Dear Angie: What are the different types of termite treatments? – Betty H., Fairfax, Va.

Dear Betty: Termites can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home. If you notice signs of termites or damage caused by them, it’s important to call a pest control specialist right away.

Treat your termites thoroughly
Although there are DIY methods available, most experts don’t recommend them. To ensure you eradicate the entire termite infestation, it’s best to contact a pro.

The two most popular professional treatments for termites are bait systems and liquid chemical treatments. There’s some debate around the pest control industry regarding which works best, but both have proven to be effective solutions for termite control and prevention.

Termite bait systems take time to work

Bait systems work by placing bait stations around the home’s perimeter. The stations are placed about a foot under the ground and spaced about 8 to 10 feet apart.

An average job can consist of about 25 to 35 stations, pest control experts say. The stations can also be placed above ground on a woodpile, for example, where termite infestations tend to be bad. The systems attract termites and poison them.

Bait systems typically include a regular maintenance schedule. Pest control technicians will go back and check them every few months to see if they’re doing their job.

These systems can work great as a preventive measure. However, because they can take several weeks to several months to start working, they may not be ideal for active infestations.

Liquid termite treatments work fast

Many companies prefer to use liquid pesticide treatments to kill subterranean termites. Liquid treatments have proven to be a quick and effective treatment.

Some specialists say liquid treatments work faster because they can be applied directly to the infestation. They add that bait systems may not ensure that all the termites will leave the home and migrate toward the traps.

Typically, a pest control expert will apply chemical treatment to the soil, which sets up a defense barrier around the home. Pest control specialists may also drill holes through slab areas around the perimeter of the home and apply the chemicals into the holes.

Expect termite extermination to be expensive

Talk to your termite specialist about the best solution to fit your particular situation, but be prepared for the expense. Termite extermination isn’t cheap. Expect to pay $1,000 or more, regardless of which treatment type you choose. According to recent Angie’s List reviews, homeowners spent $1,535 on average for termite treatment options.

Staff writer Tom Moor contributed to this report.

Angie Hicks is founder of, provider of consumer reviews and services. Send questions to [email protected] or tweet with #AskAngie. Follow her @Angie _ Hicks.

By Angie Hicks, Angie’s List