How Much Does a Termite Inspection Cost?
No homeowner wants to find out that their home has termites. An inspection will let them know what to do and how to eradicate the problem. Termite inspection costs range from $0 to $400, with the national average at $133.
- The typical range for termite inspection costs is $0 to $400, with a national average of $133.
- The most significant cost factors for termite inspections are the inspection type, home loan type, inspection company, termite report, and geographic location.
- Homeowners will want to book a termite inspection if they have signs of termites, if they want to ensure annual prevention, and if they are buying or selling a home.
- Homeowners may be able to do an initial check for termites themselves, but only a professional can definitively say whether a home is infested. If the inspection is needed for insurance or a home sale, it will need to be done by a certified professional.
Termites can be devastating, and their presence can take a homeowner by surprise. But homeowners might not know that regular termite inspections are recommended to ensure that their homes are safe and sound. Homeowners will want to schedule termite inspection every year in termite-heavy, high-risk areas (like warm or humid locales) and every other year in low-risk areas. So how much is a termite inspection? According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, costs can range from $0 to $400, with the national average at $133.
What is a termite inspection, anyway? According to Steven Dupuy, technical service manager and termite expert at Rentokil Terminix, “We look for a number of things during our termite inspection. First and most important, we are looking for termite tunnels. This could show us if there is an active infestation of termites. Second, we are looking for signs of termite damage. This lets us know if there are possible problems or a history of problems. Lastly, we are looking for conditions around the home or building that could be favorable to future problems, like wood touching the ground, moisture issues, or high soil or mulch against the foundation.” If a termite infestation is left untreated, it can cause thousands of dollars in aesthetic and structural damage. This is why termite inspection costs are worth it to find and eradicate these destructive pests. There are budget-friendly or even free preventive steps homeowners can take to avoid termite infestation and save on the cost of termite treatment.
If the homeowner needs a termite inspection when selling a home, it will add around $165 to the cost of a standard home inspection. In the case that an official letter or report from the inspection is also needed for insurance purposes or a sale, that may cost an additional $150. The value of a home with termite damage can be lowered by 25 percent or up to $50,000 if the termite infestation is not treated.
This guide will examine the factors that go into calculating termite inspection cost, additional considerations, reasons homeowners should get a termite inspection, and questions to ask a termite inspector.
Factors in Calculating Termite Inspection Cost
Several factors impact termite inspection cost. Prices can differ from the national average depending on the purpose of the inspection, the need for residential or commercial services, and any required reports.
In many cases, homeowners will schedule a termite inspection because they have reason to believe that these pests have infested their home. They can schedule a onetime inspection with a pest control company, which is often free. They may also schedule a preventive inspection or recurring annual ones if they know their area is prone to termites. If the homeowner is applying for a home loan, a termite report letter may be required and costs about $150. There are often specific requirements dictating who pays for termite inspections in the event that the home is sold; these inspections average around $165. Some companies offer what is called an inspection bundle for $250 to $500; this covers all termite-related services and documentation for a home sale. In South Carolina, an inspection called a CL-100 must be completed before a home sale; this type costs $160 and is valid for 30 days. Other areas may require a WDO (Wood-Destroying Organisms) inspection, which covers other destructive pests like carpenter ants and certain fungi. These cost $150 on average.
Home Loan Type
During a home sale, the seller typically pays for a termite inspection, but that can change depending on the home loan type. For a buyer who has a standard loan, the requirements for pest inspection are different than for someone who has a VA (Veterans Affairs) or an FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan. For a VA loan, the seller often pays for the inspection, and this can cost between $50 and $150. Some states allow the borrower to pay and, on occasion, the lender will pay. The VA requires homes in high-risk areas to have a termite inspection. Condominiums only require a pest inspection if a property appraiser believes pests are present. Property appraisers usually charge between $325 and $425.
For an FHA loan, a termite inspection is necessary if there is evidence of an infestation or if the state or lender requires one. The FHA loan will only be approved after the pests are exterminated and the home passes another inspection. With an FHA loan, the cost of a termite inspection is usually the responsibility of the buyer, but the seller may pay for the inspection cost to encourage a sale. In this case, the cost is often $100 to $200.
