Theresa e-mailed in this question:
“Why is it so expensive to spray for termites. The orkin man is going to charge my father 16,600 for a 1000 sq foot house. That is not including the price of replacing all the floor joints and porch, which is estimated at 10,000 more for the work. I saw there are do it your self kits, do they really work? I think my father has subterranean kind in the crawlspace, which the orkin man wants excavated so he can easily fit down there to spray. I contacted a real estate man who said the whole street is infested and there is no guarantee that the terminates will not get back, and no one will want to purchase a house that had terminates. The orkin man only guarantees for a year. both neighbors sprayed and had to have him come back 6 months later.I hate for my father to put that kind of money into the house and not be able to sell it. One house had to be bull dozed down since it was so infested.”
Borate Wood Treatment
While I obviously haven’t seen your house and don’t know the exact situation, that sounds like an extreme price for treating termites. You should have another pest control company come out and give a second opinion.
Just looking around for rough price estimates, I found a couple of web sites for other companies (probably in other areas) that wouldn’t charge more than $1000 or so.
For example, this Termitemd guesses that if the outside perimeter of your house was 200 feet (they don’t usually go by square feet) it would only cost $1,000. Pestquest has a calculator that will estimate what they’d charge you – again, not entirely accurate, but I tried to pick the hardest possible options for a 1,000 square foot house and still came up with a $900 estimate. Bexar-tx estimates the costs at $500 to $3200, while another one estimates they range from $600 or so to several thousand. Several other forums has some people give their own personal estimates – all in the same ranges as above.
In short, a $16,000 termite treatment sounds extremely expensive. There is no way that the pesticide costs anywhere near that much – it’s possible your house is difficult to access in parts, but I can’t see it being so difficult to access that it would make it cost 5 times the maximum anyone else has reported. You should get another pest control company out there, and before they come, I would specifically make sure that they have a bait treatment option available (the kind where they take stakes and put them into the ground in your yard).
If parts of your house or foundation are hard to access, that might be a cheaper and better option than using a liquid treatment, because you can just put the pesticides outside and let the termites spread it around themselves (without excavating anything). It’s possible the damage is so extreme that a bait system would take too long, but even in that case I would not pay up without having another company take a look.