How often should you inspect and treat your home for termites?

Michael Patton
by Michael Patton

I used to pay a pest control company $115 a year to annually inspect my home for termites but after seeing their 10-minute cursory inspection with just shining a flashlight around the basement, garage, and outside perimeter of my house, I decided to stop. Any thoughts on how often termite inspections should be done and how thorough they need to be? Is it imperative to do regular preventative treatments?

  5 answers
  • Ebbjdl Ebbjdl on Jan 04, 2019

    Michael, once a year is about the average. He's looking for termites, in these areas because this is where they are found. As far as the price, my termite inspection is included with my maintenance fee. This inspection seems the norm, I wouldn't worry. If you get a receipt, that they were there, and you have a problem they are responsible. Aloha!

  • Sorry, your "inspectors" are less than professional. I went through the same thing years ago with my house. Here is a story. I use Terminex for my mom's house. I called and where I live, another franchise operator has the "territory." Fine, send them out. This guy showed up in a pair of khakis and a polo shirt, not even a proper uniform. No flashlight, no clipboard, nothing. Walked around my house with his hands in his pockets. Wow. I called Terminex to complain. I called the Terminex guy that services my mom's house and told him the story. Needless to say, he was flabbergasted. He came out to my house and now he is the one performing full proper written inspections. My house is newer and easier as I am on a slab in an arid climate. My mom's house was built in 1926 on a raised foundation. He suits up, clipboard, headlamp, flashlight, and tool belt. Every nook, cranny, and crevice inspected. So even though the same company, different experience in a different area. I followed up with a written statement of my story and told them if they wanted my business, the good guy gets my account. They eventually responded apologizing and gave me a free inspection for the following year on my house.

    If you have a newer home, every other year is ok, but I wouldn't let it go longer than that. In older homes and in areas with high termite activity, I would keep the once-a-year schedule. Much less costly to repair if they catch it early. Hope this helps.

  • Michael B Michael B on Jul 10, 2011

    The treatment options that you have are liquid which can last 5 to 10 years depending on the actual product that is used or there is a baiting system that is active for however long it is in the ground.

  • By EPA rules, you are only allowed to treat your home once. After that only spot treatments are allowed should your annual evaluation indicate activity? The baiting systems are ok, but will only work if they are put properly in place to create a barrier. If however, no documents are available to the treating company then they are allowed to retreat the entire home. If you dig any soil out and away from home after treatment, keep kids away from it, and inform your treatment company that it has been disturbed so they can re-treat if need be. Chemical barriers work best, but now only work for as Michael B stated for 5 to 10 years. The best method after any treatment is to practice integrated pest management. This is the practice of creating an environment that is non-conducive to insects. Keep mulch away from home, cut plants back, try to keep the soil dry next to the foundation. Keep trees away from the roof and do not plant them too close to the house. Keep firewood away.

  • Lina Splichal Lina Splichal on Jun 11, 2018

    If you were free of termites at the last inspection I would recheck in 5 years or whenever you see anything that suggests termites.