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Cost of Termite Extermination

Termites cause an estimated $5 billion annually in structural damage across the United States. If you suspect your home is infested, acting today can save you thousands in preventable repairs. The cost of termite treatment varies, but nationwide, the price ranges from $290–$850 for basic treatments to $1270 –$3200 for tenting and fumigation or heat treatment. Get free quotes from professional termite treatment companies near you.

National Termite Treatment Cost Average
National Average $570
Low $225
Mid-range $640
High-end $1035.00 – $1265.00

There are two types of termite treatments — chemical and heat.

Chemical treatments include bait, repellents and fumigation. Bait and repellent treatments are limited. Priced at $4–$14 per linear foot, costs range from $290-$850 — the average homeowner pays $560.

Fumigation requires “tenting” your home and pumping in airborne termiticide. Priced at $1-$5 per square foot, costs range between $1270 –$3200. Expect to pay $2200 on average.

Heat treatments are also applied under tent, but no chemicals are used. Instead, homes are heated to 135° Fahrenheit for a half-hour or more, and the temperature alone kills the termites.

Termite Control Costs by Type

Each type of termite has different feeding and nesting patterns and requires a customized approach to treatment and control.

There are three types of termites affecting US homes in every state but Alaska.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites nest in trees and dry lumber. Once in your home, they can be challenging to find and even tougher to eradicate. For significant infestations, tented fumigation or heat treatment is recommend. Unlike repellents and bait, heat and chemical fumigants penetrate nooks and crannies, eliminating termites where they hide. On average, the cost to treat an entire home for drywood termites is $1950.

Limited infestations can be chemically treated by drilling holes in wood where termites live and filling them with chemicals that, when consumed, cause termites to die. So-called “drill and fill” treatments range in price from $320-$850 depending on how much are is involved.

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites nest in moist wood, including trees and home substructures. Often found in damp basements, they can chew through support beams, leading to costly repairs.

Dampwood termites are difficult to detect because they use their feces to plug the tunnels they live in. When found outdoors, the key to eliminating them is to remove what attracts them — typically woodpiles, rotted decks or outbuildings.

Treatments for homes may include limited fumigation, but because the range of dampwood termites is limited, pairing moisture remediation and the drill and fill method is the easiest and most cost-effective way to eliminate them. On average, expect to pay $1200.

Dampwood termites found outdoors can be kept out of your home using repellent-filled trenches or bait that, when carried to the nest, kills the entire colony. Repellents and bait treatments are less expensive than fumigation, averaging $550.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites — including the dreaded Formosan species — eat wood anywhere they find it, but they live underground in the soil surrounding homes. Nests can be extensive and as deep as 300 feet. Subterranean termites have been known to eat entire foundations out from buildings in a matter of months.

Because they live underground, subterranean termites are easy to treat with repellent-filled trenches or bait stations strategically placed around a home. In areas where subterranean termites are prevalent, ongoing prevention is highly recommended. The cost to eliminate an infestation ranges from $290–$850 plus the price of control.

Cost of Termite Inspections

Inspecting for termites without expert know-how is risky.

Termites can hide in:

  • Walls
  • Windows
  • Door Frames
  • Basements
  • Crawl Spaces
  • Attics
  • Cabinets
  • Floors and more

And the evidence isn’t always obvious. A professional termite inspection costs as little $90-$300. Select pest control companies offer free inspections while others refund the inspection cost should you opt for treatment or preventive services.

Termite Control Cost

Termites are ubiquitous — once one colony is eliminated, another may move in. In many areas of the country, regular preventive treatment is the norm.

Pest-control professionals visit your home on a regular schedule — monthly to every six months — to check for signs of termites and refill repellent trenches or bait stations.

Costs per visit average $25-$50, but you may pay less by signing a contract with one company. Damage protection guarantees are often included.

Termite Treatment for New Construction

In areas where termites are common, building codes may require contractors take certain measures to pest-proof your home. Two popular methods include using pressure-treated lumber and soil treatments.