Depending on the company that performs the inspection, costs can vary widely. Some of the best termite control companies, like Terminix and Ehrlich, offer free termite inspection for first-time customers. Others may waive the inspection fee if the customer schedules termite treatment with the company. Not all termite companies have locations in every state, so it’s important for homeowners to factor this into their search when choosing a termite company. Homeowners can look up “termite inspection near me” online to get started.
A termite report is a letter that a certified pest control company provides stating that a home has been inspected and is termite-free. It specifies any damage from a previous infestation and a list of repairs that were made to the property. This type of report is usually required for a VA or FHA loan or if the home is in a high-risk area for termites. Termite reports can cost between $100 and $200, or an average of $150, and some inspection companies may waive that fee if they’re hired to treat an infestation.
Termite inspection costs can vary according to geographic location. Differences in labor costs, taxes, and the price of fuel can influence inspection rates. In Chicago, a termite inspection costs $50 to $135, but in Los Angeles, costs are $65 to $220. If the home is outside the company’s normal service area, a travel fee of $100 can apply. Additionally, different states also have different testing standards. For example, those living in South Carolina need a South Carolina Wood Infestation Report, or a CL-100. This termite report costs approximately $150 and is required for all real estate transactions. These reports are valid for 30 days after the inspection, and the fee can be rolled into the closing costs or paid by the homeowner.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When homeowners are budgeting for termite inspection costs, it’s helpful to know about any additional price factors and considerations that can impact the total cost. These can include termite bond agreement cost, termite treatment cost, and additional requirements and fees based on geographic location.
Home Sale vs. Preventive Inspection
Many home inspection companies offer low-cost or free annual termite inspections as a preventive measure for the home, or the inspection fee may be waived if termite treatment is needed. However, if a termite inspection is required as part of a house sale, there may be an additional fee—and a few states require this specific inspection before a sale can go through. Home inspectors can observe visible termite presence, like holes in wood or piles of sawdust, but they don’t necessarily receive the same training as termite treatment professionals.
Commercial or Business Inspections
Termite inspections for commercial properties or businesses can be as much as $650, but costs can vary depending on the size and type of business. A pest control company will typically offer a free consultation and provide a proposal for pest control services.
Termite Bond Agreement
If a home sale is in process and termites are discovered before the buyer moves in, lenders will likely require a termite bond agreement. The agreement is a road map on how to treat a property for termites and ensure they stay away after treatment. Since the agreement includes termite treatment, it can cost between $500 and $2,000. Some lenders base the cost on the overall price of the home. The agreement usually specifies if the treatment company will address any additional infestations or repair damages, acting as a kind of termite protection strategy for a home.
If termites have infested the home, many companies provide a free estimate, but is termite extermination expensive? Home termite treatment costs $1,550 on average. Many termite companies will customize the best termite treatment based on the home’s requirements, so the overall cost can vary based on the size of the home, the type of termite treatment, infestation size, and geographic location. If the home needs to be fumigated, the cost can jump up to $4,000.
Termite Damage Repair
Depending on when a termite infestation is discovered, the damage they have caused can be minimal or severe. Termite damage repair costs anywhere from $600 to $3,000. In the event that the damage is mostly cosmetic, costs will be relatively low. These can include floor or wall discoloration, which can cost up to $6 per square foot to fix. The costs to repair structural damage are often significant, with replacing wood siding costing $50 to $75 per square foot. Beams that have rotted through must be replaced for $1,500 to $3,000 apiece.
