Termites are a worrisome problem for any homeowner. The longer they remain in your home the more damage they cause. Termites also reproduce in large numbers quickly so if you do not get rid of them quickly, it turns into a never-ending battle to keep up with their numbers. When it comes to exterminating termites, it isn't a matter of what you do but how you do it that makes the difference between success and frustration.
Methods Used to Exterminate Termites
There are several methods a professional exterminator will employ to destroy a termite colony. Many methods are difficult for the average homeowner to undertake. Many products are available commercially for people to attempt on their own. Liquid sprays containing chlorpyrifos are the most effective but need to be applied properly, getting into cracks and crevices that are sometimes difficult to reach or are unexposed. It is also important to treat the ground outside the home. Traps are also used in routine termite extermination.
Length of Treatment
How long termite treatments take largely depend on the size of the home. Usually it only takes 1 day for the professional exterminator to do the job. Most products should protect against re-infestation for up to 5 years, but once you have found a termite infestation, it is a good idea to have your home inspected yearly to be sure they are not re-colonizing.
Cost of Treatment
The cost of termite control, on average, ranges from $800 to $4,000, depending on the size of the home. This does not include the cost to repair damage to wood or other structures in the home.
How Long It Takes to Get Rid of Termites
If extermination is done professionally a colony will usually die off within a few days of treatment. It may take a few days for all the inhabitants of the colony to come in contact with the chemical treatment method used. The reason so many self-applied treatments fail is because the treatment isn't as extensive as a professional exterminator would apply. This leaves some potential for inner members of the colonies to survive and multiply rapidly. In those cases, a colony may appear to have died off only to resurface again a few weeks or months later.
Best Time to Check for Termites
There is no bad time to check for termites, but the most homeowners stumble upon infestations is in the spring. Termites thrive in damp, warm weather and often swarm during the spring so there may be flying clouds of termites in the basement near light sources.
How to Identify a Termite
There are other species of insects that can appear to be a termite colony. Old house borers, powder post beetles and carpenter ants often are confused with termites. A professional exterminator can help you determine what type of infestation you have and how to treat it effectively.