How Much Does It Cost To Treat Your Home For Termites?

Buying a house is one of life's biggest expenses, so protecting it is an essential part of conscientious home ownership. The National Pest Management Association estimates that termites cause property damage to the tune of $5 billion each year. Therefore, it stands to reason a termite infestation should be dealt with immediately and effectively, and preferably by a reputable professional. American Pest asserts that these insects can go without sleep and will eat away at your home's furniture, floors, or wallpaper relentlessly. Moreover, if left unchecked, a minor termite problem will undoubtedly intensify and infest the structural elements of your house.

The cost to treat your home varies according to several factors: The extent of the infestation, the type of termite, and the treatment needed. As outlined by Terminix, house size, construction type, and style of the foundation also play roles. Where you live, inspection price, follow-up, and warranties also contribute to the expense of ridding your home of these pests.

Out of more than 2,000 varieties worldwide, Western Exterminator identifies 4 types that are prevalent in the United States. They are the dampwood, drywood, subterranean, and formosan termites. Although there may be evidence in the form of droppings, mud tubes, body parts, or sawdust piles, termites are silent and tend to lay low and an infestation might go unnoticed until there is a costly problem.

Treatments and cost

Termite extermination charges fluctuate between the price of a single micro-treatment at the low end to total-home fumigation. According to Fixr, the average cost to treat your home ranges from $450 to $2,000, with a micro-treatment for a limited area generally costing $6 to $8 per square foot. However, mini-treatments are ineffective once a termite colony is actually established. In the worst-case scenario, damages may cost as much as $10,000. 

Beyond the actual remediation cost, there are a number of miscellaneous expenses. Depending on the region, Thumbtack estimates the price of a termite inspection sits between $85 and $300. Purchasing a new home or selling yours may also require a termite report for an additional fee. WorkWave estimates termite warranties typically cost between $300 and $400, and termite bonds are $1,000. As with any home maintenance project, it is advisable to shop around to get multiple quotes and research companies and customer reviews.

Other termite-related expenses

Heat treatment is an effective but expensive termite remedy. For $8,000, Green Tech Heat Solutions offers a propane-powered thermal system. It generates a temperature that is lethal to termites and their eggs in little more than half an hour. Unlike gas fumigation which requires tenting the inside of the home and vacating the premises for days, a homeowner can return within hours of treatment. However, both processes may require a chemical follow-up if not 100% effective.

Prevention is the best way to avoid the inconvenience and high cost of termite damage. Sealing the home's structure is an important line of defense, according to Orkin. Using caulk to fill any gaps, cracks, or other defects is effective while using dry foam for walls, pipes, and ducts is an additional termite blocker. Walker Pest Management suggests applying a liquid pesticide — which is deadly to termites but safe for humans and pets — around the home's perimeter, generally at a cost of $6 to $8 per linear foot. Poisonous traps and bait can also protect the home's boundaries. In case the high cost of ridding your home of termites is giving you pause, consider this: Scientific American reports that a queen termite is capable of laying 30,000 eggs a day!