Terminix Inspection and Protection Plan For Termites: Worth It?

Another one of my new joys of home ownership is having to worry about termites eating my house from the inside out. Munch munch munch! The previous owners were signed up for something called the Terminix Inspection and Protection Plan, and the bill for next year came in recently so I’m trying to decide whether to renew. According to the Terminix website, it includes

  • Certified annual inspection of your home and property
  • No termite control fees if activity is found
  • Free repairs of new termite damage upon discovery of live activity

The price is supposed to vary by area but for me it costs about $300 per year. This fee does not include any sort of preventative treatment.

So basically, I pay a regular annual fee which will cover all of my future termite control costs. Sort of a termite insurance plan. Well, almost all because the fine print excludes drywood termites, which are different from the more common ground or subterranean termite. According to Orkin, subterranean termites cause 95% of all termite damage in North America. However, they also thrive primarily in warmer coastal areas like where I live. So… I don’t know if this is a big deal or not.

Annual Inspection – Visual Only
I’ve already experienced an annual inspection earlier in the year, and I wasn’t really impressed. Basically a guy shows up with a stick and walks around the inside and outside of your house looking for evidence of termite activity. He looked under the sinks, inside cabinets, and pokes a few spots here and there. He did not inspect the attic, which would seem to be an easier place to spot termite damage. It took less than 20 minutes.

I pointed out a beam in the garage that had a hole in it and that released what looked like termite droppings (little brown salt-sized bits) when poked. He confirmed that it was termite droppings, but concluded they were old and there was no live termites. The house had been treated for termites when we bought it, so he might be right. But how can he tell that they haven’t returned? He didn’t take any samples for testing, take pictures, or anything like that.

No More Termite Bait Traps
Since our house has a bunch of those little green termite bait traps all around the outside, I thought he’d be checking those as well. Nope, it turns out that they stopped using that system (at least in my area). That struck me as lazy and/or cheap. I’d much rather be able to lift up a cylinder and see if there are termites lurking around, rather than only rely on seeing termite poop or actual visual damage to my house. I mean, look at this little factoid taken from their own site:

Costs vs. Alternatives
In the end, I’m not all that excited to pay $300 for someone to visit my home once a year, especially when they have an incentive to not find anything wrong. I don’t even get any preventative treatments, say once every 3 years or something. I haven’t gotten a quote back from Orkin yet, but according to their website they still do the bait and monitoring system.

According this CostHelper page, chemical treatment would cost around $1,350-$2,500 and a tent fumigation would cost $1,200-$2,500 for a 1,250 square foot house. Extreme damage would involve wall removal and replacement, which Terminix supposedly covers but sometimes only with a fight (see below).

Consumer Complaint Websites
I read through this RipOffReport page as well as this Terminix Consumer Alert page.

What do you think? Anyone have any experience with Terminix, especially their “Inspection and Protection Plan”?

Comments

  1. Hi

    I admit to having no experience with termites – one of the advantages perhaps of living in the cold/wet UK :)

    I think one of the most concerning aspects of this arrangement (that you are obviously aware of) is the conflict of interest created by the inspector and the “insurer” being one and the same company. Ideally these would be separated, is it possible to get a home insurance policy that covers termite damage?

    • Brad Dale says:

      I read several of the posts here and most of what I read were negative but a few were OK. Here is my personal experience so far. I bought my older house about 10 years ago. Don’t know what the previous owners had in play if any but the termite inspection needed to sell the house was negative for termites. I stored several cardboard boxes in the garage for the first year. I needed something so I went to the garage to rummage through the boxes to get it. Noticed several boxes were eaten up in several places and with live critters crawling around. Yup, termites. Called terminex and got a quote. About 2K. Did some research and decided to go with it. The did come out and spray many gallons of termicide all around the house perimeter and also drilled holes in my garage floor and with a long spray tube stuck down the holes deposited more gallons. I have the long term plan, about $300 per year. The do come out on their own twice a year and also if I request an inspection, which I have, they have come out. On time on the day scheduled. I live in Nashville TN. It does take about 20 min or so. I don’t want them in the house so I tell them that I have not seen any evidence under sinks or other and they take my word for it. Trust me, if I saw even one little termite looking critter in the house, they would be getting a call. They do go under the house and crawl all around and tap on joists etc. I get a physical paper saying the inspection was done and the results and or recommendations as well as an e-mail later that day. All good. I did need a treatment when I built a detached garage 3 years ago and they came out before the foundation was poured and sprayed 40 gallons or more all over. Good. No problems with the new garage so far. I did remodel an exterior door 4 years ago and discovered a bunch of old termite damage on some 2 X 4′s in the area of the door. Called Terminex and they came out. looked at it and said it was all old trails and not active. It is true, however I argued that they may be old now but may have been new since my initial treatment. I needed to be sure so I made them put several more gallons in the ground outside that side of the house wall. They also with aerosol cans sprayed the affected area in the wall on the 2 X 4′s. Good. Then we dickered about the cost to take out the affected wood and replace as well as the door itself. They did not want to repair all of it so we worked out a deal that the next two years of premiums were to be covered by Terminex. I get two free years of protection. Good. They did do that and I am pleased, especially since I was going to replace the door and frame structure myself anyway; and the damage was very minimal and I could see that it was old and not currently active. So I have to say that Terminex has lived up to it’s obligations so far and that they do spray a lot of their proprietary chemical at the initial treatment and any follow-up treatments. I plan to renew each year for the $300. Tennessee has loads of termites and if you don’t have a treatment plan now you will eventually need one, especially in an older all wood home such as mine.

  2. We live in the southeastern US and we use a local company for our termite treatment and bond. They charged about $1500 for the initial treatment when we purchased the house and then $175 each year to maintain the termite bond. They inspect once a year and retreat every 5 years. The retreatment is included as long as we keep the bond in place. The bond is also transferable to a new homeowner. They recently raised the price of the renewal to $200 per year but we are still saving money on the deal if you consider what it would cost to retreat every 5 years. I considered dropping it a few years ago but when I found out the retreatment was included, that sealed the deal.

