Fixing Termite Damage & Termite Treatments Options for Your Home

Termites are destructive, so it's important to assess warning signs, repair any structural termite damage and know when to call in professionals. But cost effective termite management is often confusing, and treatment options can get expensive with mixed results.

If you have termite or other ant concerns around your home, you might want to assess the risk factors and causes, before implementing a targeted termite treatment approach. Plus, potentially save thousands of dollars if managed holistically, rather than spraying chemicals arbitrarily.

Read on for a summary of what to look for, what to do about termite damage and scheduling reliable treatment options in a holistic way.

How do you know you have termites?

There are several signs that you may have termites in your home. Some common signs include:

If you suspect that you have termites in your home, it is important to have a professional pest control company inspect your home and identify the type of termite and recommend a treatment plan.

Termite Treatment Options

There are several different types of termite treatments available, and each one has its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks. Some common options to treat termites include:

It's important to note that termite treatment is rarely a one-time process. In most cases, ongoing inspections and maintenance will be required over several years to ensure that the infestation does not return, or until the core environmental issues are fully addressed. Termites can cause significant damage to a building over time, and the cost of treatment will only increase the longer the infestation is allowed to continue.

How to reduce the risk of termites?

Poor Building Design, Construction and Renovation Practices commonly creates long term building maintenance issues - including rot, ant, and termite infestation - which are often hand in hand - compounding maintenance costs over time.

The most simple and cost effective design practices with ensure:

Otherwise is failing to effectively manage the above design and construction risks, then termite damage and other issues often compound with increased risks of:

What do termites look like?

There are around 360 species of termites in Australia, but only a few cause economic damage and most in the subterranean category.

There are several types of termites, including:

Subterranean termites - eCoast Engineer

Subterranean termites

Exotic drywood termites - eCoast Engineer

Exotic drywood termites

Dampwood Termites - eCoast Engineer

Dampwood termites

How to fix termite damage to structures?

In addition to the financial costs of repairing termite damage, if left unchecked termite damage can weaken the structure of the building and increase the risk of collapse or other serious damage. There are several methods for repairing termite damage in buildings, including the following:

Depending on your type of building, there are advantages and disadvantages with the listed repair methods and limitations to consider. So it is important to have a professional structural engineer inspect and assess the extent of the termite damage and determine the best course of action for repair and strengthening. Plus, it is important to address the source of the termite infestation and take steps to prevent future infestations.

How much does termite treatment cost?

The cost of termite treatment can vary widely depending on the size of the affected area, the extent of the infestation, and the type of treatment being used. On average, termite treatment can cost anywhere from $500 to $4,000 or more. However, in some cases, the cost can be much higher if the infestation is extensive or if the damage is severe.

Recommended Termite Bait System | Budget $500 to $5000

There are several suppliers of termite bait systems on the market. However one of the most reliable and cost effective Termite Bait package is by the reliable BASF brand, which typically includes:

a) Termite Inspection Cartridges (TIC's) for monitoring purposes only to determine whether termites are active or not. These retail on Ebay from $6 each Termite Timber Insert (in PACKS of 10), or from $12 for each insert from Amazon (in PACKS of 2) and up to $35 each elsewhere.

b) Trelona Bait Cartridge (TBC's), which include the active ingredients intended to eliminate the nest and eventually the queen. These retail on Amazon from $15 each bait cartridge (in PACKS of 6) and up to $35 each elsewhere, and can last from 3 months up to 5 years depending on termite activity, other ant presence and environmental conditions - such as frequency of stormwater saturation, mould and rot. 

That's generally all you need to install baiting stations, except for disposable gloves, a digging tool, and pliers to pull the old termite cartridges out for inspection. It is also recommended to watch the free Technical Training Course for installation below, and feel free to print off a self-certificate!

There are several other termite bait system competitors, such as Sentricon and Superway, but just consider these systems may be slower to react or less effective compared to BASF's product, at least accordingly to a University of Delaware study - as noted in the Trelona Technical Manual and Installation Guide.

These bait systems may cost as cheap as $500 if buying and installing yourself, or upwards of $5000 depending on the building size and quantity used, and whether professionally installed.

Termite Foam Spray | Budget $69 to $2,000

Reliable Termiticide and Insecticide comes in Termite Foam products, which tend to last longer than surface spray chemicals in a more targeted and cost effective way. 

These are most effectively applied directly to termite nests (including bivouacs) in trees, stumps, posts, power poles, mounds and wall cavities. However termite foam can also be applied to termite activity when the nest cannot be located, such as active workings in timber and wall cavities, ant trails, cracks, building joints and bait stations.

If you find active termite trails - that includes Subterranean Termites, Drywood Termites, and other Carpenter Ants! - then a reliable product such as Termidor® Foam from Amazon start from $69 from Amazon, 567g tubes that expand in wall and ceiling cavities, and is effective and easy to install and also owned by BASF. These foams and other sprays obviously cost a lot more depending on the application extents and whether professionally installed.

A complimentary foam like this can be effective for 4 – 6 weeks and given a "non-repellant" this means termites cannot detect Termidor so simply pass over the product area unknowingly, allowing hundreds or thousands of termites to travel back throughout the colony. As termites begin to be infected by Termidor, other termites "groom" the infected termites, then also become infected which further increases the grooming process and cannibalization or burying their dead. So you can rest assure it will eliminate both termites nests in the area and help prevent damage over extended periods. Termidor is also effective against other ant colonies also, like:

The video below shows how quick and easy Termidor Foam can fill up wall cavities, cracks, suspended floors and other building joints where termites and ants may be seen entering and travelling back and forth. And best yet, as soon as you see ants again you can reapply, whenever concerned about new ant attacks.

Chemical Termite Barriers | Budget $2,900 to $5,000

Chemical Termite Barriers - soaked/injected into perimeter of building - may also be considered and often cost $2,900 to $3,600 for most houses, or $5,000 or more with complicated or higher risk buildings. These are much different systems to baits and unlikely to guarantee effective elimination, especially high risk or older buildings with existing termite activity already inside.  

An example product is Termidor® HE. Many years ago, barrier treatments would only repel termites away from the home. Termites would then go away from the treated area, or circumnavigate, and enter under or around the treated zone. Termidor however changed the termite protection industry, as it’s a non-repellent chemical that is undetectable to termites in the ground. Meaning termites cannot detect Termidor and simply pass through the treated zone unknowingly and starts to affect termites 5-18 days after contact, allowing thousands of termites to travel back throughout the colony. As termites begin to be infected by Termidor, other termites "groom" the infected termites, and also become infected further increasing the grooming process and cannibalization process, before burying their dead.

For chemical barrier systems you're strongly recommended to arrange a licensed pest inspection with a management report, as these systems are more advanced and higher risk (and harder for end users to source), and likely to give mixed results depending how the broader property management risks are diagnosed and implemented.

Termite Fumigation | Budget $10,000

Termite Fumigation Techniques are more suitable when termites inside, and also not a preventative treatment with longer term or guaranteed results - so may not be a feasible termite treatment system for most households.

For termite fumigation systems you're also strongly recommended to arrange a licensed pest inspection with a management report, as both chemical and fumigation termite treatment techniques are more specialised and higher risk (and harder for end users to source), and likely to give mixed results depending how broader property management risks are diagnosed and implemented.