How Long Does Termite Treatment Last?

pest worker installing termite bait station

Termites can wreak havoc on your home if you don’t address them promptly. Termite treatments can put an end to their destructive feast. But how long do they last? Read more to find out. 

About Termites

Before diving into termite treatment duration, let’s first understand our enemy — termites. 

Termites are tiny pests that infiltrate homes and feed on wood for cellulose. According to a report, these pesky creatures cause $5 billion in damage to U.S. homes every year.

mud tubes also known as termite nest
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Here’s how you can spot a termite infestation:

  • Mud tubes
  • Buckling floors
  • Moldy scent
  • Swarmers (winged termites looking to establish new colonies)
  • Discarded wings 
  • Frass (wood-colored termite droppings near entry points)
  • Hollow-sounding wood
  • Hard-to-open doors and windows

Termites are primarily of three types:

  • Subterranean termites nest in the soil and build mud tubes to access above-ground food sources. They are dark brown to black and are about 1/4- to 1/2-inch long. According to Orkin, subterranean termites are found in every state except Alaska
  • Drywood termites live in the wood and don’t require moisture from soil. They are reddish-brown and are 1/4- to 1-inch long. Drywood termites commonly exist in the Southern coastal states and along coastal California. You can spot their infestation through round kick holes. 
  • Dampwood termites feed on moist wood and keep themselves hidden. You’ll be able to notice them only after they have caused significant damage. Dampwood termites range from light to dark brown and are 1/2- to 5/8-inch long. These termites commonly exist in Western states. 

Termite Treatment Duration 

Termite treatment generally lasts about five years. However, the longevity can vary depending on the treatment type. 

1. Liquid Termite Treatment

termite staff spraying on floors
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Liquid termite treatment lasts about five years on average. However, if you live in a rainy area, you may have to reapply the termiticide more often. 

In this treatment, a termite control specialist will dig a trench around your home’s foundation and pour liquid termiticide (Termidor) into the soil, creating a barrier against subterranean termites. 

What is Termidor?

Termidor is a widely used termiticide that contains fipronil. Fipronil eliminates subterranean, drywood, and dampwood termites at the source and also other wood-destroying pests like ants. 

Liquid termite treatment is effective against subterranean, drywood, and dampwood termites. However, these pesky creatures may make their way into your home, especially if there are gaps in the chemical barrier. We recommend an annual termite inspection to prevent this risk.

Pre-Construction Termite Treatment

This treatment involves applying a liquid termiticide to the soil around the foundation before construction begins. It lasts between five and 10 years. However, it’s best to reapply it every five years to prevent these wood-eating pests from making their way into your home. 

2. Termite Bait Station

pest worker installing termite bait station
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Termite bait treatment is an ongoing pest control treatment that requires quarterly monitoring to ensure the bait is effective. With proper maintenance, bait stations offer year-round protection against subterranean termites.

Termite specialists strategically place bait stations around the perimeter of your home. The baits contain cellulose along with slow-acting insecticides. Termites feed on the insecticide and carry it to their colony, poisoning their comrades.

3. Foam Termite Treatment

Foam termite treatment lasts only four to six weeks. However, it provides quick and targeted control against subterranean, drywood, and dampwood termites. 

Termite experts inject specialized foam into the galleries through termite kick holes. The foam expands about 30 times its initial size, which helps effectively eliminate the entire colony. It can reach areas where liquid treatment can’t. 

Foam termite treatment is effective, but it isn’t long-lasting like liquid. If the termites come back, you have to reapply the foam. 

4. Termite Fumigation

termites tenting on a house
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Termite fumigation lasts about five years and is effective against subterranean, drywood, and dampwood termites. This treatment is complex and expensive, so we recommend you stick with liquid, bait, or foam treatment unless the infestation is severe.

Termite fumigation involves enclosing the entire structure with a tent or tarp and filling the space with gasses that affect termites’ nervous systems. The gas penetrates cracks, crevices, and the core of wooden structures, eliminating the termites completely. This process takes 24 to 72 hours, depending on the size of your home. You should vacate during the treatment.

Once the treatment is over, the crews ventilate the house and remove the tarp. Termite fumigation leaves behind no residue. We recommend combining fumigation with liquid treatment or termite bait station for better and longer-lasting results. 

Note: Besides termites, fumigation also kills rodents, roaches, bed bugs, and wood-boring beetles. 

5. Heat Termite Treatment

Heat termite treatment, also known as thermal remediation, is a non-chemical alternative to fumigation. It lasts about one year and works effectively against subterranean, drywood, and dampwood termites. However, since there are no chemicals involved in heat treatment, termites may return if not completely eliminated.

Thermal remediation involves using powerful heating equipment like industrial heaters to raise the temperature within your home to 120 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Within 35 minutes, the heat will penetrate wooden structures and kill the termites. You should vacate during the process but can come back after eight hours. 

This treatment leaves behind no residues. We recommend combining thermal remediation with liquid termite or bait treatment for better and longer-lasting results. 

Note: Thermal remediation also kills rodents, roaches, bed bugs, and wood-boring beetles, besides termites. 

FAQs

How much does termite treatment cost? 

Termite treatment costs between $275 and $863, depending on the type and infestation size. 

Can termites come back after treatment? 

Termites may come back after treatment. However, annual termite inspections can help you detect these pesky creatures before they cause any damage.

Is chlordane effective against termites?

Yes. However, the EPA banned chlordane in 1988 as it isn’t eco-friendly and causes health issues. 

Which company offers the best termite treatment? 

Orkin offers the best termite treatment. Their popular Termidor liquid termite treatment is effective for about five years. 

How to prevent termite infestation?

Here are some tips to prevent termite infestation:

  • Annual termite inspection 
  • Address water leaks immediately 
  • Ensure proper drainage 
  • Avoid piling firewood and wood debris next to your house
  • Seal cracks, gaps, and crevices in your home’s foundation and walls

What is a termite bond? Is it worth it? 

A termite bond or termite warranty is an agreement between the homeowner and a licensed pest control company. It includes regular termite inspections and covers the termite treatment cost but not the damage cost. Since a termite bond costs about $300 per year, it isn’t worth it.

Firsthand Experience: I Should Have Hired a Termite Pro

I had termites feasting on the beautiful door frame of my rental apartment. Unfortunately, I noticed these pesky creatures only after they caused significant damage. However, I was quick to call the pros, which helped prevent them from spreading to the doors. The pros treated those termites, and they were gone for good. 

A few years later, termites reappeared on my wall. Heck! This time, I applied a DIY termite control spray. They died but returned soon after two weeks. Heavy rain may be the reason why they came back too soon. 

I’ll soon have to get those wood-munching insects treated by pros to save myself thousands of dollars in repair bills.

      – Abdul Wadood

When to Call a Termite Specialist 

Termites can significantly affect the structural integrity of your property and can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs. If you spot mud tubes, swarms, or frass, act immediately. 

Pest Gnome connects you with the best local pest control pros who can help you eliminate termites and maintain the structural integrity of your property. They can also help you get rid of other bugs.

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Abdul Wadood

Abdul Wadood has a lot of experience battling creepy crawlies in his house, from termites to cockroaches and mosquitoes. He wants to share his valuable insights with homeowners to help them keep unwanted guests at bay.

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