How Much Does a Pest Inspection Cost?
A pest inspection can identify infestations in a home before major damage occurs. Pest inspection costs between $0 and $400, or about $133 on average.
- A pest inspection typically costs between $0 and $400, with a national average cost of $133.
- The total cost of a pest inspection will depend on the type and frequency of the inspection, the inspection company used, and the home’s geographic location.
- It may be necessary for a homeowner or renter to schedule a pest inspection if they notice signs of pests, want to implement preventive measures, or are buying or selling a home.
- A homeowner or renter may be able to perform a basic pest inspection themselves, but a professional pest inspection is often free and can catch issues a resident may miss.
Ants, termites, and other pests can invade the home through narrow cracks and crevices in the exterior walls, doors, windows, and roof. Insects and bugs burrow, fly, and even build mud tunnels to gain access to the home, finding comfort in dark, moist areas that typically remain unseen. Small infestations can go completely unnoticed, allowing the colony or nest to increase and spread throughout the home.
To avoid dealing with extensive damage repair costs from termite colonies or carpenter ant nests, it’s a good idea for homeowners or renters to regularly have their home inspected for any invading pests. According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, pest inspections cost about $133, on average. However, the cost can range from $0 to $400, depending on the type of pest, the type of inspection, the frequency of the inspection, and several additional factors. Homeowners and renters can use this guide to learn more about pest inspection cost factors, allowing them to come up with a budget for this semiregular home maintenance task.
Factors in Calculating Pest Inspection Cost
When homeowners are coming up with an estimated budget for a pest inspection appointment, it’s necessary to consider the various factors that can affect the pest inspection cost, including the inspection type, frequency, company, and local pest inspection rates for the area.
The cost of a pest inspection can vary depending on the type of inspection. Regular pest inspections for simple preventive maintenance generally cost about $133. These inspections take place annually or semiannually, providing the homeowner with peace of mind or a heads-up about a lingering pest problem that needs to be resolved.
Additionally, when the home is being sold or purchased, the lender or buyer may require a pest inspection. These pest inspections can fall into several categories, including CL-100, Wood-Destroying Organism (WDO), termite bonds, termite reports, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loan, and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan inspections.
- CL-100 inspections are limited to the state of South Carolina and cover a variety of wood-destroying organisms.
- WDO inspections are also targeted toward a range of wood-destroying organisms, but these inspections do not have the same geographic limitations as CL-100 inspections.
- Termite bonds are essentially agreements made between lenders and buyers to follow through with termite inspection and extermination services after the purchase of a home.
- Termite reports are official documents provided to sellers, lenders, and buyers as proof that the home is pest-free.
- VA loan inspections are required by VA loan providers to ensure the property is pest-free before the loan is approved.
- FHA loan inspections are similarly intended to prove that the property is pest-free for the approval of the loan.
The frequency with which the home is inspected can also impact the cost of the inspection. Generally, the more inspections, the higher the cost of this maintenance task. However, some companies may offer ongoing pest control services that include free pest inspections or pest inspections at a reduced rate.
Typically, it’s a good idea for a resident to hire a pest control company to conduct a pest inspection of the property about once a year. If the property doesn’t show any signs of potential pest problems and doesn’t have a history of pest-related issues, then the customer may need a pest inspection only once every 2 years to stay on top of potential problems.
The specific pest control company that the homeowner or renter hires may have different rates from other companies in the area. This fluctuation in cost can be due to experience, skill, or simple supply and demand. Larger companies will generally charge more but often offer a money-back guarantee, while smaller companies may charge less but provide shorter (or no) guarantees on their work.
Additionally, some inspection companies will also offer home inspections, allowing the customer to bundle both pest and home inspections for about $250 to $500. Other companies may conduct free pest inspections or waive the inspection fee if they are hired to exterminate the invading pest population. Customers will want to research at least three reputable local pest control companies before deciding on the best option for their home.
Another factor that can influence the total cost of the pest inspection process is the home’s geographic location. Depending on where the home is located, the cost of the pest inspection can increase or decrease. Generally, it’s less expensive to hire a pest control expert for a pest inspection in colder areas with fewer pest problems, such as Minnesota and Michigan.
