“You have termites.” Three little words no homeowner ever wants to hear. Termites are tremendously destructive, causing about $5 billion in damage yearly in the United States. Fortunately, taking the right precautions can reduce your chances of suffering a termite infestation.

termite inspection

Termites are tremendously destructive, causing about $5 billion in damage yearly in the United States.1 Fortunately, taking the right precautions can reduce your chances of suffering a termite infestation.

Read on for information on termite inspection costs, termite control and how to treat for termites.

The first step to avoiding a termite problem is having your home regularly inspected for termites. And because termites feast 24/7, it's recommended that you have your home inspected annually, or anytime you suspect termite activity. The cost of a termite inspection can vary based on the company. Terminix® offers a free initial inspection.

Note: If an inspection is for a real estate transaction, there are normally associated fees because additional wood-destroying insects are included, and a formal report must be submitted. Learn more about wood-destroying organism reports here.

Related > How Much Does It Cost to Treat Termites?

What to look for during a termite inspection

Depending on the species of termites that are present in your area, there are different signs of termites to look for. Some signs include:

Mud tubes

Subterranean termites require soil contact, and most nest in the soil (which is why they are called "subterranean termites"). They then build highway-like mud tubes connecting their nest to a wooden food source. These mud tubes are a definite sign of a termite infestation, but their absence does not mean termites haven't invaded your home. There are other ways for different species of termites to reach and infest your home. For instance, because drywood termites don't require contact with soil, these termites don't create mud tubes.

Damaged wood

Wood with termite damage might look “crushed" at structural joints, and if you tap damaged wood with a screwdriver or knife, you may hear a hollow noise. You can further inspect damaged wood by probing the surface with a screwdriver or knife, exposing termite galleries. Subterranean termites excavate tunnels in the wood that run parallel to the grain, giving the wood surface a “rippled" appearance. You should have a professional inspect the wood damage, as he or she will have knowledge about the difference between different wood-destroying organisms.

Piles of wings

After finding a new home and mating, termite swarmers shed their wings, leaving them scattered about, sometimes in piles.

Buckling or bubbling paint, or brittle drywall

These, too, may be signs that termites have invaded your home.

Signs of termites can be difficult to spot. That's why it's important to have a termite control professional inspect your home annually. A trained technician knows which species of termites are present in your area, what signs of termites to look for and exactly where to look for them.

Related > What to Expect From a Termite Inspection

Free termite inspections from Terminix

Keeping your home free from termites is a part of regular home maintenance. Termites can cause damage that can cost a homeowner thousands of dollars in repairs. The good news? Terminix offers free initial termite inspections for homeowners.

During a free initial termite inspection from Terminix, a termite control professional will inspect your home to look for common signs of termites and any existing termite damage. If termite activity is found, Terminix can customize a treatment plan to fit your needs. If termites are not found, Terminix can recommend a plan to help protect your home from the damage a potential termite infestation could cause.

The free homeowner's inspection is different from a real estate transaction termite inspection. This type of termite inspection is usually required by the mortgage lender and/or insurer. During this type of inspection, the termite professional inspects for termites and other wood-destroying insects and organisms and issues a formal report. There is a cost for real estate transaction pest and termite inspections. The industry average real estate termite inspection cost is $100.

How much does termite treatment cost?

If an inspection indicates the presence of termites, treatment should begin as soon as possible. A Terminix termite treatment will be customized to meet your home's requirements, so termite treatment cost varies. The cost will be dependent upon the size of the house, the type of construction, the type of termite and treatment needed, your geographic region and the size of the infestation.

Related: How to Prevent Termites When Building a New Home

For homeowners, the presence of termites can be scary and stressful. Fortunately, you can trust Terminix.

Terminix offers the most advanced and effective solutions to treat termites and help prevent their presence in your home. Contact Terminix today to schedule your free termite inspection.