How much does termite fumigation cost? (Get lower tenting prices)

Termite Fumigation process

Termites, pesky little insects that can create catastrophic damage to buildings, can be a homeowner’s biggest fear.

Unfortunately, many people don’t give much thought to termite control until they see a termite tent in their neighborhood or get a quote for termite fumigation themselves.

Why should I fumigate for termites?

A termite infestation can create thousands of dollars of damage to your house without you knowing that it’s happening—well before you even pay a pest control professional for termite treatment and control.

Termites can infest homes and other structures with few infestation signals and their colonies can live up to 50 years, feeding on dead organic cellulose-based matter such as foliage, wood, cardboard and  paper.

Because of this, termites can burrow deep into structural wood beams of buildings, causing more damage than many property owners realize.

Video explaining the difference between drywood spot treatments and termite tenting (normally you’ll need fumigation, but sometimes spot treatment will do the job).

Many different types of termites can cause damage to your house or business. The least dangerous type of termite is the dampwood termite, which, true to its name, typically builds nests in wet material. 

To survive, Dampwood termites need an environment full of moisture and cool air. These are the least dangerous type of termites because they don’t destroy wood as quickly as other types of termites.

Subterranean termites are termites that live in the soil to build their nests. These will usually be found underneath areas such as your basement or your garden. They are more likely to be found living in hot weather because that is when the soil can provide all the necessary moisture and conditions for them to strive.

termites damage
Exposed termite galleries in a termite-damaged wood door.

Drywood termites are the type of termites that are most likely to be found in your house. They are one of the most common types of termites in North America and have infested almost all of the houses in the US. They live in dry wood and hot temperate areas and they always infest walls and house structures. Colonies of Drywood termites are able to reproduce relatively fast and that is why they are the second most dangerous type of termite out there.

Finally, Formosan termites: The most dangerous of them all. They are similar to Subterranean termites, but they have more destructive behavior. Where other species of termites may take years to create significant damage to s structure, a single colony of Formosan termites can produce a million individuals in just a year, and they can ingest about 400 grams of wood daily. This means that they can destroy an entire house structure in only a few months—how crazy is that?

Video explaining differences between local termite treatments, fumigant tenting, and heat tenting.

Any of these types of termites can cause a lot of damage to your house if they are not treated as soon as you first notice signs of termites. And by the way, it’s not a great idea to rely on yourself to detect signs of termite infestations. It’s better to call a termite professional and have them conduct a professional inspection because they have the tools and experience to detect termites better than the average property owner.  Here are the things you should if you do notice signs of termites and the costs associated with dealing with termites:

The very first thing that you should do when you see any signs of termites is to call an extermination company, much like the kind you can find from to be certain that they are causing the problem. Once they confirm that termites are the problem, you will get a list of options of treatments you can get. Chances are the representative will recommend that your house is fumigated. The very first question you’ll ask is, “How much will that cost?”

The termite fumigation as observed by a neighbor

There are termite tents in my neighborhood. Will termites migrate to my home?

People are often concerned about discovering termite fumigations in their neighborhoods. The two primary concerns are whether the insecticides are safe and whether the termites can move from the fumigated home to a different house.

Typical Fumigation Prices

Fumigation costs can range from a few hundred dollars, which is quite rare, to several thousand dollars, which happens when the termite infestation is large and the whole building requires termite tenting.

Extensions to your house such as garages, decks, or patios usually also need to be fumigated, adding more to your fumigation cost. 

Typical Fumigation Cost per square foot

Fumigation costs typically range anywhere from $1-$4 per square foot but on average you can expect the cost to be around $2 per square foot.

For example, if your house is 2,000-square-foot, then you would be looking at a fumigation cost of about $4,000, assuming that the average cost is $2 per square foot. This may seem to be a very high cost but, in the long run, it’s worth it. By killing off all the termites in your home as soon as you discover them, you can potentially save additional costs associated with repairing the damage termites gradually and continually cause.

Video explaining how to measure your house to estimate the price to fumigate it for termites

How Long Does Fumigation for Termites Last?

For average-sized homes, termite fumigations typically take around 3 days to complete. If you have an above-average sized home, expect your termite tenting to take up to a week to complete.

After the fumigation process is complete, expect to wait for another 24 to 72 hours to let the termiticide settle from the air before entering your home.

Does Tenting a House for Termites Really Work?