  3. I would not recommend Terminex at all. The previous owners of our house used them for over 12 years, annually paying the fees. When the inspection was done and we were getting ready to close, they found years worth of termite damage that had to be repaired. I know they fought with Terminex for a while to get them to pay for the repairs. I think they ended up spending a good bit out of pocket to fix it themselves so that we could close. Maybe it was just a local office issue but we’ll never use them.

  4. I have to have it now that termites were discovered by me. I saw swarmers coming up from the basement, just 15 of them. However, that’s always the tip of the iceberg. Once they treated, I have to keep the warranty going in case a I need a retreatment. However, the big deal is selling the property. You aren’t selling soon; I’m selling within a couple of years.

    I wouldn’t worry about it unless there was a previous problem and you have easily accessible exposed wood in your basement. Also, make sure you don’t have any old wood around the outside perimeter of your house. That’s like bait.

  5. Termite bait traps are fairly worthless as they never killed the colony. The hive lives up to 15 ft underground, but the workers carry food back to it. That’s a long trip. They are sort of a feel good last resort measure.

  6. We actually had carpenter ants before we moved in. So termite “insurance” would probably not cover that. Another something to consider.

  7. Wow that is certainly something to remember when buying a house. On the other hand…I live in an apartment and just found out we have a bedbug infestation. Luckily the apartment complex is paying for the treatment.

  8. Terminix and Orkin are the most expensive in the industry. The biggest caveat with any of the contracts is whether or not they will pay the cost to repair the damage if they find them while on the contract. The biggest OUT is that there are so many “wood boring” insects, that the contract should say “and other wood boring insects”, not just termites alone.

    Find a good local/regional company – see what they have to offer.

  9. I just sprayed indoor and outdoor once a year myself… Terminix commercials on TV look scary, don’t you guys think?

  10. I worked for Terminix for close to a year.

    Whether or not the inspections will be worth your money has a lot to do with the training of the technician that will be sent to service you. It seems like you have concerns with the job done by tech that visited you.

    Also a majority of the treatment they do, you can actually do yourself for much cheaper.

  11. Just a few weeks ago I bought the treatment plan from Terminex. They supposedly have a new “chemical barrier” they use that (in theory) will last 15 years against termites (instead of the old-school bait traps). They originally quoted me ~$1000 for a treatment on a 2200 sq ft house (single story, no basement, etc) & then called to offer me a special of $700 on the last day of the month. It’s “insured” for a year and they will pay for damages if I find termites in the next year. After that, they want me to sign up for their “Extended Insurance” at $300/year (I think…i can’t remember) which will give me insurance in case they need to treat again or if I find termite damage.

    I live in the South (texas) & there are (supposedly) these new hybrid/foreign termites that can eat many more times what regular old termites can eat & are much more destructive. He showed me several news articles and university reports. Supposedly they are super-colonies & all the hurricanes have made for fertile breeding ground in all the dead & down trees in the coastal areas. I’ve had some other “suspicious activity” around my house over the last 2 years with strange bugs & was probably a bit more paranoid.

    I know most people around here don’t do anything & some that self-treat their own homes. It is kind of crappy that this 15 year treatment is really only guaranteed for a year. I look at this along the lines of being an insurance that that brings me a peace of mind & I don’t have to be worried about it. I doubt I will do the follow up insurance in subsequent years, but hopefully the initial treatment really will last 15 years. I’d known people that had their house treated & had spent several thousand $$, so $700 seemed fairly reasonable to me. Let’s hope it works ;)

  12. Without reading the contract, I cannot be sure but what your yearly fee gets you is “free” treatments should ever termites be discovered while under the plan. I’m sure there are lots of exclusions.

    I have heard that what is NOT covered is any needed repairs due to the termite damage – replacing beams, siding etc.

    So, after you pop for the original $1200-2000 treatment, AND continue to pay for the yearly “inspections”. if you ever get termites again, they will “treat” them for free – whatever that means.

    I’d LOVE to see the warranty language on that 15 year treatment plan.

    • Henri you hit the nail on the head… Terminix has almost as many legal advisors on their payroll as they do field techs. Terminix had to change the verbiage in California due to their unscrupulous practice of one side of the contract they clearly say “We repair any new damage NO WORRIES” then carefully placed in long paragraphs, in small fonts on the reverse side of the contract they give themselves every conceivable and some inconceivable exclusions that effectively releases them from most if not all warranty claims. Folks Please do your homework before pouring more money into this organization preying on the public.

  13. I got a treatment when I bought my house that was supposed to last for 7 years. (I believe it was $700 back then…) It’s been 10 years with no termite problems. Termite inspection and prevention is pretty easy. Don’t let things touch the house, (trees, wooden fences) and every now and then look for mud tubes up the side of the foundation.

    I did recently have acrobat ants… (They eat dead wood. Still destructive, just not as bad as termites.) The guy treated the outside of my house with, get this, “termidor” for $65. Apparently they act like termites as a group so the same treatment works. So yeah, I think I just got a $65 termite treatment as well.

    Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about unless you see a tunnel. That seems like pretty expensive insurance.

    • That’s the point of insurance… I paid close to $24,000 over 20 years to Terminix for protection and in the end, I have a house that I can’t even get insured and a huge corporation who invited me to sue them and laughed and said “you think termites are bad news… wait till you meet OUR Lawyers!”…

  14. (live in TX)

    When we bought our house, it had a termite plan from Orkin, and we did decide to go with it (not really knowing any better). I think it costed something like $200 at the time to “transfer” the plan when we bought the house, and now we pay something like $180 per year to keep it. This sounds similar to your plan with Terminix.

    Each year, the Orkin guy comes by and looks around, taking maybe 15 minutes. He’s never found anything, and honestly, seeing him do it and what he looks for, I could do a much better job. However, we did spot termites on our own eating through the bottom of a wall a few years ago. When we found them, we called Orkin, and they treated it for free, under the plan. We were able to see what the cost would have been for the treatment, which was around $1000.