Pressure-treatment lumber is infused with chemicals that deter termites — it costs $0.50 to $1 per linear foot on average. Soil treatments are priced between $4 and $13 per linear foot. Gaps in wood where were termites like to feed can also be sealed with termite controlling foam insulation for less than $300 per home.

Anyone purchasing an existing home should ask for a termite bond — a transferable termite service agreement between a homeowner and a termite company for a regular termite inspection — as part of the sale contract. It’s a $350–$1500 value that offers peace of mind.

Termite Treatment Chemicals

Exterminators use a combination of pesticides and repellents to kill termites and prevent infestations.

Repellents include:

  • Cypermethrin
  • Permethrin
  • Bifenthrin
  • Fenvalerate
  • Boric acid and more

Termiticides include:

  • Arsenic trioxide
  • Fipronil
  • Imidacloprid
  • Chlorfenapyr

Like all pests, termites become resistant to certain chemicals over time, and as they do, newer and more effective ingredients take their place.

Sentricon vs. Termidor

If you live with termites, chances are you’ve heard about these two top-tier treatments. Which is more effective?

Conscientiously applied, both have an excellent track record.

The Sentricon System, manufactured by Dow, uses bait that is ten times more attractive to termites than wood. Workers eat the bait and then carry it to the nest where it kills the entire colony. Sentricon is sold only to professionals.

Termidor, or fipronil, works in much the same way, but it doesn’t attract termites — a selling point for homeowners looking only for preventive treatment. It’s completely odorless, so termites unknowingly chew on treated wood and bring the poison back to their colony. Because it’s slow-acting, it spreads through large colonies undetected. Termidor is recommenced for professional use only, but generic versions are available to the public in some states.

National pest control companies use both, but because each is applied differently, the cost of the chemical and labor are tough to compare. On average, expect to pay $100–$150 more annually for regular treatment with Sentricon.

FAQs

What are the signs of a termite infestation?

Signs include:

  • Holes or burrows in timber or furniture
  • Piles of chewed wood that looks like sawdust
  • Dead termites or eggs
  • Termite droppings or wings — termites lose their wings after mating.

Unfortunately, in many cases, there are no observable signs of termites until damage has already been done. Termite-control experts are not only trained in safe pesticide application, but they also know how to find termites where they hide. Professional treatment is an excellent value.

How long do termite treatments take?

Most chemical extermination takes less than a day, but fumigated homes must be ventilated for 3–5 days before it’s safe to re-enter. Heat treatment takes 24 hours.

Is termite treatment safe?

Outdoor repellent trenches and bait stations are safe when used as directed. Fumigation is safe after ventilation; however, items that could be damaged by chemicals — such as houseplants — should be removed. Heat is non-toxic, but it can affect sensitive wood products, including musical instruments and antique furniture. Your treatment professional will guide you every step of the way.

How long does termite treatment last?

Termite treatments can last as little as six months or as long as five years, depending on the type of treatment and the risk for reinfestation.

Does homeowner’s insurance cover termite treatment?

Not usually. Because termites are so common, they’re considered a preventable risk.

Are there any all-natural DIY termite treatments?

Diatomaceous earth and products using essential oils are anecdotally effective, but few have been studied, and none are guaranteed to eliminate termites.

Which company is better — Terminix or Orkin?

Both companies have excellent reputations.

Hiring a Termite Control Company

Termite treatment requires the knowledge and skill of professionals. To ensure you’re getting appropriate and cost-effective services, do the following:

  • Get more than one estimate from companies rated “A” or better by the Better Business Bureau
  • Ensure companies are licensed and insured
  • Ask inspectors to show you signs of termites and identify which species is involved
  • Request detailed information about the type of chemicals to be used and their long-term safety for children and pets
  • Review the warranty and conditions for retreatment
  • Ensure contracts are fully itemized and clarify policies for canceling contracts

Final Thoughts

The average bill to repair termite damage is $8000 — and it could go much higher. If you suspect your home has termites, call a professional exterminator right away. And if you don’t — remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.