One of the most dreaded words a homeowner can hear is “termites.” Termites cause an estimated $5 billion in damages each year in the United States. They do their damage from the inside out and they often aren’t detected until after significant destruction has already been done. The signs of termites are often difficult to find until colonies are well established. Knowing this, many people still question if termite protection is worth the cost.

Structural damage caused by termites costs homeowners an average of $3,000. This amount varies depending on the extent and location of the damage that is caused. In addition to the structural damage, cosmetic damage can also require repairs, costing an estimated $2,000 to fix things like discolored sheetrock, buckled floors, and peeling paint. This amount also varies depending on the materials that were damaged and the materials used to repair or replace it.

Termites must also be exterminated before any repairs are done. The costs of termite treatment not only include the termiticides or baits used in the treatment, but also the labor, training, and service hours for the termite exterminator. The average cost of termite control is $4 to $7 per linear square foot of your home. This estimate also varies based on the type of guarantee provided, the location of your home, and the type of treatment required.

What many people don’t realize is that most homeowner’s policies do not cover termite damage. Many homeowners also don’t realize that sellers are almost always responsible for covering termite damage during the sale of a home. This can vary so it is always a good idea to check your state regulations. This also usually includes a termite inspection prior to the sale of the home.

Homeowners can get peace of mind with a termite warranty which guarantees that the pest control company will continuously inspect your home and make sure that new infestations are caught before they can proliferate. Yearly costs typically run $300-$400 for the warranty coverage, which includes an the annual termite inspection cost, as well. Each company varies in what is included in their termite warranty but they generally include an agreement for annual (or more often) termite inspections during the lifetime of the warranty, an agreement to provide treatment if termites are discovered (often at no additional charge to the homeowner), and in some cases an agreement to repair damages. Not all homes, however, qualify for these repair bonds so always check with your termite control provider about this.