    We have seen other evidence of treatment in the past (holes drilled in the baseboard for example) so given that the termites were at least a second occurrence, we have continued to renew the plan. However, I don’t really think it’s a good deal. We’ve lived in the house for 5.5 years and have already paid more than $1000 for the plan, so they’re definitely making money on us. So even despite our treatment, it would be the financially better decision to drop the payments and cancel the plan! Hmmm… maybe I won’t renew next year. ;)

    If I had to do it over, though, I wouldn’t have gotten the plan in the first place. However, if you choose not to get it, just be aware that it will cost you $1000+ for most treatments should you have termites at some point. I’m sure you can budget for this as a just in case. When you consider every expensive repair that will inevitably happen to your house, it’s really not so bad.

  15. I agree, Terminix is not worth it. Cheaper to have it inspected once every 5 years. Best to make sure you have no water leaks in the pipes and proper ventilation in the crawlspace.

  16. Frankie says:

    I think the preventive service is a suckers bet. You could get your place tented every 5-10 years for the cost of that insurance. I’d do a combination of your own inspection for dry rot and droppings, plus eliminate paths into the structure. When you find some evidence drill holes and spray in Termite Prufe, then seal back up. Do this yourself once a year until you sell your home, then when you sell you’ll know you’ll probably have to tent as part of the home inspection.

  17. An interesting and timely post indeed, as this was the week when I had termites swarm in my home. After calling and having 5 companies come to my home and provide me estimates. I was sitting at my father in law’s going through estimates when he said stop… and handed me a card and said call this guy. It was a fumigator’s card with a name and PhD after it. Well, I called and this man said to come and meet him at a close by job site. I went and met this older man at a home he was in the process of tenting. I saw on his paperwork, the company’s name, Orkin. I assumed he was an Orkin salesman. When I said this he smiled. No, he owned the company that Orkin contracts to do tenting. He proceeded to show me paperwork from another three companies, Terminex included, that he does work for. The house he was tenting (almost exactly the same cubic feet as mine) paid Orkin over $1600. Which was right in the neighborhood of what my quotes were. He told me that going through him they would have paid about 50% of that.

    He came to my house and sure enough his quote was less than $800. When asked about the warranty; his immediate reply was to say only pay the warranty (about $140) if you planned on selling in the next five years. After that it’s not worth it.

    By the way, this man was in fact a PhD. His degree is in Entimology and he was a professor at two major universities. That day he gave me a true education.

  18. I haven’t used Terminix, but I’ve had dealings with other ServiceMaster subsidiaries. I’ve been unhappy with all of them. It wasn’t until I visited their HQ for a job interview that I realized ServiceMaster owns all those lousy brands I’d been dealing with.

  19. smurfett says:

    if you’re concerned with what they actually use to kill termites, then maybe you wouldn’t want to go with terminex to begin with. Then it’ll be just money wasted. There are apparently quite a few treatment options out there.

  20. BigDave says:

    I would agree with some of the previous comments. I used to live in central Illinois where termites were prevalent. When we bought our house, the termite inspection didn’t find any termites in the house, but it did find some activity in the yard (trees, landscaping wood, fence). We ended up having Orkin come treat the house for $1500. They offer a similar deal with renewal every year around $300.
    The reward came when we sold the house and the buyer’s inspector claimed to find evidence of termites. We were able to counter with our Orkin protection agreement and avoid having to pay for a termite treatment before closing. We have since moved to Minnesota where we luckily don’t have to worry about those pesky things anymore.
    So I would say if you are planning to sell your house within the next 2-3 years it might be worth it. Otherwise you can probably inspect for them yourself and then get it treated if you find something.

  21. I feel your pain & I hate writing my annual $275.00 for my annual, quarterly bait trap monitoring. I have lived in my house for 7 years so I have shelled out a whopping $1,925.00 WOW!. Although on year 3 there was a hit on a bait station so then they put a poison bait which is taken back to the colony to hopefully wipe ‘em out. From what I have read, there are termites everywhere in the ground, you kill one colony and there is another scouting for fresh wood. I have a rotting tree stump in my backyard and noticed termites but according to the termite guy, it is better for them to be back there eating rather then eating on your house but he did sprinkle some stuff around the tree stump. My house had precious damage and I believe my house was treated with a 20 year chemical that is no longer in use due to EPA standards. Always something isn’t it.

  22. i have seen some DIY termite prevention kits at home depot /lowe’s. what are your thoughts on the effectiveness of this?

  23. Most of the products at Home Depot and Lowe’s have repellents so termites just avoid them on the way to your house. If you have an active termite infestation you should be able to find a local pest control company who will drill and spray with Premise2 or Termidor(both are non-detectable insecticides) for less than $1000.
    You can do your own inspections-(look for tunnels on the foundation walls outside and in the crawlspace) and preventative treatments for less than $100. Premise or Termidor are available at web sites and can be mixed in a 2-gallon pump sprayer. Make sure any water from gutters and downspouts is properly draining away from your foundation(Termites must have water), rake back any mulch or ground covering, and spray liberally around the foundation. If you’re really ambitious you can drill small holes into any hollow spaces in the foundation and spray inside there. Fill in the holes with mortar or caulk when you’re done. These products should be effective for 5 to 10 years.
    I think I would rather deal with the termites than the franchise pest control companies.
    If your house was built before the early 1980′s it was probably treated with Chlordane which lasts essentially forever. Chlordane was banned in the 80′s.

  24. My house is on a concrete slab, so the comments about doing it yourself doesn’t work. Ever drilled holes into your slab? Don’t hit a water pipe. I have been in my house 8 years and for the first 5 years I had termites swarming inside every year. One year under the bathtub…then the hallway….then behind the washer connection…then door frame. It was only after my company (a local one) starting using Termidor that it worked. The “good” stuff that would treat your home for decades is illegal now.

  25. If subterranean termite is your concern use termidor, which has already been mentioned. I’ve know personally a few termite inspectors and there’s nothing better on the market. You can get it yourself for 50 bucks a bottle online.
    If you want to treat your whole house, you can dig around the house as I’ve done before a few times actually and use the concentration in big 5 gallon buckets.
    Most local pest places have machines you can borrow, but they will charge you like 100 dollars per bottle. You could get one bottle and rent or borrow the machine and do the job in a few hours.