Areas such as Florida and California have warm, moist conditions that are ideal for a wide variety of pests, leading to increased demand for pest inspection and pest control services. This increased demand drives up the cost, so while a homeowner in Chicago may pay $50 to $135 on average, a homeowner in Orlando will end up paying between $70 and $180 for the same pest inspection. The table below shows the average cost for a pest inspection in several locations.
|Atlanta, Georgia||$60 to $160|
|Baltimore, Maryland||$60 to $145|
|Charlotte, North Carolina||$60 to $145|
|Chicago, Illinois||$50 to $135|
|Greenville, South Carolina||$60 to $140|
|Houston, Texas||$60 to $140|
|Los Angeles, California||$65 to $220|
|New Orleans, Louisiana||$70 to $180|
|Orlando, Florida||$70 to $180|
|Phoenix, Arizona||$65 to $175|
|San Diego, California||$65 to $195|
|San Francisco (Bay Area), California||$50 to $180|
|San Jose, California||$55 to $185|
|Trenton, New Jersey||$65 to $170|
Additional Costs and Considerations
There can be some fluctuation in the cost of the inspection depending on whether the pest inspection is for routine maintenance, a home sale, a commercial property, or a residential property. Pest control costs and termite damage repair costs may also need to be factored into the budget for this project.
Home Sale vs. Preventive Inspection
Pest inspection costs can be affected by the circumstances in which the inspection is taking place. Typically, it will cost more to have a pest inspection completed during the sale or purchase of a home than it would for a recurring preventive inspection.
- Home sale pest inspections are carried out for the purpose of providing proof of the current state of the home to the buyer or lender. Ideally, the report will confirm that the home is pest-free, but if a pest infestation is discovered, then this information will be provided to the buyer and the lender. This could result in the cancellation of the purchase, or it could lead to a discussion with the lender to work out approvals. On average, a home sale pest inspection costs about $165.
- Preventive pest inspections are the most common type of inspection. Once a year or once every 2 years, a pest control professional will inspect the property and provide suggestions for dealing with potential pest problems. These inspections cost about $133 on average, though some companies offer free inspection with ongoing maintenance packages.
Commercial vs. Residential Inspection
The size of the property and the complexity of the building can impact the cost of the inspection. Additionally, pest control companies often charge more to inspect a commercial space than a residential space.
- Commercial pest inspections can be as easy as checking a small storefront rental unit or as involved as inspecting a full manufacturing facility. Pest control experts may even need to undergo additional training or acquire specific licenses before they are allowed entry to a commercial facility. Due to the increased complexity of the job, commercial pest inspections can cost as much as $650.
- Residential pest inspections tend to be much faster and more straightforward than commercial inspections. The pest control professional will inspect the inside and outside of the home, then provide a report of their findings. Some pest control companies may offer free residential pest inspections, though most charge about $133 on average.
If the pest inspection identifies any existing or potential pest problems, then the homeowner will need to work with the pest control professional to come up with the best way to handle the situation. Pest control treatment services cost about $1,550 on average, though fumigation can range from $1,000 to $4,000.
During the treatment period, the homeowner and any residents may need to find a different place to live if the home is being fumigated. Relatives or friends may be able to provide a place for a few days, but in some cases this will mean paying for a hotel room, motel room, or some other type of short-term rental until it is safe to return to the home.
Pest Damage Repair
After the existing pest problem is dealt with, there may be damages to the home that need to be repaired to prevent future infestations or other issues. Termites, carpenter ants, and other wood-destroying organisms can eat holes through drywall, wood flooring, stairs, fences, decks, and more. Homeowners will want to be prepared to put together a budget for pest damage repairs if they have any of these types of pest in their home.
Pest damage repair can range from about $600 to $3,000, with an average cost of $1,800. The total cost is affected by the colony size, pest type, extent of the infestation, and the size of damaged structure. For instance, it may cost $2,050 to repair carpentry framing or $2,425 to repair wood siding. It’s important for homeowners to factor in these additional costs when considering pest inspection and pest control services.
Types of Pest Inspections
There are several types of pest inspections that can be conducted, including CL-100 inspections, home purchase inspections, termite bond inspections, termite letter or report inspections, VA and FHA loan pest inspections, and WDO (Wood-Destroying Organism) pest inspections. The cost will depend on the type of pest inspection being performed.
|Inspection Type||Average Cost|
|Termite Bond||$1,250 to $4,000|
|VA Loan||$50 to $150|
|FHA Loan||$100 to $200|
|WDO (Wood-Destroying Organism)||$150|
A CL-100 inspection is a specialized pest inspection that applies only to those living in South Carolina. This inspection covers a wide variety of wood-destroying insects and fungi that are common to South Carolina, ensuring that homes are pest-free before the sale or purchase of the property.
CL-100 inspections typically cost about $160 on average, though it’s important for homeowners to note that the inspection report generated by this type of inspection lasts for only about 30 days before it is considered invalid. For those living in South Carolina, it’s a good idea for homeowners to get a CL-100 inspection when selling or buying a home.
During the sale or purchase of a home, the buyer or lender may request a pest inspection to verify that the home is free of pests. This type of pest inspection will generally cost about $165 on average and may include a pest inspection report, which can be provided to the lender or interested buyer as proof of the inspection completion.
Home sellers are advised to hire an exterminator to conduct the pest inspection, because if the exterminator finds any pest populations, they can quickly arrange pest treatment services to get rid of the pest problem. Depending on the location, the responsibility for the pest inspection cost may fall to the buyer or the seller. Customers can check with their local regulatory agency to determine who is responsible for this cost.
In some situations, the home buyer may agree to purchase the home despite a current termite infestation. However, in these situations, the lender will typically require a termite bond agreement, which essentially locks the buyer into a plan to address the termite problem before it can diminish the value of the home.
Termite bonds include inspection and treatment, and homeowners can be prepared to spend between $1,250 and $4,000 on average for a termite bond. This process often helps homeowners save on termite treatment costs in the long run, though substantial infestations may still involve a costly expenditure, especially if the home requires fumigation services.
Termite Letter or Report
A termite letter or report is an official document put together by the pest inspection company to provide details of its findings. This document is often required for a conventional loan, FHA loan, or VA loan to go through before the purchase of a home can be finalized. Termite report inspections check for existing signs of pests, signs of past pest infestations, pest damage, and any problem areas inside or outside the home that could attract pests in the future.
Homeowners can expect to pay about $150 on average for a termite letter or termite report. If the lender requires this document in a short period of time, then the pest inspection cost may increase to account for the pressing demand.
VA or FHA Loan
Pest inspections may be required for the approval of a VA loan or an FHA loan. The inspection will check for any existing pest infestations, signs of past pest problems, or any areas inside or outside the home that could lead to future pest issues, like high humidity in the basement, holes in the exterior of the home, and standing water.
Generally, a VA loan pest inspection costs about $50 to $150, while an FHA loan pest inspection costs about $100 to $200. Typically, the seller will pay for the pest inspection in the case of a VA loan, but for an FHA loan it’s common for the buyer to pay for the inspection.
Wood-Destroying Organism (WDO) Inspection
A WDO inspection is targeted at all wood-destroying organisms, such as termites, carpenter ants, and soft rot fungi. WDO inspections are not limited to just one area of the country, as CL-100 inspections are. Instead, WDO inspections are a common request from mortgage providers and other lenders, especially if there is a history of wood damage in the home. Typically, homeowners can expect to pay about $150 for a WDO inspection.
Homeowners will want to consider investing in a WDO inspection if they suspect the home is infested with any of the following wood-destroying organisms:
- subterranean termites
- drywood termites
- dampwood termites
- wood-boring beetles
- carpenter ants
- carpenter bees
- soft rot fungi
- brown (dry) rot fungi
- white rot fungi
Do I Need a Pest Inspection?
A pest inspection is intended to help identify pests or potential pest problems before they become a serious issue. Inspections can reveal areas that are attractive to pests, including dark, enclosed spaces; damp locations; and areas that show signs of moisture accumulation. It’s a good idea for homeowners to get a pest inspection at least once a year to verify that the home is safe and secure against invading pests.
Signs of Pests
The most common reason to get a pest inspection is that the homeowner has spotted signs of pest activity or even a full-blown infestation. There is a wide range of signs that can indicate a pest infestation. Pest control professionals have the knowledge and experience to spot even minor indicators, allowing the homeowner to take action quickly before the infestation can get out of control. Homeowners will want to consider a pest inspection if any of the following signs are present inside or outside the home.
- piles of discarded wings
- damaged wood
- hollow-sounding wood
- mud tubes
- bubbling or cracked paint
- pest droppings
- gnawed wiring
- small holes along the walls or in the drywall
- tiny blood spots on sheets or furniture
- visible nests in the gutters
- scratching or clicking sounds in the walls, ceilings, or floors
- grease marks on the floors and lower parts of the walls
- chewed plants
- patches of lawn damage
- holes in the lawn or garden
Annual Inspection and Prevention
A good way for homeowners to prevent pests infestations is to hire professional pest control experts to inspect the home at least once a year. This annual inspection can give homeowners peace of mind and help spot any potential problems before they grow into more serious issues. If the property has no signs or history of infestation, homeowners may even be able to get away with inspecting the home just once every 2 years.
Depending on the pest control company, annual inspections may be offered free to customers who have ongoing maintenance contracts. Exterminators who charge an inspection fee may also waive the fee if they encounter any pest nests or colonies, with the assumption that the client will hire them to get rid of the pests.
Pest inspections can also be a requirement during the sale or purchase of a home. In fact, many states won’t allow a sale to go through without a professional pest inspection report to ensure that the property is clear of pests. Depending on the specific real estate deal and the local regulations, the seller may be required to pay for the inspection and any subsequent pest control costs, while other states require the buyer to pay for the pest inspection.
On average, a pest inspection for the purchase of a home will cost about $165. If there are any pest problems found during the inspection, it’s recommended that the buyer and seller come up with a plan to have the home treated by a professional pest control company before continuing with the sale of the property.
Pest Inspection: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Pest inspection is a home maintenance task that should be regularly performed by the homeowner to ensure that they spot any potential problems before they can grow into serious issues. However, the average homeowner does not have the same skills, knowledge, or experience as a trained professional pest inspector or pest control expert, so it’s beneficial to have a professional pest inspection completed at least once a year to verify that the home is pest-free.
In some situations, such as during a real estate transaction, a simple DIY inspection isn’t enough to satisfy the interested parties. Instead, a professional pest inspection report is required to verify the current state of the home. Typically, a pest inspection will cost between $0 and $400. Given that many companies offer a free onetime inspection, there is very little reason for a homeowner to avoid hiring a professional pest control company to inspect the property.
How to Save Money on Pest Inspection Cost
The pest inspection and treatment cost can range depending on the type of inspection, the type of pest, the size of the home, the location of the nest or colony, the local pest inspection rates, and the type of treatment used. Before hiring a professional pest control company to inspect and treat the pest infestation at the home, homeowners can use the following methods to help reduce the overall cost of the inspection and subsequent pest control treatments.
- Take preventive measures. Reduce the need for pest inspections and pest treatments by keeping food stored in airtight containers, removing standing water from the yard or home, disposing of garbage regularly, and sealing any cracks or other openings in the exterior of the home.
- Get multiple quotes. Research and get quotes from at least three different pest inspection companies to ensure that you are getting a fair rate for the work.
- Don’t let the issue linger. The longer a pest infestation goes untreated, the more it will cost to handle the problem as the pest population gradually increases and spreads throughout the home.
- Prevent infestations with DIY methods. Before the home has a full-blown infestation, homeowners can use DIY products to help repel pests and protect their property.
- Complete the entire pest control treatment. Unfortunately, not all pest infestations can be eradicated with a single treatment. In some cases, the homeowner will need to pay for two or three visits before the problem is resolved. However, ending the treatment before the pests are eliminated will just increase the amount of time and money required to deal with the issue.
Questions to Ask About Pest Inspection
When it comes to choosing a termite company or general pest control company to perform a pest inspection, it’s recommended that customers research potential pests in the area to help identify the insects or bugs infesting the home. Additionally, it’s a good idea for them to find out more about pest inspection services and pest control treatments, so that if any pest problems are found during the inspection, a plan of action can be put together quickly to eliminate the invading pest. Homeowners will want to speak to the pest inspection professional or the customer service staff to ask the following questions about the pest inspection process.
- How does the inspection process work?
- Do you offer a written quote?
- How much training do the exterminators receive?
- Are the pest control treatments safe for people and pets?
- Will I need to vacate the home during the treatment, and if so, for how long?
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you have reviews or customer testimonials?
- Are the exterminators licensed, bonded, and insured?
- Which treatments do you recommend?
- How long will the treatment take?
- Where is the pest activity or infestation?
- How can I help prevent future infestations?
- What’s the difference between annual inspections and control services?
- What will the initial treatment cost?
- What is the cost to extend protection?
- What type of guarantees do you provide?
- How do I get a written report?
Pest inspections are a great way to ensure that the home is safe and protected from unwanted invaders. Some companies may even offer free onetime inspection services in the hopes that the customer will retain their pest extermination services if any termites, ants, or other pests are found. Before scheduling a pest inspection, homeowners may want to consider the answers below to some of the most frequently asked questions about pest inspections.
Q. How do you check for termites?
Whether a homeowner attempts a DIY inspection or hires one of the best pest control companies (such as Orkin or Terminix) to do an inspection, the steps will be the same. They will check for mud tubes, termite droppings, wood damage, mud in construction joints, evidence of swarmer termites, and any areas on the property that may be attracting termites. These include firewood piles, fallen deadwood from nearby trees, wood mulch within 6 inches of the home’s foundation, and wood fencing adjacent to the home.
Q. How do I get rid of termites permanently?
To get rid of termites and prevent recurring infestations, it’s recommended that homeowners hire a professional pest control company that offers an ongoing pest control plan to maintain protection around the home. During the initial treatment, the pest control expert may need to use more than one treatment method to get rid of the termites, depending on the species of termite, the location of the colony, and the extent of the infestation.
Q. What are the first signs of termites?
If the home has previously had a termite infestation or if there are any homes in the neighborhood that have been affected by termites, then it’s important to look out for any signs that could indicate that termites have moved in. Common signs of termites include mud tubes, termite droppings, damaged wood, hollowed wood, discarded termite wings, small holes in drywall, bubbling paint, or buckled wood.
Q. Are termites easy to detect?
Termites are small and not easy to spot on their own, but these pests leave behind several signs that indicate an infestation. These include buckling or blisters in wood flooring, hollowed wood, mud tubes, termite droppings, and discarded termite wings near closed windows, doors, and other entry points to the home. A professional can determine whether a bug that looks like a termite really is a termite or whether it’s another type of pest.
Q. Are termites harmful to humans?
While many common pests can be harmful to humans, termites are not likely to bite humans or pets. Even if they do bite, in most cases you will barely notice because of the small size of termite jaws. If you or someone else in the home has bug bites, it’s likely due to a different type of pest.
Q. How do you control termites?
The best way to handle a termite infestation is to hire a professional pest control company that is licensed by the state to treat termite problems. The exterminators will conduct termite inspections throughout the home to identify problem areas, and then they will provide a termite report with suggested actions for termite control. Once the homeowner and exterminator agree on a plan of action, the professional pest control expert will treat the property to eliminate the termites and help prevent recurring infestations.
Q. Where do termites come from?
Termites typically enter the home at ground level or below ground level, though they may also build mud tubes to enter spots that are several feet above ground level. These pests can get into the home through door frames, deck posts, porch steps, or other wood-to-ground contact locations.
Depending on the species, termites may also use crevices in the exterior walls where they can make holes in wood to dig out a little nest before sealing themselves inside. The termites then begin producing eggs and building a colony that spreads through the walls, ceilings, and floors of the home.
Q. Can you spray to prevent termites?
DIY pest control sprays can have some effect on visible termites, but they are not the best method for treating an infestation. Ideally, the homeowner will invest in professional termite eradication and prevention services to treat the home and the soil around the home to stop recurring infestations.
Q. Do termites leave droppings?
Termites leave droppings that can often be seen outside openings along walls and around areas with termite-damaged wood. Termite droppings range in color from black to light brown and are shaped like tiny ovals, smaller than 0.04 inches in length. Droppings are a sign of an active pest infestation, so don’t wait to invest in pest control services to deal with the problem.
Q. How much does it cost to get pest inspections?
Pest inspections typically cost about $133, though it depends on the type of pest, the size of the home, and any free onetime inspection services offered by pest control companies. The average pest or termite inspection cost ranges from $0 to about $400.
Q. How long do building and pest inspections last?
On average, a regular home inspection or pest inspection will take about 90 minutes to 2 hours to complete, though this depends on the size and condition of the home.
Q. What do termites look like?
Termites resemble small ants that are cream to reddish-brown in color. These pests typically grow to only about ¼ inch to ½ inch in size. They have soft bodies, a distinct hard head, powerful mandibles, and straight antennae. A termite inspector from one of the best termite control companies can help identify these common pests if you still aren’t sure whether you have a termite infestation—for example, they can identify whether the pests are termites or ants, or something else entirely.