|Termite Damage||Repair Cost (Materials and Labor)|
|Buckling flooring||$5 to $25 per square foot|
|Chipping paint||$4 to $8 per square|
|Drywall replacement||$50 to $75 per hole|
|Floor discoloration||$1 to $3 per square foot|
|Rotted beams||$1,500 to $3,000 each|
|Wall discoloration||$2 to $6 per square foot|
|Wood siding damage||$50 to $75 per square foot|
Types of Termite Inspections
How much does a termite inspection cost? The answer depends on what kind of inspection is needed. It’s important that homeowners know exactly what kind of inspection to schedule depending on their needs and situation. Homeowners can learn about the various types of termite inspections and when they are needed, as well as their costs, from the details that follow the chart below.
|Type of Inspection||Cost|
|Home sale inspection||$165|
|Inspection bundle||$250 to $500|
|Onetime inspection||$50 to $350|
|Wood-Destroying Organism (WDO) inspection||$150|
Termites can do a significant amount of damage before anyone detects their presence, so getting ahead of them with an annual inspection can provide homeowners with great peace of mind. This is an especially good idea in parts of the country where termites are very common. Some companies offer free annual inspections. Others may charge $50 to $350 for a onetime inspection.
A CL-100 is required in South Carolina in the event of a home sale. It covers not only termites but a whole host of fungi and pests that destroy wood. This type of inspection costs $160. Homeowners who are required to obtain a CL-100 inspection will want to time this process carefully, as they are valid for only 30 days.
Home Sale Inspection
In order to avoid having a termite problem passed on from seller to buyer, a home sale inspection will typically be required. A regular home inspection may turn up obvious signs of termites or termite damage, but an exterminator will also need to do a thorough check. This may be paid for by the buyer or the seller depending on the state and costs $165 on average.
Home inspectors can charge between $250 and $500, but a pest inspection typically isn’t part of the process. Many home inspection companies offer a pest inspection at a discount if it’s bundled with the home inspection. Certified pest inspections are carried out by a licensed professional who’s trained to identify pest activity more accurately than a home inspector, who focuses more on the structure and function of a home’s features.
If a homeowner has seen any signs of termites around the home like termite droppings, sawdust piles, damaged wood, or termite wings, they’ll want to schedule a onetime inspection. A pest control technician will either confirm that the home is infested or inform the homeowner that they are in the clear. Some companies offer this service for free or will waive the fee if termite treatment is needed and the client hires them for extermination. For example, an Orkin termite inspection costs $0 for customers. Otherwise, a onetime inspection by a pest control company typically costs $50 to $350.
According to Dupuy, “The stress you experience when having termites in your home could be easily prevented by protecting your home or business before you have problems.” It’s a good idea for anyone to get regular preventive termite inspections, but for those in termite-prone areas, this is especially important. If an annual inspection is too frequent, homeowners may want to consider having a preventive inspection every 2 to 3 years. The longer an infestation goes undetected, the more costly extermination and repairs will be down the road. In light of the low (or often nonexistent) cost of a preventive inspection, there is no reason for homeowners not to add this to the home maintenance checklist.
It’s common for lenders to require that homeowners get a WDO (Wood-Destroying Organism) inspection if the house has suffered wood damage in the past. This type of inspection is similar to a CL-100 but is not restricted to South Carolina and costs $150. A WDO inspector can differentiate between termite damage versus wood rot or termites versus ants as they look for the following:
- brown rot fungi
- carpenter ants
- carpenter bees
- dampwood termites
- drywood termites
- soft rot fungi
- subterranean termites
- white rot fungi
- wood-boring beetles
Do I Need a Termite Inspection?
For those who are buying a home or live in a high-risk area—including warm, humid climates—a pest inspection is high on the list of preventive measures to take. A termite inspection provides peace of mind and reveals any potential problems before buyers move into a new home, or it can ensure that previous termite treatment and prevention continue to be effective.
Signs of Termites
Termites are good at hiding, but there are several common signs of termites that can tell an inspector that they’re there: small piles of sawdust around wood structures, bubbled or cracked paint, dropped wings, mud tunnels, visible swarms of insects, small holes in wood or drywall, and hollowed-out wood. Even finding droppings but no sign of termites is a major red flag. Any of these is a good reason to contact a professional for an inspection. Termite damage can be preventable with annual inspections and prompt treatment.