  26. Around here, termites are a major problem — so much so that you have to have a “termite letter” certifying that your house is termite free in order to transfer title. We went with a local company, and opted for Termidor (a chemical barrier) as opposed to Sentricon.

  27. Jbo, KC, and Maury have already mentioned–one word, TERMIDOR.

    You can’t buy Termidor, it’s only available for termite contractors. All the major termite companies use Termidor; however, they do a major mark-up on the price. Doesn’t matter which types of termites you have (above, below, inside slab), follow the direction on the bottle to mix the right concentration. Also, excellent on ALL types of ants. I spay once a year around the foundation. No ant.

    Search around and you will find it. EBAY

  28. Facts to add:

    1.Termites can come up through a slab foundation where your water pipes are located, so treatments and inspections should look in bathroom areas.
    2. Have six to eight inches of your foundation exposed. Termites and other pests like privacy, and this exposure makes it easier for them to be seen.
    3. Keep vegetation a foot away from your walls. This provides air flow and exposure. The air flow helps to dry walls after rains (most destructive pests like the moisture).
    4. The sprays available to us are not as strong as the ones used by pest control firms, but they can help. Spray along your baseboards, trim around openings, and the foundation. Directions on the product will let you know how long it will last.

    Those are the basics. Most smaller contractors will come out to give you a free inspection report if you suspect activity. This is for when you own the home, not purchasing. Greensheets will advertise these free inspections.

  29. Mike Zoril says:

    You mention there is a conflict of interest between the inspector and the insurance company (Terminex in this case). This is critical. First, try to get all your documents in order showing when the original treatment was done and the dates additional inspections were done. Ideally, get it documented on paper that the inspector found no evidence of termites on those inspections vs. evidence that they simply did an inspection.

    Then, call some of their competitors who do have an incentive to find termites. If they find something, ask them to document it and give you a price quote. Then, call Terminex back with the competitor’s inspection results and price quote and demand they get out there to fix the problem. If they don’t, hire the competition and go after Terminex for not doing what they said they would do.

  30. This is something that my husband thoroughly enjoys doing himself. We bought some kind of system on-line (he researched it), where he tests several areas around the house each year, and if anything comes up, he’ll put down poison. The whole thing cost less than $250.00 and he used it two years in a row. He likes playing exterminator and it definitely saves money.

    He treated one area in front of our house once, and the termites haven’t returned since. We also cut down a delicious (I guess) tree (that was right near the foundation of the house) that was inviting the pests to come and feed. That probably helped too.

  31. I have a similar plan with a local pest treatment company. I would recommend going local since you will generally get better service (i.e. family owned instead of a franchise) and it’s cheaper too. My first-time treatment was $1800 and $90/year afterwards for the warranty (1600 s.f. ranch).

  32. Thanks for all the helpful comments, I needed them.

    Looks like I’ll most likely be declining this coverage, but the idea of having a “free inspection” done to compare the findings from two independent companies is a good idea. I’ll look for Termidor on eBay.

  33. I worked for Terminix for a few months and let me just tell you what I heard.

    When you are under their insurance, they will do anything to deny you have termites–it’s always old damage.

    When you aren’t under their insurance, they will say you need a fumigation/termidor treatment on the basis of the slightest evidence (usually old damage).

    You can get free inspections any time you want, so that’s not really part of the deal.

    This TIPP program just rolled out a little over a year ago and it is a huge money maker for them. They encourage their inspectors to sell this to every customer regardless of if they find termite evidence or not. Many inspectors fought this as it turned them into dishonest “used-car salesmen.”

  34. Problem with Terminix “Protection” insurance is the same with all insurance. It would be worth it if you were truely protected. Can’t say its any worse than any other insurance though, my health insurance just paid $500 of a recent $2000 bill (even though I’ve already met my deductible) because the hospital charges were “unreasonably high”. Of course medical bills are unreasonbly high, thats why I bought health insurance.

  35. Ken in Georgia says:

    In my time as a homeowner I’ve learned more about termites than anyone who’s not in the pest control field should have to. My state, Georgia, is one of the worst for dealing with this pest. After dealing with a large firm, Centex, and trying the DIY yourself approach with the bait sticks you can buy at Home Depot, etc. I finally was fortunate enough to find a highly rated local company. They too use Termidor, and I like that the substance is designed to kill termites, not just repel them. However, I’m not so sure that this is something you should try to do yourself — concerns with handling dangerous chemicals, proper application methods, etc. I do like the peace of mind that — as long as I renew my contract and have annual inspections — I have a guarantee that any reinfestation will be immediately treated and repair work will be paid for. I have had no further problems since my first Termidor treatement five years ago.

  36. For Strick: I am a health care provider.

    Most health care providers and hospitals have contracts that prohibit them from billing you for charges that are above the insurance company’s fee schedule. Hospitals routinely bill three or four times as much as the average reimbursement for any given procedure. Talk to the hospital. Find out what the medicare approved fee would be for the proceedures you were billed for. Offer the hospital 20% more than the medicare approved fee.

    If they won’t budge buy the book, “Medical Fees in the United States” 2009 edition. It will help you negotiate with the hospital’s billing office. It’s probably the hospital and not the insurance company that is your problem.

  37. Has anyone ever had termites in Colorado? I’ve never had an inspection, I just don’t hear of this being a problem around Denver.

