“You have termites.” Three little words no homeowner ever wants to hear. Termites are tremendously destructive, causing about $5 billion in damage yearly in the United States. Fortunately, taking the right precautions can reduce your chances of suffering a termite infestation.
Termites are tremendously destructive, causing about $5 billion in damage yearly in the United States.1 Fortunately, taking the right precautions can reduce your chances of suffering a termite infestation.
Read on for information on termite inspection costs, termite control and how to treat for termites.
The first step to avoiding a termite problem is having your home regularly inspected for termites. And because termites feast 24/7, it's recommended that you have your home inspected annually, or anytime you suspect termite activity. How much is a termite inspection? The cost of a termite inspection report can vary based on the company, but Terminix® offers a free termite inspection.
Note: If an inspection is for a real estate transaction, there are normally associated fees because additional wood-destroying insects are included, and a formal report must be submitted. Learn more about pest inspection cost and wood-destroying organism reports here.
What to look for during a termite inspection
Depending on the species of termites that are present in your area, there are different signs of termites to look for. Some signs include:
Subterranean termites require soil contact, and most nest in the soil (which is why they are called "subterranean termites"). They then build highway-like mud tubes connecting their nest to a wooden food source. These mud tubes are a definite sign of a termite infestation, but their absence does not mean termites haven't invaded your home. There are other ways for different species of termites to reach and infest your home. For instance, because drywood termites don't require contact with soil, these termites don't create mud tubes.
Wood with termite damage might look “crushed" at structural joints, and if you tap damaged wood with a screwdriver or knife, you may hear a hollow noise. You can further inspect damaged wood by probing the surface with a screwdriver or knife, exposing termite galleries. Subterranean termites excavate tunnels in the wood that run parallel to the grain, giving the wood surface a “rippled" appearance. You should have a professional inspect the wood damage, as he or she will have knowledge about the difference between different wood-destroying organisms.
Piles of wings
After finding a new home and mating, termite swarmers shed their wings, leaving them scattered about, sometimes in piles.
Buckling or bubbling paint, or brittle drywall
These, too, may be signs that termites have invaded your home.
Signs of termites can be difficult to spot. That's why it's important to have a termite control professional perform a termite damage inspect your home annually. A trained technician knows which species of termites are present in your area, what signs of termites to look for and exactly where to look for them.
Free termite inspections from Terminix
Although the average price and cost of termite inspections may vary at other companies, initial termite inspections from Terminix are free. Keeping your home free from termites is a part of regular home maintenance. Termites can cause damage that can cost a homeowner thousands of dollars in repairs. The good news? Some termite inspection companies, like Terminix, offer free initial termite inspections for homeowners.
During a free initial termite inspection from Terminix, a termite control professional will inspect your home to look for common signs of termites and any existing termite damage. If termite activity is found, Terminix can customize a treatment plan to fit your needs. If termites are not found, Terminix can recommend a plan to help protect your home from the damage a potential termite infestation could cause.
The free homeowner's inspection is different from a real estate transaction termite inspection. This type of termite inspection is usually required by the mortgage lender and/or insurer. During this type of inspection, the termite professional inspects for termites and other wood-destroying insects and organisms and issues a formal report. There is a cost for real estate transaction pest and termite inspections. The industry average real estate termite inspection cost is $100.
How to prepare for a termite inspection
When you schedule your termite inspection, ask your inspector what you should do to prepare. The termite inspector will need access to your garage and exterior walls, attic, crawl space, sinks and other areas in your home. Before the inspector arrives, move household items to provide easy access to:
Garage walls. Move items two feet away from the garage walls so the inspector can see where the walls meet the slab floor. Expansion joints in the garage provide entry for termites.
Underneath the house. If you have a raised foundation, the inspector will go under your house. The inspector needs access to the crawl space, usually through the outside of the house. Remove items that block the opening to the crawl space.
Attic. Clear items away so the inspector can get into your attic. If the attic access is in a closet, remove clothing and other stored items so insulation doesn’t fall on them.
Sinks. Remove items under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. The inspector will check for leaks and termite evidence.
What to expect during a termite inspection
What Does a Termite Inspection Consist of?
The inspector will be looking for:
Signs of termite activity or infestation in your home:
- Termite droppings
- Evidence of swarms (such as discarded wings)
- Mud tubes
- Hollow or damaged wood
- Live termites
Potential termite access points:
- Cracks in the foundation around plumbing
- Expansion joints (found in the garage and other places)
- Hollow block walls
- The side of foundation walls and piers
Conditions that may lead to future termite infestations in your home:
- Plumbing leaks
- Wood-to-soil contact
Questions to ask your termite inspector:
- Which termite treatments do you recommend?
- How long will the termite treatment take?
- Where is the termite activity or infestation?
- How can I prevent future infestations?
- What will the initial treatment cost?
- What is the cost to extend protection?
- What type of guarantee do you provide?
Terminix® offers a free termite inspection. If you have termites, Terminix can recommend one of several treatment systems. If you don’t have termites, Terminix can help protect your home against future infestations.
How much does termite treatment cost?
If an inspection indicates the presence of termites, treatment should begin as soon as possible. A Terminix termite treatment will be customized to meet your home's requirements, so termite treatment cost varies. The cost will be dependent upon the size of the house, the type of construction, the type of termite and treatment needed, your geographic region and the size of the infestation, but the cost for termite inspections are free with Terminix.
For homeowners, the presence of termites can be scary and stressful. Fortunately, you can trust Terminix.
Terminix offers the most advanced and effective solutions to treat termites and help prevent their presence in your home. Contact Terminix today to schedule your free termite inspection.