- Are there any effective homemade ways to treat termites? Unfortunately, treating termites is definitely not a do-it-yourself project. Colonies can hide anywhere, and they often inhabit areas of the house we can’t access.
- Whether handled by amateurs or professionals, both drywood termite and subterranean termite infestations are challenging to combat. In severe cases, the only option is to organize a termite inspection at your house and pick the most suitable of all the termite treatments. Many pest control companies can manage this issue very well; termite control is often free if you proceed with the same company, with the national average at $100.
- You can use liquid chemicals, insecticides, such as imidacloprid or fipronil, vinegar, boric acid, or set up termite bait systems. Still, the most effective method against termites present in your house is tent fumigation, also known as tenting. Learn about termite tenting and discover the average cost of termite treatment in the article below.
Termite problems and solutions
Termites are tiny, ant-like insects that, however, aren’t related to them; they’re closer to cockroaches.
Termites are a significant threat to homes, particularly in warmer climates, but there’re termites in most US states.
The worker termites are the main caste of the termite colonies.
One of the well-known ways to avoid the termite problem is by implementing preventative measures.
Every pest control specialist will advise regular maintenance, i.e., sealing cracks and performing upkeep on exposed wood.
Termites eat wood because it contains cellulose—the principal component found not only in the cell walls of wood but also of plants and grass. Paper and cardboard also contain cellulose.
To feed their ever-growing colonies, termites will devour anything that contains cellulose—lumber, books, magazines, sheetrock (or drywall), fabrics, furniture, and wallpaper.
Once termites have established themselves in your home, they’ll never stop eating. That’s why it’s so important not to let them start. Instead, ensure you know all the prevention methods because termites are widespread across the States.
Common termite treatment methods are:
- baiting systems,
- spot treatments,
- liquid termiticides (Termidor),
- soil treatment,
- microwave treatments,
- direct wood treatment,
- orange oil, and
- heat or cold treatments;
These methods are alternatives to fumigation to varying degrees of success.
Important: DIY methods, mechanical and chemical treatments other than fumigation treatment, won’t be able to treat the entire house if there’s already an active termite infestation all over the place. Termite tenting is currently the most effective method for handling the entire home (the microwave method is equally effective but only suitable for small areas).
Termite treatment cost
What’s the average termite treatment cost, and what’s the cheapest termite treatment?
Termite treatment cost will depend on the treatment type. According to DscPestControl, a typical range of average cost of termite treatment is from $200 to $900; with a termite treatment covered on average for $560.
These costs break down to anywhere from $3 to $16 per linear foot of the house.
First, reach out to termite companies and arrange termite inspections with a pest control specialist.
An experienced professional from a termite control company will assess, using cues such as
- termite droppings,
- termite tunnels,
- mud tubes (in case of subterranean termites),
- dead termites,
- termite damage, and others,
whether there’s an active termite infestation that needs to be addressed immediately with termite tenting, or is it a matter of minor termite treatment such as heat treatment, direct wood treatments, or chemical treatments.
Don’t hesitate and reach out to professional pest control companies. They will choose the method most suitable for your case and implement fitting ways of termite extermination.
How much does termite inspection cost? Control cost ranges from $50 to $280, with the national average at $100.
Important: Termites can cause severe structural damages, and it’s not easy to cover termite damage in your home. Reach out to termite control companies as fast as possible if you suspect this problem in your house.
Are there any wood structures that termites prefer?
People choose cedar and redwood for the exterior of their house because these woods have natural insect repellents.
Teak helps prevent termite infestations because of the wood structure—it’s very dense and hard to chew through.
It’s worth establishing a termite bond with the pest control company of your choice. A termite bond is a warranty between you and a termite company, similar to a maintenance contract. This agreement ensures that pest control company provides treatment and control if termites are discovered. Since a termite bond covers these services, the homeowner doesn’t have to pay extra.
Subterranean termites, drywood termites, and dampwood termites are likely to become home invaders, but their main preferences, lifestyles, and treatments vary.
Dampwood and drywood termites don’t need contact with soil or ground to survive, unlike subterranean termites and Formosan termites.
Tip: For more cues on differentiating these types of termites, go to Pinnacle Pest.
Unlike subterranean termites that live in the ground, drywood termites live inside the wood, i.e., our house structures, which is also their food source.
Termite activity damages the foundation of our houses, so it’s necessary to provide necessary termite treatment as soon as we notice signs of termite activity and ensure effective termite extermination.
There’s currently no termite treatment for the entire house more effective than fumigation treatment (heat treatment is the second in line).
What is termite tenting?
Experts recommend tenting, i.e., structural fumigation, for
- partly inaccessible and/or difficult to locate
drywood termite infestations.
Termite fumigation can kill termites from the entire home using a gas method.
First, a trained pest control company will place a tent (a tarp) over a house. Then, they will release a fumigant gas throughout the complete structure of your property.
As the fumigant circulates throughout the home, it reaches cracks and crevices between and inside wood; it’s where termites tunnel and thrive.