  38. bugbuster says:

    I have read every comment here and after 20 yrs. in the business, I sold it and worked for 5 months as a salesman with Terminix. The corporation name should be Salesmaster. everyone is pushed to sell. No problem, that’s how you grow your business but they go way overboard and could care less about service. I met techs that couldn’t kill a bug if they stepped on it.
    But this topic is termites, some facts from above letters that I read. All states but Alaska have termites, there’s even a part of England that has them. Termidor is the best, it’s not supposed to be sold to anyone not in in a licensed business. You need a unique partner number to legally purchase it. D-I-Y? Ok but if you go to sell your home, it’s going to need to be treated by a licensed company. Unless you never had termites to begin with that is. No lender is going to accept the signature of “Harry Homeowner”, that a termite treatment was performed. Acrobat ants can be treated with Termidor, in fact external sprays with Termidor are great for ants. For termites, you need to drill or trench and rod for termites, a spray on the outside will not eliminate termites from your home.
    Remove the stumps and any cellulosic material. Eliminate soil to wood contact and drain water away(non-plugged gutters) from the foundation or slab. Baiting, Advance is the best system, but if you don’t follow directions closely, it’s useless. It really is only necessary if you have a body of water nearby. No homeowner insurance policy covers termites, the Terminix Tipps program might help if you have no evidence of termites and want to make your closing go smoothly if you’re selling your home now. Terminix “Ultimate Protection Plan,” (As Seen On TV), this puts regular pest control and the Tipps program under one contract, so that it is “less confusing’ during the sales presentation. Beware the call center, they will sell termite work without inspections. This is crazy. These warranties have huge loopholes for prior damage. If you don’t open the walls or have some visible sign of activity, try proving it. If you open a wall and there are termites there, they will soon disappear because of alarm pheromones. They may try to rebuild their shelter tubes but by the time Terminix gets there, they might be gone. The warranty really depends on the managers. The one I worked for seemed to be very ethical and had replaced some small damage around windows but this is HIGHLY variable as management is sometimes populated by favortism rather than ability. no sour grapes, I just wanted to do my work and be left out of the drama. Drywood termites, produce pellets and these can be identified with a hand lens or microscope. The Terminix programs do not cover them. Formosan termite are found in an increasing areas of the southeast, around San Diego and Hawaii, they are a subterranean termite that is much more destructive than native sub. species. Terminix is crazy to include them in these programs. Can you say litigation?

  39. I laugh as I read most of your replies… some of them ingnorant and reckless in maintaining your homes. When dealing with your home you really need to do your homework and investigate and research the different types of termites in your region, the different treatment types, and get multiple quotes. Read the chemical labels and research from universities. Baits take up to 24 months to work and should be used where chemical soil treatments can contanimate wells or water ways. Termidor is an excellent product and can be used for ants and/or termites. Injecting the soil as full perimeter treatment as per the label works great for temites and could last up to 8 to 14 years. Spraying topically as a spray works great for ants and should be used with an interior program. This is NOT an acceptable termite treatment.
    Just do your research…root through all the garbage and choose what makes you feel good/comfortable for your home. Don’t overpay nor under pay. And have your home inspected once every 12-18 months, inside and out even if you never had termites. Inspections should look for visible signs of activity or damage for wood destroying pests, and more importantly cinditions that are favorable for infestations. Some of these may not cost a dime to correct, but needs attention to protect your home.
    Most important is you, be vigelant, educated and informed. Its your home, not theirs!

  40. Jersey joe says:

    First off i laughed after reading your post because you call people ignorant when you cant even spell IGNORANT.

  41. Seneschal says:

    Well, I’m the opposite in that I had drywood termites and got it tented by Terminix. I live in Southern California so supposedly that’s the primary concern. After tenting of course I bought into the warranty. Then a couple years later they came out to do the annual inspection and they found “subterranean termite” infestation which of course are not covered by the policy I’ve been paying for all these years. To treat that is a completely separate pricing scale… However, it appears that that type of infestation is not as destructive (at least in SoCal) compared to the drywood, something like it will take years to do the same type of damage.
    What do you guys think? Should I get another vendor to come out to inspect and treat it or cough over $2K to Terminix to do the stakes and barriers around my house (I have a hard time believing that those are going to work, that the termites are dumb enough to be stopped by the literal “line in the sand?”)

  42. Joseph J. says:

    My question relates to Terminix and large companies offering Subterranean termite damage warranties. I spoke to my insurance agent and he told me there are exclusions in these so-called $100,000. repair warranties. The exclusion I heard about was if the company retreats within 30 days they so not have to replace the damaged wood. Also, any pest control company has liability insurance which will cover damages in the first year.

  43. Smaller businesses use same product.

    We got a quote froma small termite business referred to us by our usual bug guy when I found termites next to our house. I caught them and showed them to our bug guy who confirmed termites. His referral cost us $500 for the treatment that warranties for 3 years, then will have the protection plan in place (without the damage insurance that Terminix offers) for $100 a year after the first 3 years. I called Terminix out for a second opinion. They started at $1300 and when I told her that Ialready had a quote she said she wanted to match and took 60% off down to $545 for the initial treatment and $200 every year after.

    We decided to go with the small guy who used the same product and process as Terminix. He confirmed that if he ever sold, moved or closed that there were another 4 companies in town that would pick up his warranty without another treatment. And we feel that that we ahve enough saved that we could pay for any repairs ourself without having to pay another $100/yr. to Terminix. Plus My husband and I have been the only ones who actually saw the bugs. Both Terminix and the small business never saw them on their inspection.

  44. I have had been under Terminix’ protection for 9 years. I would have to say that their protection plan is awesome. I pay $250/yr. In the past 9 years I have had 2 damage claims. The Manager at our local office came out, took some pictures, and told me that they would take care of it. The neat thing about it was that both times I got termites, they had come from stress cracks that were never treated by Terminix. I thought for sure that they would be able to get out of paying for the damage, but they really honored the insurance. The overall cost for the repairs both time was around $40,000 and I didn’t pay a dime and my yearly bill has not increased. You people that want to do it yourselves are NUTS. Termites do more damage every year than wind, water, and fire combined. All terminix is really offering is a termite insurance policy. You have home-owners don’t you? If homeowners isn’t going to cover termites, and termites do more damage than anything combined in your home-owners policy, then why in the heck would you not get termite insurance? And, I am all about supporting small businesses, but small businesses won’t be around for very long if they have to dish out money to repair your termite damage. Terminix actually funds their own claims, they’re their own insurance company, at least that’s what the manager told me.

