If you live in the US and own a home, you’re going to have to answer this question sooner or later.
Especially in an area where termites are common such as the South, Southeast, West and Southwest.
Many new homeowners think they are supposed to pay for a termite inspection every year and wonder –
- Is it really worth it?
- Are you paying too much to get your home inspected?
Others have had the opposite experience and found out the hard way how much trouble termite damage discovered too late can cause.
Still, the question remains – is an annual termite inspection worth it? And if it is, how much is it really worth?
The answer depends on many factors! In this guide, we dig into the details to help you decide for yourself.
How Expensive Is A Termite Infestation?
According to data gathered by HomeAdvisor, getting rid of termites usually costs between $224 and $924 (and up to $2500 for serious treatments). More precisely, termite treatments cost anywhere from $3 to $16 per linear foot.
The actual costs of termite treatments are notoriously hard to determine, but what we found from anecdotal evidence is that homeowners who actually encounter termite problems usually pay $1000 or more.
The cost of kicking the termites out of your home will, of course, depend on a lot of factores. It will depend on the size of the termite colony, the type of treatment you end up using, and the size of your home.
While the cost of termite treatments can get quite high depending on the situation, the prices above don’t look that bad, right? After all, it’s not everyday you home gets infested with termites. Well, think again.
The costs of termite treatment could end up being the least of your concerns. Termite colonies can go undiscovered for years, and the damage they can do to your home is huge. This can cause the cost of repairing the damage to skyrocket. It isn’t always the case, but are you willing to rely on luck?
According to Orkin, homeowners pay on average $3000 to repair damage caused by termites . Official sources say that termites cause $2 billion in damage across the US , but some estimates say the price is actually much higher.
The cost of it all is the main reason to consider yearly termite inspections as means to prevent much higher costs of repairing the damage. But how much do the annual plans actually cost?
How Much Do Annual Plans Cost?
HomeAdvisor found that a termite inspection costs between $50 and $280, with $100 being the average. Data from HomeGuide says the price ranges from $75 to $150, the average being $100 again, so that should be probably true .
However, it is not just the inspection you should think about. Catching termites early is always good, but who will cover the cost of the treatment if they are found? Actually, most termite and pest extermination companies will offer some kind of annual plan. These sometimes come in the form of a termite warranty or a termite bond which is essentially a form of insurance.
Many homeowners don’t get an annual plan until they discover they have termites. In these cases, the pest company will charge for the initial treatment (can often be $1000 or more), and afterwards decide to pay for yearly maintenance.
Of course, you can always think ahead, and get an annual plan or a termite bond before you encounter any problems. Many companies will offer a free initial inspection, but yearly plans often involve some sort of monitoring and protection system.
That’s why there are initial costs of setting it up that can again be $1000 or more, but after that you usually need to pay between $100 and $300 yearly and be completely covered in case of termites.
The plan usually involves a yearly inspection of your home (or as often as needed) to check for termites.
When setting up a yearly plan, it is very important to check what it covers. For example, some plans will cover the cost of termite treatments in case they appear, but not the cost of repairing the damage, while others cover that too.
Unfortunately, precise price-ranges are almost impossible to find for annual termite plans. They vary a lot depending on the area, as well as the size of your home and multiple other factors. The best advice in any case is to look for offers from multiple pest control companies that operate in your area. This will give you the best overview of prices in your specific case and let you make the right decision without spending more money than necessary.
Still, the costs of annual plans are definitely smaller than dealing with a huge termite infestation. However, you might feel like paying for nothing as there never seem to be termites in your home. Is a yearly plan really worth it? Here is what you need to know about yearly termite inspections:
What Does An Annual Termite Inspection Include?
During a termite inspection, the inspector will check your home and your property for signs of termite presence. You might have already expected that answer, but what exactly does this mean and why do you need a professional for that?
Well, first of all, a good termite inspector will know where to look. Typically, they will review all the areas accessible to termites inside and outside your home. Usually, they will first review all places where there is exposed wood, hardwood floors, or anything else termites might feed on. Termites can be well hidden, so the check will also include basements, attics, any crawl spaces, as well the foundations – it all depends on how your home was built.