We kill termites by making them breathe the fumigant in—we deplete termites of oxygen, which affects their nervous system, and causes their death.
After the expert has confirmed sufficient exposure to infested areas, pest control companies remove the termite fumigation tent.
Following this, the fumigant will disperse into the air.
Important: Don’t hurry to enter the house immediately after the fumigation! It will take around six hours for the fumigant to aerate.
The entire fumigation process consists of preparation, fumigation, and aeration. It can take 24 to 72 hours, depending on the size of your home and the outdoor conditions.
After the termite treatment has finished, the pest control company will send their expert to test each room in the house using a sensitive fumigant clearance device.
It’s necessary to ensure the fumigant has fully aerated and all house inhabitants can safely come back in (except for those nasty drywood termites that used to live with us before the treatment).
Tenting is one of the most efficient methods for getting rid of termites from our houses.
Yet, we’ve listed alternative drywood termite pest control methods in “How to Get Rid of Termites Without Tenting.”
However, if your entire home suffers from drywood termite infestation or its foundation is full of subterranean termites, there’s no hope that termite bait, heat treatment, or liquid chemicals will be sufficient.
In the case of severe infestation, treat termite colonies with fumigation.
Tenting has several advantages:
- Fumigations can help plant growth
While fumigants can present some risk to plants since we destroy plant-eating pests, the outcome may be positive after all; fumigation eliminates pathogens (nematodes, insects, etc.).
- Complete eradication of pests
Companies that offer tent fumigation services will help you get rid of termites for good. They designed this termite treatment fumigation to get into even the smallest nooks and crannies.
Proper fumigation will kill a colony of pests and set your house free.
When it comes to cons:
- Fumigation kills good organisms
Fumigation chemicals don’t negotiate conditions. Instead, they kill everything that they find on their way. However, it means that you could also treat good organisms that peacefully live in your home.
We use soil fumigations as an extermination method for subterranean termites colony infestation. They could kill natural predators that can keep pests in check, risking a re-invasion afterward.
Fumigation may also cause nursery plants to struggle. Fumigation stops every microbiological activity in your home.
- Fumigation is not one of the prevention methods
Termite fumigation cost is high, but the treatment is effective. Yet, it’s not a prevention method, and drywood termites will technically be free to come back just a few days after the treatment.
It means that even if your tenting treatment is 100% successful for all the active drywood termite colonies, you shouldn’t expect any protection against future infestations.
- Possible damage
Since pest control companies will use heavy tarps to hold fumigants in, these structures can easily damage gutters, shrubbery, and tile roofing.
Sometimes, before fumigation, you may need to take down items such as
- satellite dishes,
- weather vanes, or
so that the pest control company can precisely cover the house with tarps.
- Long preparation
Before the termite treatment, remove from the house all residents, pets, and plants included!
Put all indoor plants outside and away from home. Clear any plants and trim shrubbery from the areas which the fumigation tent will sit.
Carefully decide how to protect medicine, food, open containers, and cosmetics.
Remove from the house foods such as
- dry goods,
- cereal, and
Tip: Food sealed in glass or plastic bottles, jars, cans, medicine, and tobacco can remain in your home. Double bag all opened food.
- disconnect gas service at home,
- extinguish pilot lights,
- water thoroughly the perimeter of your home to protect your plants, and help prevent fume leakage from the bottom of the tent,
- remove any mattresses sealed in plastic and take off any plastic mattress pads, chairs, or sofa covers; the covers slow the aeration rate;
The last downside of termite tenting is that the entire process is a massive inconvenience.
You need to leave your house and most of your stuff inside.
Also, since termite tenting has a killing potential, it’s pretty stressful, to say the least.
Fumigations involve flooding an area with toxic chemicals. If you’re fumigating your house, you’ll have to move out for a few days to wait for those chemicals to disperse. This process can disrupt your daily routine and take some of your precious time.
Termite fumigation cost
How much does termite treatment cost?
Termite tenting cost is quite high, ranging from
- $1,200 to $2,500 for a 1,250 square feet house, and
- $2,200 -$3,800 for a 2,500 square feet house;
Termite tenting is expensive, but remember that fumigation with tenting is a much more effective treatment than any other method.
And to say the truth, it involves more time, effort, and materials that simply are costly.
Also, while the cost of termite tenting may seem high, it’s low compared to the cost of repairing the structural damage a large colony of dry wood termites can do in very little time.
Termite control, i.e., termite inspection for dry wood termites or subterranean colonies, usually runs between $100 and $200, depending on the size of your home.
Tip: Some companies offer a free inspection to assess the extent of the infestation before they start working with you. Ask the pest control company of your choice if this is the case.
Costs of termite tenting price vary based on a few factors:
- location of your home,
- size of your home—square foot,
- the time needed for the fumigation and tenting;
The pest control company can also determine tenting costs by a flat rate or linear foot, ranging from $5 to $20.
Consider that heat treatment average cost is $10 per linear foot (an average of $800 to $2,500), and it’s believed to be a much less effective method for infestation.