  45. Jeremy, is that what the manager told you your first day on the job? :)

    I’m having the same questions. Terminix came out today for a free annual consultation (part of our pest control) and found a tiny hole in the wall inside (no other signs) and termite damage to the fence outside and said it would be $1200 to treat. I’m so happy I decided to shop around instead of sign right away. Have you read the fine print in their warranty “Terms & Conditions?” It basically gives Terminix a loophole to get out of ever paying a dime for damage. I think I’ll get a few bids from local companies.

  46. PCT Consultant Inc. says:

    Hi Everyone.

    I have been in the pest control business for over 20 years and have seen it all. I am a consultant now, and help people sort through the sea of mis information and unethical practice in this industry. If you have any questions or concerns, I will try to shed so light on the situation and maybe save you some unnecessary expense and aggravation.

    So feel free to ask

  47. Most small companies cant get wholesale price breaks on product and formulations so they use the cheap stuff, like a product called PREMISE, then may use Termidor as a last resort. Terminix has an exclusive agreement with BASF for purchasing Termidor as are all licensed and certified PCOs for applications of all treatments. Bait stations have two phases, a monitoring and a baiting phase. Monitoring consists of applaying untreated pine wood to basically attract nearby termites. 90 days later when a technician checks the bait station and observes worker termites eating the wood, he then installs live bait to kill said termites in hopes they will take it back to the colony. Have your house bonded for future treatment/ damage or have a professional do a liquid treatment with Termidor, active ingredient Fipronil (Frontline for Dogs/ Cats). Do not assume you know your home’s slab (Monolithic, supported, floating), Veneer (Brick, Stone, Hollow Block) and condusive conditions for termites like industry leading professionals. Be careful of Mom and Pop companies with no capital to shell out for mistreatment, audits, or damage repairs.

  48. I’m a current Inspector for Terminix. I have a great reputation in my area. I am straight forward with all my customers. I do not pressure anyone I state the facts and left the customer make a decision that they feel comfortable making. As stated in previous posts be careful when choosing a small local co. in this economy will they be in business next year or the following, what chemical are they using?? Premise is a cheaper version and does not work as well as Termidor. As far as the yearly renewals you need to decide how long you plan on being in the home. In my branch we have long term customers since 1950′s. If you plan on selling between 3-5 years you want to maintain the renewal, so that you do not have to pay for another treatment. Otherwise it truly is like an insurance, don’t let anyone talk you into something your not comfortable with making. Terminix states plain and simple, if you have live termites after a treatment has been done, we would be liable for damages. If no live termites are found then there is no claim, this would have been damage done prior to the treatment. It’s black and white no grey areas.

    The termite protection plan for 300.00 allows a homeowner to never pay the upfront cost to have a termite treatment done which is not based on the square footage but the lineal footage. All termite co. charge a yearly renewal fee after a treatment. If a termite treatment costs 1200.00 based on Avg size house, and you pay 200.00 yearly renewal for 5 years then decide to move, you have invested 2200.00 in that time frame. The same 5 year Termite protection plan would have cost you 1500.00 and your covered if a treatment is necessary. When you go beyond 7yrs -8yrs this plan may not be your best option. I have seen a lot of homeowners get burned when they sell because they didn’t keep the renewal and when the buyers inspector finds termite activity they have to retreat again to sell the home.

    • Pardon my direct response to DD… but your statement “Terminix states plain and simple, if you have live termites after a treatment has been done, we would be liable for damages. If no live termites are found then there is no claim, this would have been damage done prior to the treatment. It’s black and white no grey areas.” Is a BOLD FACE LIE and you should be ashamed of yourself for perpetuating this lie…. I can cite not hundreds but THOUSANDS of people that once believed that LIE you just made…. It is clear in this post many people are catching on and it is a matter of time before you and the group of Criminals who Lie cheat and steal hundreds of thousands from good citizens who pay there contract year in and year out. You sir are either a LIAR or terribly misinformed about how your company deals with damages from Current Infestations your inspectors missed for years! Or Worse … BOTH!

  49. Hello, I had terminix inspector come for free yearly inspection and found some damage on my fence and said I needed treatment to prevent future damage and convinced to get treated and get warranty .when they own techs came to do treatment and termador they told me they was no termite activity and I was ripped off by sales rep and they are professional liars this was very upsetting if big companies use fake sales tactics to get customers and make them spend fortune . They told me they hope it helps in preventing termite s in future. It’s like being treated for the disease which is not there but could come in future. I feel cheated . Never go by sales people recomendations and get 2opinion always .terminix and other big companies are making money by using false inspection strategies. I learned the hard way.

  50. Terminix is a rip-off says:

    I was recently “let go” from Terminix simply because I didn’t sell enough. My customers loved me, never rec’d any complaints, always completed my route 95% or greater, and collected well each month. But because I didn’t sell 2-3000$ worth of overpriced and oftentimes totally unnecessary products and/or services every month they had to let me go. While I did in fact sell (usually at least 500 -1000$/month but sometimes well over the 2000$/month “goal”), my numbers apparently weren’t good enough. Trust me, you are far better off with a locally owned pest company that doesn’t offer all the other products/services and force their service techs to sell. Or better yet, go to doityourselfpestcontrol.com and you can get the exact same products that I used as a tech.
    Do the math: On average, the yearly cost for pest control with Terminix is $300.00 (75$ every 3 months). Go to doit yourselfpestcontrol.com and spend 50-100$ and you will have enough product to last you 2 – 3 years.
    terminix pest control for 3 years =$900.00
    doityourselfpestcontrol.com for 3 years = $50-100.00
    And if you do go with Terminix, pray that your service tech (pmp) actually gives enough of a rat’s fanny to provide a good service, because believe me, plenty of them do not. Just a little information and common sense is all anyone needs to take care of their pest problem. There are plenty of avenues one can use to gain necessary info to treat their home correctly, without having to pay dearly.
    Obviously I’m not happy with the way I was let go, but the above points reflect the way I’ve felt for quite some time. I was with the company over two years, and I developed a lot of good relationships with many of my customers. I can honestly say that I treated my customers the way I would expect to be treated, and tried to treat their homes like each was my own. In the two + years I was there, I did see a lot of questionable ethics. And nearly all of these situations revolved around money. Sell, Sell, Sell!! was the mantra.
    Do yourself a favor, think twice about dealing with the big companies. Like every other large corporation, it’s all about the almighty dollar.