Annual Inspection and Prevention
Termite inspections are fairly affordable (and can be free), and this type of prevention can save thousands of dollars in treatment and extermination costs down the road. If a termite infestation is left untreated, the damage can be costly, and if fumigation is involved, residents will need to find another place to stay for a few days. Warm, humid climates tend to be at higher risk for termites, and homes that have experienced a previous infestation should have an annual inspection.
Since a termite infestation can significantly lower the value of a home, a pest inspection is needed before it’s sold. Lenders may require a termite inspection before a loan is approved, and certain states and municipalities have specific requirements regarding these types of inspections. It’s important for homeowners to note that while in rare cases homeowners insurance may cover termite damage, it does not typically cover the cost of termite inspections or extermination because this type of damage is considered preventable. The cost of a termite inspection is worth it to prevent these insects from destroying a home from the inside out.
Termite Inspection: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Experts warn that DIY termite treatments for the home are typically ineffective in exterminating a termite infestation, but some may work as preventive measures. Termite baits and termiticides can be found in home improvement stores, but a professional will need to be called in to inspect for a termite infestation. There are many bugs that look like termites, and termite damage can also resemble wood rot or water damage. The average homeowner may not be capable of making these nuanced distinctions. A professional is skilled and knows how to find evidence of termites in ways that the average homeowner does not. When it comes to treating the infestation, “The work is labor intensive and the products used must be applied correctly for them to work properly,” says Dupuy. “In most states, there are regulations that must be followed as well. Professionals go through a lot of training to use these products, and misapplications can be dangerous.” A bonded, insured, and licensed professional has the experience to discover an infestation and then recommend the best plan of attack to treat the home, helping the homeowner effectively fight off termites and prevent any further damage.
Questions to Ask During a Termite Inspection
Asking a professional the right questions about termite inspection costs can minimize miscommunication, save money, and get the desired results. Below are some questions homeowners can ask a termite inspection professional.
- Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
- How long have you been in business?
- What happens during the inspection process?
- Do you have any online reviews?
- Can you provide referrals?
- Will you show me the evidence of a termite infestation?
- How much is an inspection?
- How long will the inspection take?
- Who will conduct the inspection?
- If my home needs treatment, is it safe for children and pets?
- Will I get a written report?
- Do you provide a written estimate?
- Is your work guaranteed?
Deciding on a termite inspection while weighing all of the options can be a daunting process. What follows are some frequently asked questions about termite inspection costs to help guide homeowners’ decisions.
Q. How long does a termite inspection take?
An inspector will take 1 to 2 hours to inspect a home for termite presence. Once the inspection is completed, it’s typically valid between 30 and 90 days, depending on the state guidelines or lender requirements. For example, the South Carolina CL-100 report is valid only for 30 days after the inspection.
Q. Can I treat my house for termites on my own?
There are DIY treatments that can be found at home improvement stores, such as bait and monitoring systems, termiticides, and diatomaceous earth. However, these work better as preventive measures than effective ways to get rid of termites for good. Homeowners are advised to call in a professional to inspect and treat the home if it has termites. An exterminator costs an average of $176.
Q. How often should I get a termite inspection?
It’s recommended that homeowners get a termite inspection annually if they live in a high-risk area or every other year if their home is in a low-risk location. A yearly inspection is also recommended if the home has a history of termite infestation. If the home is being sold, some lenders require a pest or termite inspection before a loan is approved.
Q. Do termites bite people?
Termites may bite if they’re handled, but they’re more interested in eating wood. Termites may attack other insects if they feel threatened.
Q. What are signs of termites?
The telltale signs of termites are droppings that look like sawdust; brittle drywall; damaged wood; mud tunnels; sagging walls, floors, or ceilings; piles of discarded wings; bubbling or buckled paint; and the insects themselves (it’s worth looking up what termites look like in order to keep an eye out). A professional pest inspector has the experience to find and notice these signs when the average homeowner may not.
Sources: HomeAdvisor, Angi (1 and 2), HomeGuide