There's a lot of responsibility that comes with being a homeowner. It's now your job to fix plumbing issues, repair flooring issues and make sure pests don't wreak havoc on your home.
Your home is likely the biggest investment you'll make, so it's important to protect it and treat it well. While Terminix® can't help you decide whether to go with tile floors or carpeting, we do have a few pointers for you in regards to what you need to know about termite treatment costs and the damage an infestation can cause.
How Much Does it Cost to Treat Termites?
Finding out that you have an active termite infestation can be very scary news for a homeowner. And if you have a termite infestation, you'll want to have a professional termite control company treat it. But because termite treatments are customized to your situation, there's no cut-and-dry answer to how much termite treatment costs. The cost of your treatment can vary depending on many factors, some of which include:
- Where in the country you live
- Size of your home
- Construction type of your home
However, with Terminix, one thing that is certain is that the cost of your initial termite inspection is free, and then you can decide whether or not to purchase a termite contract. And once a trained technician has inspected your home and property, he or she will work with you to customize a plan that best suits your situation and needs.
One thing to consider when weighing the cost of termite treatment is the cost of termite damage. Each year, termites cause about $5 billion worth of damage in the United States.1 To further break it down, the average cost of termite treatments and damage repairs is more than $9,000.2
It's also important to note that termite damage is generally not covered by your homeowner's insurance. That's because termite damage is considered something that can be prevented by maintenance. However, a termite protection plan can help protect you from the cost of future potential termite damage.
Can I Treat My Home for Termites?
Termite treatment is not something that should be DIY'd. When it comes to protecting your home from termites, quick and effective treatment is key. Without annual professional inspections, an active termite infestation can go years without being detected. And then, by the time signs of termite activity are spotted, the damage could be extensive.
There are different species of termites that infest homes in the U.S., and these different termite species often need to be treated in different ways. Making matters worse, termite damage and infestations are typically hidden, unless the infestation has gotten very bad. It takes a trained professional to be able to identify where the infestation is and the species of termite you're dealing with.
DIY termite treatment could actually end up making the infestation worse. Someone who isn't trained in how to identify termites and which proper treatment method to use would likely treat the termite infestation incorrectly. And not only would that cost the homeowner time, but termites could be doing more damage to the home during that time. This could end up costing the homeowner more money in further damage and treatment costs.
However, there are some things you can do yourself in and around your home to help prevent a termite infestation from happening in the first place. DIY termite prevention methods include:
- Keeping shrubbery trimmed at least 1 foot away from your home's structure
- Pointing all sprinkler heads and downspouts away from your home's foundation
- Keeping your crawl space as dry as possible
- Using pine needles or synthetic mulch in your flower beds instead of wood mulch
- Generally maintaining your home's exterior and immediately having any water leaks repaired
- The tips above will help keep your home and the area around your home's structure and foundation dry, thus less conducive to termite activity. But these measures alone cannot stop a termite infestation.
How Long Does Termite Treatment Last?
Termite treatments last for several years when they're applied strictly following the label instructions. The length of time a termite treatment can last depends on many things, such as the product that was used, how it was applied, weather conditions, if the soil was disrupted, if there's any leaks in faucets, and more. So it is possible that a house that's been treated for termites can be re-infested.
However, Terminix offers termite plans that can provide your home ongoing protection from termites and the damage they cause. These plans come with annual inspections from a trained termite control professional to look for any new signs of a termite infestation. And it's important that homeowners have these inspections completed every year, even if their home was recently treated for termites.
What is the Most Effective Treatment for Termites?
For effective termite treatment, it's recommended that you avoid DIY methods and instead hire a trained termite control professional.
Termite treatment comes in two main categories: baits and liquids. You should avoid common DIY termite treatment solutions you find online, like vinegar, rubbing alcohol and nematodes, as these methods are largely ineffective. You may have some success killing the termites you treat directly, but you will have a difficult time killing the entire colony. And during this time, the termite colony can continue to grow and cause damage to your home.
A trained termite control professional will know which method to use and exactly how to use it, based on your particular issue and home.
There are several indications that your home may have a termite problem. As a new homeowner, it's a good idea to be able to recognize the warning signs of termite activity so you can immediately call a termite control professional. Some of the most common termite signs are:
- Discarded wings
- Mud tubes
- Wood damage found below and behind surfaces like walls, floors and more
- Termite droppings (for Drywood termites only)
- Hollowed wood
- Blisters in wood flooring
If you spot any of the signs of termites listed above, or you just want to protect your home from a potential termite infestation, Terminix can help. It all starts with a free inspection.
1 According to the National Pest Management Association, termites alone cause over $5 billion in property damage annually, a cost not covered by most homeowners' insurance plans.
2 Average repairs: $8,566 according to 2018 survey of independent contractors in the Terminix network. Estimated treatment: $1,419. Every home is different; repair and treatment costs may vary.