How to treat termites and termite damage
There are different treatment methods an exterminator can use to rid your home of termites and the damage they're capable of causing:
- Bait stations can be placed strategically throughout your home to attract termites. These products typically contain pesticide that poisons termites and causes colonies to die out.
- Termite insecticide can be sprayed along the perimeter of your home and onto your soil. This will prevent termites from getting inside.
- Structural fumigation where the home is tented and then a fumigant is released through the house. This is generally used for drywood termites and the entire process takes several days.
Now you may be worried that these termite treatments could pose a hazard for you and your family, but when used properly, bait and insecticide can be quite safe. It's for this reason, however, that it pays to call in a professional for termite treatment rather than attempt to tackle the problem yourself.
Of course, these methods may help address your termite problem, but they won't address any structural damage caused by them. For that, be prepared to hire a contractor who can handle repairs like foundation cracks or flooring replacement.
How to prevent termites
In addition to mitigating an existing termite problem, it's important that you prevent those insects from coming back. To that end, you can:
- Repair plumbing leaks so the ground near your home stays dry, which will keep termites away.
- Use termite-resistant wood on structures like decks and porches.
- Cover openings outside your home, like vents, with steel mesh that termites can't get through.
- Point sprinkler heads away from your home's foundation to avoid moisture buildup.
How much does a termite inspection and treatment cost?
The amount you'll spend to rid yourself of a termite problem with depend on a number of factors:
- The size of your property.
- The severity of your termite problem.
- The number of treatments required to get rid of those pesky insects.
HomeAdvisor (NASDAQ: ANGI) reports that homeowners pay an average of $557 for termite control services, but for a larger property with a substantial infestation, you could be looking at a much higher number. It pays to get quotes from different pest control companies to ensure that you're spending a reasonable amount. Also, before you hire an exterminator, ask what happens if any initial treatment efforts don't work. Will you have to pay for a repeat treatment a few months down the line, or will you be entitled to that follow-up service for free?
Of course, the amount you spend to fix termite damage is a different story. There, you could, unfortunately, be looking at thousands of dollars to repair the destruction those insects have already caused.
Termites can be found all over the U.S., and often, homeowners don't know they have a problem until it's too late. If you want to lower your risk of that happening, consider having a yearly termite inspection, even if you're not seeing any signs of termite activity or damage. In fact, it pays to have a pest control service come in to inspect not just for termites but for any other destructive insects that could wind up damaging your property. It's even recommended to secure a termite bond shortly after or before purchasing. Getting ahead of a potential problem could save you a world of money -- and stress.
Termites aren't the only pests that can cause problems. For more information, check out the following guides: