Termites pose a serious threat to your home. They literally eat the structure from the outside in, sometimes causing extensive damage before you spot the first one. They feed on everything from foundations and insulation to furniture, and they thrive amid the warmth, food and shelter that your home provides.
Getting rid of termites is not a do-it-yourself task. Unlike some forms of pest control, it requires special tools and expertise.
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About Termite Extermination
The first step in addressing a termite problem is an inspection. A professional exterminator will make sure termites are indeed the problem – not carpenter ants or other wood-eating pests. If termites are present, the exterminator will assess the extent of the damage and provide an estimate to eliminate the pests from your home. Some companies also place monitoring stations to gather more detailed information over time about the extent of the problem.
There are several common treatment methods for termites. Most exterminators use a combination of two or three.
- Baits filled with pesticide are placed throughout the property. Termites ingest the poison and then carry it back to the colony, poisoning the rest of the nest.
- Repellent is sprayed to discourage termites from inhabiting other parts of the home or property.
- Termiticides are applied to nests and around the perimeter of the home to kill existing termites and prevent others from getting inside.
Cost of Termite Extermination
It is difficult to estimate the cost of termite extermination without a quote. The price depends heavily on the extent of the infestation, and it is also influenced by factors such as the size and layout of your home and your location.
It is safe to say that termite extermination is more expensive than most other types of extermination because termites are notoriously difficult to eradicate. For a 2,000-square-foot home with a moderate infestation, budget about $1,000 to $1,200 for complete extermination.
Because termites require more than one treatment, most companies will ask you to sign a one-year contract. Often, you’ll pay several hundred dollars upfront, then make subsequent payments during monthly or quarterly follow-up visits.
Also keep in mind:
- Most companies offer a free initial inspection.
- Treating a home for termites while it is being built is far less expensive, usually costing about $0.25 per square foot or $500 for a 2,000-square-foot home.
- After the first year, the price of annual service tends to drop. Budget about $250 per year in subsequent years for follow-up inspections and treatment.
Never hire an exterminator without a complete written estimate of the costs. Be sure to lock in your renewal rates and make sure the service comes with a warranty. And it’s always a good idea to get multiple quotes to compare both price and scope of service.