Termite tenting (with heat or with termiticides) is the most effective method of eradicating an established termite infestation in a building. Tenting, however, is not the best termite treatment for all types of infestations. If you are lucky and find an early termite infestation, termite spot treatment might be sufficient. 

Can termites come back after fumigation?

Yes, unfortunately, termites can return after fumigation. It is therefore important to address how termites entered the building in the first place. To do so, one should replace any decomposing wood with new lumber and implement some other termite prevention strategies like termite trenching or termite traps. Whatever termite control company performs your termite tenting should recommend the right prevention strategies for you.

What is Termite Fumigation?

So, what exactly is fumigation?

 What does termite tenting achieve?

Fumigation uses the chemical Vikane inside the house and will then penetrate deep into the foundation to eliminate any termites. Before this happens, the crew will tent your house, meaning they will cover all of the structures with huge rubber tents to completely secure it and ensure that none of the gas will escape—this is to not only ensure the best results but also protect your neighbors and wildlife from becoming sick from the fumes.

Pest control professional estimating termite fumigation cost
Pest control professional estimating termite fumigation cost

How to save money on termite tenting

As you can assume, you will not be allowed to stay in your home while this process is happening, which can take 3 to 7 days to complete. So, while this is happening, you’ll need to find a new place to stay.

The costs associated with evacuating your home will vary depending on whether you stay at a hotel and if you have pets.

The costs of hotel rooms throughout the process can build up quickly, and the cost of buying food or eating out will add up fast too. However, if you plan it out well, you may be able to stay with a friend or family and avoid hotel and eating out costs.

After the fumigation process is completed and you and your family can return to your house, you’ll have to start figuring out how much damage was done to your foundation. If the termites did a lot of damage, you will need to pay for repairs to fix that damage. These repairs all depend on how much damage was done, where the damage is, and how it can be repaired.

For example, if you have a patio or a porch, it might just be better for you to have them completely redone. Depending on how large the patio or porch is, this can really rake up a lot of expenses. If the termites damage any supporting beams, you’re looking at some major costs again.

Some ways to prevent having to potentially pay the costs associated with fumigating your house to deal with termites can have professional exterminators come through yearly to ensure that your house is clear of any termites or pests that could cause real damage to the building. They can also give you recommendations to help you figure out what exactly you can be doing to help continue preventing any infestations that can be costly.

Video showing workers placing termite tent over a house, preparing it for fumigation.

Frequently Asked Questions about termite fumigation prices:

Why is termite tenting so expensive?

How long does it take for termites to destroy a house?

What are the side effects of termite fumigation?

How do I get rid of termites without tenting?

How toxic is termite fumigation?

Why does my house smell after termite fumigation?

Because termite fumigant is odorless, an odor is mixed with the termiticide to assist pest control professionals in applying it safely. Sometimes people notice a residual odor for some time period after termite tenting, but the smell will subside over time.

Is it hard to sell a house that has had termites?

Selling a house with termites is often difficult because any potential seller would have to repair the termite damage. Most people looking to purchase a new home want it in working order. However, you might find someone who will view your termite damaged real-estate as a fixer-upper. They might be interested in purchasing it from you for a lower price (to compensate for additional repair costs they’ll have down the road). They might then fix it up and sell it. Most banks, though, won’t give a mortgage to a home that fails its wood-destroying organism (WDO) report. Meaning, in most cases, that any potential buyer would need to buy your damaged home with cash. This lowers the pool of potential home buyers that might buy your property.

How do I prepare my house for termite tenting?

What foods need to be removed when tenting for termites?

Can a house get termites twice?

You can get termites numerous times, even after termite treatments. Certain termite treatments tend to last a certain amount of time. For example, termite trenching generally reliably lasts around five years (assuming you don’t disturb the termiticide-filled trench and assuming the termiticide is applied properly). After five years, termite trenches begin to weaken.

If you get your home fumigated for termites, fumigant residue should prevent drywood termites from returning for some period of time, but if termites find their way back in through some opening, you may encounter repeat infestations. This is why a thorough termite inspector will take their time to look for openings, cracks, and crevices and seal them.

Should you bag clothes for fumigation?

Categorized as Termites

By David Jackson

I enjoy learning about new pest control strategies and sharing what I learn at I aim to create a reliable resource for people dealing with all sorts of pest issues.

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