  51. Ronald Barker says:

    It always makes me wonder what kind of person would listen to an ex-employee with an apparent axe to grind. Frankly, only completing 95% of your work a month seems like an appropriate means for dismissal, as I’m sure you charged those other 5% for services that you never performed!
    I have used Terminix’s services for years, and much like any other large company, there are going to be people who hate them simply because they are large, however I appreciate this fact. Whenever I have needed service, or had a question, someone was available to help.
    I live in Placerville, CA. and had only been signed up for for their termite protection plan for 2 years, (approx. $700 for that time), when the inspector discovered a re infestation in my home. Terminix treated my property and cut me a $20,000 check for the repairs needed to my framing and drywall.
    Look, most people on websites that you ask for “advice” are generally full of you know what, and are going to do whatever they can to discredit a company just so their intellect appears superior. You really should take what is said by all, myself included, with a grain of salt and do some research in the real world… unless of course you have a “virtual home”, then by all means, listen to whomever you like!

  52. Terminix is a rip-off says:

    Easy, Mr. Barker. The 95% refers to the total route, meaning if a route consisted of 140 tickets for the month, to reach 95% would mean that I completed 133 of those tickets – not that when I went to an individual customer’s home I only did 95% worth of work. Oftentimes it is very difficult to reach 95%, as cutomers cancel services or are not home for a scheduled appt. But I consistently met my 95% monthly completion rate.

    I’m thrilled that you are happy with your service, as that is the way it should be. Perhaps I should have more deeply explained the situation I was in and why I had a problem with it.

    As a pest technician, my first priority when hired was to meet and exceed my customers’ satisfaction by eliminating various pests. I did so not only with various chemical products, but by also informing the customer how to improve their home (i.e. sanitation, moisture issues). Personally, I took a lot of pride in my job and frankly rec’d a great deal of positive feedback from my customers.
    However, the job evolved more and more into sales to the point that my former manager on several occasions during meetings would state: “Even a monkey can be a pest technician, we need salepeople”. Hard to take pride in your job when they compare your talent/professional level to that of a non-human. Additionally, it got to the point where many of my customers grew weary of the constant sales pitch I would have to throw at them every time I entered their homes. When a customer has ants in their kitchen, getting into their food and utensils, the customer doesn’t want their tech to spend 5-10 minutes treating for ants and spend another 20-30 listening to why they should buy a termite protection plan.

    The day I was dismissed my manager told me that I was the best technician she had, but my sales were not good enough. To me, that is one of the most ridiculous excuses I’ve ever heard. Never once did I call in sick, never once did I recieve a negative comment from a customer, and I did in fact sell.

    The point is, I don’t enjoy ripping people off. If they have a real problem or need then I don’t have a problem with making them aware of it and presenting them with a solution. But pestering and pressuring customers to the point of upsetting them only leaves them questioning the value and it usually left me feeling like a cheesy, used-car salesman.

    That’s why I suggested utilizing a smaller, family operated pest control business. Usually these places are run a bit differently, with a whole lot less overhead, and often their technicians are there to do pest control – not sell, sell, sell!!! Also, I advised using a particular website, simply because the products offered there are the exact products I used as a technician, and the site includes very useful, reliable, and honest information on haw to deal with a myriad of pests. By using the information obtained on the website (along with other sources) as well as some of the products, people can effectively treat their own homes, at a fraction of the cost.

    I don’t feel as though I’m full of “you know what”, nor do I care a lick about displaying my intellect to the virtual world. But I was frustrated and still am about the situation, and since I have left I have seen many of my former customers who have since become dissatisfied with Terminix telling me that it became “more about the money than the service” and have cancelled their service. Can’t say I blame them. If you’re happy and get good service and feel as though it’s worth the money, that’s fantastic. But there are those that aren’t and I don’t have a problem sharing my experience with them.

    Thank you for your time, and I hope I haven’t offended you.

  53. I have had a contract with Terminix for 7 years. Recently the yearly inspection technician said he found subterranean termites and damage. When I told him I had a contract and when would they fix the damage and get rid of the termites, he choked and called his boss. He took pictures and said they would schedule the work within two weeks. No show, no return of the calls and no yearly inspection report. I send them a letter(return receipt requested) and so far they have not picked up the letter. Next letter to corporate, BBB and state attorney general. I will then get the job done by someone else if they do not respond and sue them for the work. You are better off not using Terminix and not getting any contracts. They do not live up to what they agree to.

  54. i have found that terminix stands by there ground. i have had yates astro and orkin termite protection those companies are garbage! yates sold me a treatment and protection 700 bucks for treatment and 175 a year for the bond! and they come out every 5 years and retreat. Terminix treats one time and its garunteed for ever! if there is a reinfestation the retreatment is free. i found out the hard way! i will never buy from orkin or yates astro again! the money spent on the coverage for the structure and contents of the home is 225 a year its well worth it if you live in the south! and as for formosan termites Terminix is the only company that covers that termite! i was dumb to go with orkin but know i say that you have to be border line retarded to by termite protection form any company other than terminix

  55. I recently purchased Specticide termite detection & killing stakes from Home Depot. My question is how well do they work? I haven’t tried them yet or opened the box?

  56. Don in NJ says:

    I signed a contract with Terminix earlier this year and about 5 months later termites were found. Terminix had done earlier inspections and did not find any. Anyway, not only are they treating the entire house for termites, but they are also replacing the damage that was done at no cost to me. I pay about $300 a year for the service which includes at least 1 inspection per year. I have to say that I am incredibly thankful to have this contract.

  57. I agree with other industry guys that have posted on here. Some of you homeowners are way off and out of touch with the science involved in this industry.

    The guy that got a $65 dollar termite treatment because the tech used Termidor to treat acrobat ants…lol.

