How Much Does a Termite Inspection Cost?
No homeowner wants to find out that their home has termites. An inspection will let you know what to do and how to eradicate the problem. Termite inspection costs range from $50 to $280, with the national average at $100.
- Typical Range: $50 to $280
- National Average: $100
Termites can be devastating, and their presence can take a homeowner by surprise. But homeowners might not know that they should be having regular termite inspections to ensure that their homes are safe and sound. Homeowners should schedule termite inspection every year in termite-heavy, high-risk areas (like warm or humid locales) and every other year in low-risk areas. According to HomeAdvisor, termite inspection costs can range from $50 to $280, with the national average at $100.
Termite protection and prevention can save thousands of dollars in fumigation costs, and there are budget-friendly or even free preventive steps homeowners can take to avoid termite infestation and save on the cost of termite treatment. Termites are elusive, and a colony of termites can quickly damage the structure of a home before it’s even noticeable. 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.
If you need a termite inspection when selling a home, it will add $75 to $125 to the cost of a standard home inspection. If you also need an official letter or report from the inspection for insurance purposes or a sale, that may set you back an additional $100 to $200. 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.
Here, we’ll examine what factors go into calculating termite inspection cost, additional considerations, why homeowners should get a termite inspection, and what 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 when it comes to the purpose of the inspection, depending on whether residential or commercial services are needed, and if any reports are required.
Home Sale vs. Preventive Measure
Many home inspection companies offer low-cost or free annual termite inspections as a preventive measure for your home, or the inspection fee may be waived if you need termite treatment. However, if a a termite inspection is required as part of a house sale, you may incur 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 a termites treatment professional.
Home Inspection Bundle
Home inspectors can charge between $250 and $400, but a pest inspection typically isn’t part of the process. Many home inspection companies offer pest inspections 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.
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 cost between $250 and $400.
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.
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, and some inspection companies may waive that fee if they’re hired to treat an infestation.
Commercial or Business Inspections
Termite inspections for commercial properties or businesses can run from $250 to $600, 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.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When 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.
Termite Bond Agreement
If you’re buying a home and termites are discovered before you move in, lenders 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.
Termite Treatment Cost
If you discover that termites have infested your home, many companies provide a free estimate, but is termite extermination expensive? Home termite treatment costs can range from $200 to $850, depending on how serious the infestation is. Many termite companies will customize 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 between $1,000 to $4,000.
Termite inspection costs can vary according to geographic location. Differences in labor costs, taxes, and the price of fuel can influence inspection rates. 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.
Should I Get a Termite Inspection?
If you’re buying a home or you live in a high-risk area—including warm, humid climates—a pest inspection is high on the list of preventive measures you can take. A termite inspection provides peace of mind and lets you know about any potential problems before you move into a new home, or it can ensure that previous termite treatment and prevention continues to be effective.
Signs of Termites
Termites are good at hiding, but there are telltale signs 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. 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, you’ll have 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.
Buying a House
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 to note that homeowners insurance does not 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 for 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 should be called in to inspect for a termite infestation. A professional is skilled and knows how to find evidence of termites in ways that the average homeowner does not. A bonded, insured, and licensed professional has the experience to discover an infestation and then recommend the best plan of attack to treat your home.
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. Here are some questions to 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 your options can be a daunting process. Here are some frequently asked questions about termite inspection costs to help guide you in your decisions.
Q. How long does a termite inspection take?
An inspector will take 1 to 2 hours to inspect your 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 only valid 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 treatment against an infestation. It’s recommended to call in a professional to inspect and treat your home if it has termites.
Q. How often should I get a termite inspection?
It’s recommended that homeowners should get an annual termite inspection 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 you’re selling your home, 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. A professional pest inspector has the experience to find and notice these signs when the average homeowner may not.