Is Spot Treatment an Effective Solution for Drywood Termites?

Becca Stokes
Written by Becca Stokes
Updated November 10, 2021
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If termites are eating away at your home—and your patience—spot treatment can help

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Your home is your happy spot—and we’re guessing termites are not welcome. But are spot treatments an effective way to send termites packing? Depending on the severity of your situation, you may be able to get rid of drywood termites with spot treatments—or you might need fumigation. Here’s everything you need to know.

What Is Spot Treatment for Termites?

Spot treatments are an effective way of exterminating drywood termites in the early stages of an infestation—with an emphasis on the word “early.”

In this technique, a series of small holes are drilled in wood (by the homeowner or a pro) that has been affected by drywood termites. Once the holes are in place, a dry termite killing agent (termiticide) is injected into the holes, effectively ending your termite problem.

Is Spot Treatment for Drywood Termites Effective?

Spot treatment is popular for early-stage drywood termite infestations because it is less expensive than fumigation, and much less invasive to the home in general. 

The low-end cost of termite spot treatment will run you about $200, if you choose to have the spot treatment done by a pro. Should you choose to do it yourself, the only cost will be that of the dry termiticide agent, which can be as low as $20 and as high as $90, depending on the brand you choose. 

But opting for spot treatment and going it alone as a DIY exterminator means taking a pretty big risk: If the termites are anywhere outside of the area you have treated, you won’t effectively get rid of them.

Termite Spot Treatment Works Best If Isolated to One Area of Your Home

As such, it’s not always the right choice for the homeowner waging war against termites. In order for spot treatment to be truly effective, the termite problem needs to be identified and isolated to one specific area.

In addition, within that area, there needs to be signs of termite activity (like droppings and shed legs) to confirm the infestation. To spot-treat effectively, you need to be able to reach where they’re at with your drill.

The final component for effective spot-treating for drywood termite infestations in their early stages is making sure that the termiticide that you’re using is one specifically designed for spot treatment. If you aren’t using the right agent, you’ll just have to treat the area again.

How to Tell If You Have Drywood Termites

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No one wants termites, but when you have them, you’ll often know by some tell-tale signs. 

Keep an eye out for the following signs:

  • Droppings: Looks like sawdust

  • Clicking sound: Termites bang their bodies on walls to warn their colony of danger

  • Wings: Reproducing termites lose their wings when they form a new colony

  • “White ants”: Termites are often confused with ants

  • Stuck windows and doors: Damage from wooden frames being hollowed out

  • Swarming bugs in the air: You may see swarming termites in the spring

If you’ve spotted termites in just one area of your home and you’re confident that you can access it, you can effectively spot-treat a drywood termite infestation. 

That said, the truth of the matter is that an infestation can become a bigger problem fast. If you aren’t sure you’ve inspected all areas of your home for termites, it’s a good idea to call in a termite exterminator in your area.

Termite Extermination Treatment Options

If you want to get rid of termites in your home thoroughly and completely, the best method is tent fumigation. It works really well on termites because the agent used to fumigate the home actually reaches way down deep into wood. 

If you have successfully spot-treated your home for a drywood termite infestation, but are still seeing signs of termites, call a termite control company in your area. The cost of termite inspection is $165 on average. While spot treatment is effective if the problem is localized, if your termites keep returning or the problem is too big, you may need fumigation, which costs $1,400.

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