Termite Extermination: Whole House Fumigation vs. Spot Treatments

Termites never come at a good time, and a termite extermination isn’t exactly something most homeowners budget for. The cost of a whole house fumigation isn’t cheap, which may lead homeowners to choose a less expensive spot treatment instead. Let’s quickly take a look at these two extermination options, as well as their pros and cons.

Spot Treatment Termite Extermination

A wide variety of spot treatments exists to get rid of termites. Over the years, we’ve seen companies use microwaving techniques, cold treatments, hot treatments, special chemicals, even electrocution. The purpose of these spot treatments is to get rid of a small termite colony within a restricted area of the home or surrounding area.

Benefits of Termite Spot Treatments

The effectiveness of each spot treatment will vary. In some instances, a chemical spot treatment can be very effective in eliminating drywood termites around the home. While cold and hot treatments require a family to be out of the home, they usually require a shorter period of absence.

Oftentimes, spot treatments are also less expensive than whole home fumigation. In instances when a termite colony is small and in only one or two accessible areas of the home, a spot treatment may be appropriate.

Drawbacks of Termite Spot Treatments

The biggest weakness of spot treatments is that it is often difficult for them to entirely eliminate a termite colony. Drywood termites live deep within wood, which may be inaccessible to many different kinds of spot treatments. Additionally, an inspector may discover termites in an accessible area of the home but miss a second part of the colony in an area of the home that is inaccessible, like beneath floorboards or inside walls. Even just a handful of surviving termites can produce a queen who will restart the colony. A year or two later, the robust colony may cause damage to your home just when you thought things were safe! Additionally, spot treatments may require the drilling of holes in your home, which can cause unsightly damage or require touch up paint.

Whole Home Termite Fumigation

No doubt you’ve driven by a house or building covered in colorful, striped tarp. Whole home fumigation entails draping the entire structure in tarp and pumping in a special chemical gas. This gas gets deep inside of wood, killing termites throughout the home or structure.

Benefits of Whole Home Termite Fumigation

The primary benefit of whole home termite fumigation is that this is the most sure way to kill all of the drywood termites in your home. The chemical will fill every crack and crevice. If you have multiple colonies in your home or an extended colony, this chemical will get them all. Re-occurrences of termites are lower in comparison to spot treatments. Once the tarp is removed, the gas will completely dissipate, leaving the house safe for humans and pets to re-inhabit.

Drawbacks of Whole Home Fumigation

Whole home fumigation is more expensive than a spot treatment and more inconvenient in the short run. A family must pack up and spend several days out of the home (usually around three). While many families can live with local relatives or friends during this time, some may opt to stay at a hotel or motel, adding to the cost of the extermination.

If your inspector finds termites in your San Diego home, it’s best to discuss all of the options available. The inspector can provide a termite treatment recommendation based on your particular situation. Just remember, a spot treatment may save you money in the short term, but it could end up costing you in the long run if it doesn’t exterminate all the termites on your property!

Contact Best-Rate Pest Control to schedule an inspection of your home.