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How much does it cost to hire a termite exterminator?
The easiest definition of a termite describes it as an insect that lives in large social groups and eat wood. In some parts of the world their presence is important to recycle wood and plant matter. However, when it comes to our homes, we do not want these wood-eating bugs to enter as they can eat the structure of our property compromising the stability of the house. In addition, termites will eventually target anything constructed of wood inside the home such as furnishings.
The cost of treating termites in a 2500 sq. ft. house with footprint1 of 24 x 50 is $2,518, including professional treatment and maintenance. This cost is affected by the size of the house, the area to cover, the extent of the infestation (whether it is localized or is throughout the whole structure), and the type of foundation.
According to Orkin.com, there are six different types of termites. Most of them need moisture and make a path to wherever the food is which frequently is thewood structure of your house andyour wood furniture. Those that live underground will actually build mud tunnels up your foundation and into the wood structure. Others can live with little moisture and can be found in your attic or other dry wood places in your home. Knowing the different types may help you identify the type you have if you suspect a termite infestation:
If you find any of these signs, it may indicate that you have a termite infestation in your home:
If you have a termite infestation then the whole house needs to be treated because termites work in colonies that quickly spread out and attack a variety of areas in your house. After a full house treatment, spot treatments can be done as follow-up in particular termite strongholds. In addition, pest control companies may not warranty their work if they do not treat the whole house.
There are several common treatments that professionals use: liquid termiticide, termite bait, heat treatment and fumigation.
In the case of liquid termiticide ($1,300-$1,500professional treatment plus labor), the liquid is sprayed onto the foundation with a saturating coat to not only repel the termites, but to kill them. Newer formulas are not lethal as well as repelling; however, the liquid treatment is quite effective.
The termite bait ($430/10 stations and bait) is paper, cardboard, and other wood related food that has been treated with a slow acting lethal substance. It is put in a tubular container and buried underground away from the structure. The termites migrate to the bait, eat it and bring it back to the nest and gradually the colony dies off. Depending on the situation, some pest control companies will use a combination of both liquid and bait applications.
Heat treatment is another way to rid your house of termites. Your house is tented during this process to keep the heat in. The positive thing about this treatment is that it uses no chemicals. The home is heated so that the core of all the wood products reaches 120 degrees; it is then held at that temperature for 33 minutes. The treatment is effective and less toxic to the environment. People and pets will typically only have to vacate the home for a few hours rather than days. Drawbacks may come in heat damage to heat sensitive products you may have in your home. This treatment will cost about $1 per sq.ft. so a 1,600 sq.ft. house would cost $1,600.
Fumigation is commonly used in some regions. The house is typically tented for several days. A toxic fumigant is used that will kill the termites. People and pets will have to move out of the home during this process. A tight seal is placed on the house, not only to kill the termites but to keep your neighbors from getting sick. Fumigation averages $2 per sq.ft. so a 1,600 sq.ft. house would cost $3,200.
It is important to find a reputable pest control company that you can trust. Some professionals offer a free inspection; others charge for it. Typical costs for an inspection run from $250-$350 depending on the size of the house and yard. A reputable company with licensing and references will be your best choice.
The chemicals used for treatment cost on average $4-$16 per linear foot. So, a fullhouse (2,520 sq.ft.) treatment would range between $1,300 and $1,500 on average including labor; depending on the size of your yard and the severity of the infestation. The cost of an annual maintenance plan would range between $150-$300.
A termite monitoring station is a small specialized container that penetrates the ground. To monitor, you place untreated wood in the container. Inspect the monitoring stations monthly to look for the presence of termites. If termites are present, you will then trade out the untreated wood for wood treated with a slow-acting termite growth inhibitor such as noviflumuron. The monitoring stations cost about $30 each. In addition, you need to buy the bait which costs on average$135 for a box of 6.
Most pest control companies will want to get you onto an annual treatment plan ($150-$300 per year).After the initial treatment, the pest professional can check your home again and make further suggestions or take action to treat again. Spot checks and treatments will be considered in an annual plan.
While a good treatment should last up to five years, termites can return in a couple of instances. If particularly large colonies live in your area (your yard), you will need to use monitoring stations to keep up to date with the termites. Another cause may be if the initial treatment was not a thorough coverage of the foundation. Termites are very aggressive and will do what it takes to find food in your house. It may be a good idea to have a retreatment after the first treatment to make sure every area was saturated.
It is not recommended to do this project yourself because of the chemicals (large quantities are needed); the professional tools, techniques, and training needed. Professionals will know exactly what to look for and will have an understanding of construction and where termites like to hang out.
Spring is the best time to detect an infestation. This is the time when termites swarm. You may see signs of wings or you may see the swarm, which is a key indicator.
Insurance coverage does not cover termite-damage. Most homeowners policies will include a clause stating it specifically does not cover termite damage because they consider it preventable.
Termites love warmer climates and high humidity. Remember, they need moisture to thrive. However, there is no where that is completely immune. In the US, the greatest risk of termite damage is still in the Southeast, from North Carolina to central Texas and south to the Gulf Coast and Florida, and in California. The plains are the least affected by termites.
There are a variety of preventative measures you can take to keep termites away. In the end, the best way is to have your home treated. Here are some easy things you can do:
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