Moreover, there are many kinds of termites, including subterranean termites that crawl underground, formosan termites, and drywood termites. The termite inspector will know what kid of pest you are likely to encounter in your area, and propose any actions needed to discover them.
If your plan includes some kind of termite protection or monitoring system (such as chemical barriers or bait systems), then annual check will also include making sure that everything is in order with that.
Experiences From Real People
All of this doesn’t answer your question. How much will the yearly inspection really cost? Here are some real-world examples:
I live in an area where dry wood termites are common. Here, we tent for them ($1400 if you just pay for a tenting) or you can keep a termite contract on a home of my size for $238 a year. We keep the contract as they are an annoying problem here.
We live in Oklahoma ~ Termite Central! Have had our home treated twice in 18 years. Last time (Spring of 2019) the entire home perimeter was drilled and injected with Termidor and cost around $1200. Came with a 5 year retreat warranty. $150 a year after that for maintenance.
We paid $750 for our treatment and then we have to renew the termite bond yearly at $250.Users from Reddit sharing their experiences
When It IS Worth Getting An Inspection
- When you live in an area that has a lot of termite activity. Some areas are known for heavy termite activity, especially towards the south of the US. When termites are fairly common around you, a yearly inspection is essential to save you from thousands or tens of thousands in damage repair if you discover the termites too late.
Truth be told, a good annual plan is probably also worth it in areas with moderate termite activity. The only US state where there are no termites is Alaska. Unless you are prepared to pay thousands out of pocket you might as well invest in a good termite management plan. Better safe than sorry.
- There is lots of wood in your house. Many houses have wood foundations, or important structural elements made of wood on which termites can feed. Wooden porches, hardwood floors, wooden beams are all prime sources of food for termites. The more wood you have in your home the more damage termites can cause.
- You live in an older house. Older houses are always more susceptible to termite damage. At the very least, in old homes there will always be more tiny cracks through which termites can crawl. Frequent termite checks are always recommended in this case.
When It IS NOT Worth Getting An Inspection
- You live in an area with low termite activity. If you live in the US, this is all very relative, though. As mentioned, termites are found literally everywhere except Alaska. However, it is true that termites need moisture and warmth to survive. That’s why you’ll be relatively more safe from termites in areas with a cold and dry climate. North Dakota and Montana, for example, experience very few termite infestations. Still, a check-up every couple of years could be worth it.
- Your house is made entirely from bricks and concrete. Of course, very few houses are like this. The thing with termites is, they can crawl through very tiny spaces. That’s why concrete and bricks don’t always stop them. You don’t need to have exposed wood for termites to get to it. Plus, termites can feed on any source of cellulose – including drywall and even wallpaper. Almost no home is entirely safe from these little guys.
Risks Of Not Having Regular Termite Inspections
The risk of not having regular termite inspection? Letting the termites incur varying degrees of damage to your home before you discover them. If there is structural wood in your house and the termites get to it, the costs of repairing the damage can get sky high. Termites can get into the foundations of your house, into your walls, floors, doors and windows, and some of them even munch on furniture. On top of that, having termites can ruin the resale value of your house if you even plan to sell.
Considering all of that, getting yearly termite inspections is definitely worth it. Of course, if you are lucky and never get termites, then it might seem like you are paying for nothing. But are you willing to take the risk? What termite inspection and management plans really give you is peace of mind.
To learn more about termites check out the links below:
1) HomeAdvisor. How Much Does Termite Treatment & Control Cost? https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/environmental-safety/hire-a-termite-control-service/#inspect
2) Orkin. Termite Statistics https://www.orkin.com/termites/facts/statistics
3) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Healthy Housing Reference Manual. https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/publications/books/housing/cha04.htm
4) HomeGuide. 2021 Termite Inspection Cost. https://homeguide.com/costs/termite-inspection-cost
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