Nothing beats professional pest control, but one thing that makes homeowners think twice is the cost of termite extermination. There’s a notion that for the pest to be removed through the expert’s service, thousands of bucks have to go out of the window. Let me tell you one thing. You’ll be slapped with hefty costs if you performed dud DIY methods before calling the pros. During your hit-and-miss phase, the termites have expanded the colony and caused more damage to the property. This results in bigger extermination and repair costs that you could have prevented if you use effective home remedies or call the experts right away.
If you’re planning to avail a professional service, the cost of the extermination would vary depending on the company you’re hiring, extent of extermination, as well as your location. There are some factors that will affect the grand total of your bills, and for a quick reference, here are some aspects for consideration.
Types of treatment
Chemical treatments are the most common solution to a termite infestation. What sets this apart from buying your own termiticide is that the experts are licensed to access highly potent pesticides that you can’t buy in the market. This approach also yields instant results and it’s safe to say that it’s one of the cheapest treatments.
This method ranges from soil treatment, bait set up, and trenching. The approach will depend on the experts’ discretion based on the condition of your property.
Chemical treatments are charged per linear foot for about $4 to $16 depending on the company you’re going to hire. More often than not, the cost of termite extermination would range from $1,000 to $1,500 including labor, chemicals, and subsequent check-ups after the treatment session.
To be honest, you can slash this price by as much as 80% if you do it on your own. But the difference is that you have no assurance that the entirety of the population will be exterminated. The chemicals you can access are also limited, given that the EPA has strict rules on the use of pesticides in the household setting.
The key to saving money on a professional chemical treatment is to stick to a per linear foot pricing. Never agree on a per gallon basis as that would cost about twice as much as the latter.
Of all the available termite treatment options, fumigation is the most expensive. This is used on infestations that are beyond the power of chemical approaches. The price tag is set at $1,300 up to $2,500 and it can be higher depending on the size of the property. Tent fumigation is expensive but it can be slashed if the company you’re hiring offers the no-tenting method.
Fumigation method is usually charged per square foot at about $2 to $4. With that, a 1,000-square foot house would have to shell out a maximum of $4,000 for the cost of termite extermination.
On this process, the house would be enclosed in a large tent to isolate the area and to prevent the termites from running once the gas is released. The occupants of the property have to vacate immediately for at least three days to let the gas settle and the termite population to be eradicated up to the last one.
Keep in mind that the fumigation process would use abrasive gasses and chemicals like orange oil. Don’t forget to remove plants and pets from the area. When it comes to the furniture and appliances, the pest control experts can advise.
Heat treatment is widely used for the extermination of drywood termites without using any chemicals. This is effective as the heat would penetrate even the most hidden termite population. Heat is also the eco-friendly choice if ever you’re located near a body of water. You can actually go back to your house after the two to three-hour session.
The exterminators would use special heaters and fans to increase the room temperature to a minimum of 130F. This can kill termites and other insect pests in a couple of minutes. Termites can withstand the heat for a maximum of 10 minutes while bigger bugs like roaches could keep holding on for 16 minutes. Once the treatment is done, you can do some vacuuming and you’re house is back to normal.
Like fumigation, heat treatments could be pricey. Some sessions could cost a minimum of $1 per square foot. If you have a 2,000-sq. ft. house, that’s an automatic two grand on the cost of termite extermination. Nevertheless, it’s cheaper than fumigation and safer than the two first mentioned treatments. You just have to remove items that may melt or explode during such temperatures.
The only downside here is that heat treatments don’t give protection against future infestations. You’ll have to practice preventive measures to stop the pest from creeping back.
In the absence of heat treatments, the biological approach is the next option for those who are opting for a non-chemical method. Here, the exterminators will introduce nematodes like special roundworms into the soil and household to hunt the termites in their harborage. These organisms are typically safe and they will not stop roaming the property until all the pests are gone.
This method is way cheaper and may cost less than a thousand dollars. However, the process could be slow as the worms have to adapt to the new environment that could take days or weeks. After that, the preying phase may take months until there are visible signs of termite eradication.
You can actually do this by yourself if you want to save money. But if you want guaranteed results and systematic application of the nematodes, it’s better to trust an expert.
What affects the cost of termite extermination?
Aside from the treatment that the exterminators would use, more factors will pull the price up or down. Take note that some methods aren’t suitable for some properties and this alone could cut or increase the cost.
The size of the company
Large or national companies would surely have higher rates as they will charge you on logistics, labor, chemicals, and added fees associated with the brand. You can save money if you’ll scout for an exterminator on your locality that has good track record and reasonable rates. Ask for estimates too and you may land a free inspection offer if you’re going to proceed with the treatment.
Still, beware of local exterminators that have a lot of overheads. Always compare prices before signing the deal.
The type of termite and its extent of the damage
The bigger the infestation, the higher the cost would be. It’s not a good idea to select only a few infected spots as the remaining termites could easily re-attack the treated areas once the chemicals wear off. The key to reducing the cost is to detect the pest on the first signs of its existence.
Another thing to remember is that the treatment option varies depending on what type of termite is infesting your property. Drywood mites are usually eliminated using heat and fumigation methods. Chemical approaches are usually used for Subterranean and Formosan but these could interchange ostensibly. The cost of termite extermination would largely differ here.
Size of your home
Since termite treatments are priced per square foot or linear foot, big houses would cost more when it comes to treatment. Nevertheless, the price will vary depending on the approach and rates of the pest control company.
The material used in the house foundation
The way foundations are placed as well as the material used to it will play a big factor in the cost of the treatment. Monolithic slabs are harder to treat and it will require a customized approach to kill every single mite harboring inside. Exterminators would have to use different chemicals, which may, in turn, take its toll on the bill.
If your foundation has crawlspaces, brace yourself for a higher cost of termite extermination. This is harder to treat than the usual foundations found on houses.
Location of the house
The place where your property is situated would also affect the price. If you’re in the city like Los Angeles or New York, expect higher rates as companies would likely make the most out of the high cost of living and branding. Also, very cold and very hot places would need specific treatment options as some methods won’t work at some temperatures and conditions. For example, fumigation is better done during summer months as the gas is will be diffused optimally while chemical soil treatments are best done in a season that’s not too dry or wet.
The EPA also bans the use of pesticides in properties near bodies of water like dams, lakes, or rivers.
The cost of termite extermination is a big concern among homeowners. It could be expensive but it could also be affordable given some factors. What do you think about these possible expenses? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section!