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How Long Does Termite Treatment Last?

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Author Icon Written by Stephanie Koncewicz Updated 04/19/2024

Termite treatment is a necessary but expensive and often disruptive process. Naturally, most homeowners are curious about how long such a treatment will last after it’s applied. The answer varies by the type of treatment as well as several other factors, but the average time frame is around five years.

We’ll explain the different types of termite treatments in this article and mention how long they generally last. We’ll also break down other relevant factors and make recommendations for the best pest control companies to treat a termite infestation.

Average Length of Termite Treatments

On average, termite treatment lasts for about five years, though treatments applied directly to wood may last for up to 10. Termite bait stations, on the other hand, last for a maximum of one year and must be maintained annually.

Liquid Barrier Treatments

Liquid pesticide barriers typically keep subterranean termites away for five years. For this treatment, a termite specialist will dig a trench around the perimeter of your home and apply liquid termiticide to it. This will prevent subterranean termites from traveling into your home.

That’s not to say that termites will never find their way across the barrier, even in five years. It’s possible that some could still get into your home if there are gaps in the chemical barrier. Annual termite inspections can help to prevent this risk.

Direct Wood Treatments

Drywood termites, which live in the wood they eat, can’t be exterminated with an indoor liquid barrier. Instead, they must be controlled with bait or with termiticides applied directly to wood. Pest control specialists drill into the wood and inject pesticide into the termite tunnels, killing them.

Lumber can also be treated before it’s used in construction, though termiticide is only applied to the surface of the wood in this case. Surface treatments will only last for about five years while injections can prevent termites for up to 10 years.

Termite Bait Stations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that termite baits have gained popularity in recent years as a less-toxic alternative to chemical pesticides. However, they take longer to work and must be monitored and maintained throughout the year. A specialist will place baits strategically around your property. Termites take the bait back to their colonies, infecting other termites in the process.

It could take months for termites to come across the bait stations, and eliminating the colony may take longer. Additionally, bait stations don’t leave behind pesticides to act as a preventive treatment to keep future infestations away.

Gas Fumigation

Fumigation with gaseous termiticide, also known as tenting, is drastic and expensive but highly effective. This treatment is usually only recommended for very large or hard-to-treat infestations since you’ll have to leave your home for one to three days. Pest control professionals will then cover the entire structure with a tent and blast the interior with powerful termiticides.

This process is most effective against drywood termites since subterranean termites can simply flee to outdoor nests. When it works, tenting lasts for at least five years. Like barrier treatments, this must be accompanied by routine inspections to check for stragglers.

What Factors Affect How Long Termite Treatments Last?

The longevity of a termite treatment depends on several factors beyond just the type of treatment.

Subterranean termites and drywood termites are the most common types of termites that act as pests. Subterranean termites live in the soil around houses and build tunnel networks to access their food—the wood that your house is made of. Drywood termites, on the other hand, tunnel within your wood and nest there. These two types usually require different treatments.
The larger the termite colony, the longer it will take to eradicate. You may need to try several different types of treatments with increasing intensity. The level of expertise your termite specialist has could also have a big influence since it will determine how complete the application is.
Your home’s setup contributes to the longevity of the treatment. A termite specialist will need to access all the wood components of your home. If these elements are inaccessible or harder to treat, the service won’t be effective for as long.

Our Conclusion

How long a termite treatment remains effective depends on the type of treatment and other factors, but most will last for five years. We recommend hiring a pest control professional since termite infestations are so destructive and difficult to exterminate. Terminix and Orkin both have decades of experience with termite control, and they’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan and schedule follow-up inspections.

FAQs About Termite Treatment

How often should you treat your house for termites?

Most termite treatments last about five years, but you should schedule a professional termite inspection any time you suspect the presence of the pests. If you live in a high-risk area, get an inspection once per year.

Will termites come back after treatment?

Termites may return after treatments. Luckily, companies like Orkin and Terminix promise to retreat properties at no extra cost within a set period if you meet certain qualifications.

How quickly does termite treatment work?

Termite bait stations can take months to work, while liquid treatments require anywhere from a few days to several months. Fumigation only takes a few days, but it’s the most disruptive and expensive option.

What’s the average cost of termite treatment?

Termite treatment costs an average of $612, but you could spend anywhere from $230 for a small infestation to $2,500 for whole-home treatment. To offer an accurate estimate, nearly all pest control companies require an in-home inspection.

Our Rating Methodology

We back up our pest control recommendations with a detailed rating methodology that we use to objectively score each provider. We review pest control plans, navigate the provider website, speak with customer service representatives by phone and online chat (if available), request quotes, and analyze customer reviews for each provider. We then score the provider against our review standards for plans and services, reputation and customer responses, customer service offerings, workmanship guarantees, financing, and availability to arrive at a final score on a 5-point rating scale.

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