do-it-yourself treatments.
- Termite detection and killing stakes– termite detection and killing stakes are available online and in many home improvement stores. When used correctly and monitored regularly, they can be an effective prevention method and cost less than $100 for a box. However, some brands are more effective than others, and many professionals recommend using the stakes in addition to other termite prevention products.
- Barrier/Soil Treatments – Perimeter treatments are sprayed, or granules are sprinkled and watered into the ground outside, around the perimeter of a house. Barrier treatment products generally need to be applied once annually. The cost is roughly $50 a bottle to do the treatments yourself and have proven to be useful for subterranean termite prevention, but not other types of termites.
- Bora-Care for Unfinished Wood– Bora-Care is a borate-based termite prevention product applied to unfinished wood to repel termites. It doesn’t break down, so it only requires one application for lifetime protection. It is a more environmentally friendly solution than many traditional termiticides. Bora-Care is effective against Formosan, Subterranean, and Drywood termites, and a gallon bottle costs just under $80.
- Professional Chemical Treatments– Professional chemical treatments for termite prevention involves creating trenches or holes along the perimeter of a house. A professional exterminator will then pour liquid chemicals into the trenches or holes and kill termites before they enter your home. The average cost of chemical treatment is about $3 to$16 per linear foot and is effective for Subterranean termite prevention.
Termite Control Treatments and Costs
Unfortunately, it is sometimes too late to prevent termites from entering your home, in which case termite control treatments are necessary. The cost of termite control does not need to be catastrophic by any means.
The infestation may be mild, or it may be severe, and the price of treatment will reflect the level of severity. As with preventative termite treatments, there are both do-it-yourself control treatments and professional control treatments that are available for getting rid of termites in your home.
- Spot-Wood Treatments- If an infestation is smaller, full fumigation isn’t necessary. You can use spot treatments for drywood termite infestations. They involve drilling small holes every few inches along the infested wood and then inserting insecticide into the holes and then patching the holes up. Many times, spot-wood treatments don’t require a professional exterminator. The poisons come in a variety of forms and cost around $20 to $30.
- Bait Treatments/Killing Stakes- Bait treatments can be used both as a preventative or control treatment and can be used where soil treatments are prohibited. The termites feed on the poison bait and die. An individual bait station costs $20 a piece, or you can buy bait station kits for roughly $120 to $220 online. A basic kit contains ten bait stations.
- Heat Extermination- Heat extermination is used for larger infestations. It is a chemical-free method that uses intense heat to kill termites. It involves placing a tent over the entire house, and then hot air gets forced into the house. The cost is about $10 per linear foot.
- Fumigation- Fumigation is by far the most expensive method of extermination. When an infestation runs through the entire house, fumigation is necessary. Similar to the heat extermination method, it involves placing a tent over the house. Instead of forcing heat into the house, the exterminator releases poisonous gas into the house. It costs anywhere from$10 to $20 per linear foot, which comes out to around $1,200 to $2,500 for the average-sized home.
Organic Termite Treatments
If you don’t like the idea of using toxic chemicals to get rid of termites or you live in an area where there are restrictions on pesticide usage, an organic treatment method may be better suited to your needs. These treatment methods need to be reapplied more regularly than chemical methods but are also safer and don’t have any adverse environmental effects. Organic methods tend to be less expensive as well though admittedly, they can be less effective as well.
- Boric Acid- Boric Acid comes in the form of a fine white powder that you apply using a manual duster. It can be used both inside and outside of the house and will kill termites within a few days of application. A five-pound bag of industrial-strength boric acid costs around $15.
- Diatomaceous Earth- Diatomaceous earth also comes in powder form and can be applied the same way as boric acid. The powder is actually made from the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms, the powder particles rip through termite exoskeletons and causes them to die eventually. It is most effective on small infestations and costs around $20 to $25 for a ten-pound bag.
- Beneficial Nematodes- Beneficial Nematodes are microscopic roundworms that occur naturally in soil. They are mixed with water and applied to the soil around a termite-infested structure. Beneficial Nematodes release bacteria inside an insect kill it within 24 to 48 hours. They are useful for subterranean termite infestations and cost around $36 for a pack of 5 million.
- Orange or Neem Oil- Both orange and neem oils can be used to kill termites. Orange oil contains a compound called d-limonene, which kills termites on contact while neem oil requires the termites to ingest the oil. Orange oil is most effective when used against Drywood termite colonies but can be used on Subterranean termite colonies if the nest is thoroughly saturated. A 64 oz container of these oils will cost between $30 and $40.
Hiring An Exterminator
When you are considering hiring a professional for any project, you should always do your homework first. The hiring of an exterminator is no different. Research the company or individual service provider you are considering hiring. Look at what extermination services they provide and what types of pesticides they use. Look at consumer reviews and see what kind of feedback the company or individual have received in the past.
It’s not unusual to feel panicked when you find out you have a termite infestation but don’t hire the first company you see or the one that appears to be the cheapest. Your entire house will not collapse in the few days it takes to research your options.
Getting bids from two or three different companies can help you find the right company for your termite treatment needs. Knowing what your specific treatment needs are will keep you from wasting money on unnecessary or ineffective treatments. It can ultimately save you money in the long-term as well by eliminating the need for repeat treatments.
Other Termite Treatment Costs
In addition to the actual cost of termite treatment, there are other costs to consider. The costs of the termite inspection, equipment, and repairs for pre-existing termite damage contribute to the overall price of termite treatment. You also need to consider the price of any repeat termite treatment that may be necessary.
- Termite Inspection Cost- A professional termite inspection can cost anywhere from $120 to $350.
- Equipment- While do- it- yourself treatments tend to be less expensive; these methods also tend to require you to purchase equipment for treatment applications. While a hand duster or a hose-end sprayer may only cost between $10 and $20, a backpack sprayer will be more in the range of $50 to $60. A quality respirator for spraying pesticides can cost anywhere between $30 and $70.
- Termite Damage Repair- As mentioned earlier, the cost of repairing termite damage can be upwards of $3,000.
- Termite Treatment Plans- In areas where termites are very active, it may be necessary to do treatments annually. Many pest control companies offer termite treatment plans for preventative treatment and monitoring these plans that cost about $150 to $300 annually. For treatment plans that include annual chemical applications, the cost can range from $1,300 to $1,500 per treatment.
- Dehumidifiers- To prevent dampwood termite infestations, it may be necessary to buy dehumidifiers for your home. Dehumidifiers can get pricey depending on the size of your home and how many are required. A whole-house dehumidifier can cost up to $2, 800 while small single room dehumidifiers cost between $40 and $70.
The Bottom Line
The total cost of termite treatment depends on a variety of factors. The type of treatment methods used and the severity of infestation are the most influential factors but certainly not the only factor. Different types of termite infestations require different methods of treatment.
The cost of termite treatment also varies depending on whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a professional exterminator to do it for you.
Both chemical and organic treatments can be used to kill off termites. While chemical treatments tend to be more effective and get reapplied, less often, organic treatments are less expensive, better for the environment, and safer to use around children and pets.
Besides the cost of termite prevention and control, termite treatments involve other expenses. Inspection costs, the price of necessary equipment, as well as repair costs for existing damage also need to be factored into the overall cost of termite treatment.
If you are confident in your do-it-yourself abilities, then you can save a significant amount of money with do-it-yourself termite treatment methods. Also, while organic methods can be more labor-intensive, if you are willing to do the work, you can save money by using them instead of costly chemical treatment methods.
It’s natural to feel slightly panicked when you first find out you have a termite infestation. However, it will be less intimidating when you know what options you have available to you. A little research goes a long way in helping you figure out the best treatment methods to fit your needs and your budget.
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