    Also the guy from Terminx that thinks BASF gives them incredible deals on Termidor… sorry, but wrong. I use Termidor all the time and (Premise is just as good and has LONGER efficacy data than Termidor) on average have about $215 in chemical which yields about 150-175gal. I’ll charge about $850 for that job. If Terminx gets it so cheap why would do they charge $1,300? I see it all the time. Plus my re-treat renewal is $125 and my damage warranty is $225. The customer can choose either one without all the BS Terminx tries to put them through. Bottom line is if you want quality look small and local. Terminx goes through termite techs like most people go through underwear. I’ve set through classes with them and they are by far the bottom tier.

  58. David Beach says:

    OK folks… Listen up…….. I’ve been online for months searching for anyone who has successfully MADE Terminix follow through with their warrantee. Here is what happened to me. How in the world such a company is allowed to defraud THOUSANDS of citizens annually is beyond me!

    1994 Purchased my home Hired Terminx to Treat for ALL Termites dry wood and subs. Paid $4500
    1996 Found significant damage to frame in Garage so had Terminix Tent and Heat Treat and drill barrier again. $5000
    1997 Purchased Dry Wood and Sub (best in the business) Total “worthless” protection plan.
    1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2009 2010 2011 Paid Every year … Had annual inspections of which each report came back All Clear No Termites……
    Then in Spring 2011 I noticed I could put my hand through the wall in the kitchen. Just behind the thick (50 years of paint jobs) the wall had been completely eaten by termites. Terminix came and looked at the damage and spent 4 weeks trying to blame the damage on anything but termites!!! I called for a second and third opnioin… this is where this turns into a HORRER story… Antimite and Orken both gave grave reports of the entire infrastructure of the house had been destroyed. The damage was due to active infestations and the structure was not sound!!!
    Once Terminix got wind of the damage and other inspections (due to the president of the TAXPAYER FUNDED pest control board is also an employee of Terminix) And they asked me what I wanted them to do!!! Needless to say… to Don in NJ and any other individual who has had a small damage fixed… BEWARE… where there is a small amount of damage there will usually be a much more substantial amount of damage that goes undetected. In my case, over $150,000 to my home and did they preform on the contract? Well, like the thousands of others in the US who have been totally misled by this reprehensible organization NO I was told I would have to SUE them. Then Mike St Clair came to my house personally to tell me I was not the type of customer they liked doing business with and told me I would be getting a check for the remaining two years (I had paid ahead) of my contract and they were done with me. Can you imagine you purchase insurance and then your house burns to the ground and the insurance company says “Sorry Customer, but you are not the type of person we want to insure so here is your PRORATED premium of $100 back” and just leave you with a destroyed home!!! They have made suing them nearly impossible and will spend $149,000 in attorney and court fees to not pay you the $150,000 in damages you were guaranteed they would protect or repair!!! Please BUYER BEWARE OF THIS COMPANY DO YOU HOMEWORK AND GOOGLE TERMINIX COMPLAINTS THOUSANDS OF FAMILIES HOMES DESTROYED WHILE TERMINX CLEARS 1.3 BILLION IN ANNUAL SALES!!!

  59. Terminix claimed we had a fungus under our house. we hired an independent inspector and he could find nothing. we were selling the house and the false fungus report scared the buyer so we agreed to have the house treated for the non-existant fungus just to calm the buyer and to get the house sold. We paid in full before the house was treated. We keep getting bills for the treatment. we keep calling Terminix. They told us our balance was 0.00. Now they have turned us over to a collection agency for a bill we already paid!!!! We called terminix and a representative said we would have to call the collection agency and straighten this out ourselves! What? Terminix caused this problem. Our credit score is ruined because of Terminix. False claims of fungus, over-billing! Unhelpful customer service. Terminix is a lousy company

  60. Eric Carr says:

    Man, go with Orkin. They are the best in the business, and they offer a guarantee for as long as you renew the service. They also have the best training in the entire industry.

  61. Termites can do a ton of damage to your house. It’s not worth being cheap about but try to negotiate a better price with them. They will pay for your damages but make sure you document everything! Take pictures while there are live termites visible as they will quickly disappear. If you’re on a tight budget go with termidor but never try to apply it yourself unless you are trained at how to handle and mix concentrated pesticides, you could poison yourself or your family or someone’s water supply. No joke. If you have money and you’re concerned about the environment go with sentricon but its more expensive to maintain. I’m a licensed pest and termite technician. I won’t comment on particular companies because they are different everywhere but usually only the big ones give you a damage guaranty. Unless you are knowledgeable about pest control trying to treat termites yourself is either dangerous or a waste of money, you might hear about someone’s success with a home remedy but they most likely got lucky or just haven’t found the damage yet. Also, the common sense things others mentioned about not creating conditions attractive to termites are great advice. I had a guy yesterday that cancelled his termite plan years ago, probably $200 year, now he can’t sell it until he drops $1500 on treatment and god knows how much on repairs. Happens every day.

  62. Roy Hubbard says:

    I am on working day number 8 trying to get a termite letter for my mortgage processor. I am current on treatment and inspections. It took five working days to get an inspector out. I had the promise of the letter being e-mailed to me to expedite the matter. Three working days and a weekend since the inspection and no letter.
    What is amazing is that the “local” office does not answer their phone. I get the national office which has also been unsuccessful in raising the “local” office.
    I have not been provided with other phone numbers to call or follow-ups with my many, many phone calls to them. get the impression tht when the person on the other end of the line can’t get the “local” office to respond, they just move on to the next call at their switchboard. Were I to have not made any phone calls past the first one I am quite sure I would still be waiting on an inspection that would never come.
    I could handle the time lapse since I first make the request if there were any suggestion of organization within the company, Terminix. Every person I talk to gives me a different story. I know that they are phone operators with little or no authority or resources just trying to do their jobs. I get all the “PR” correct answers. They are going to follow up on the letter. They can’t get hold of the “local” office and they are not going to keep me waiting but they will get the problem resolved. They see where the e-mail was sent and I should have it. They are going to make sure it gets sent right away. They have it in front of them and will send it themselves. Etc. Etc. It raises the question as to what communication barriers I would run into if I had a termite problem.

  63. I use Clark Pest Control with their ‘Term Alert’ stations. They also do a yearly inspection and report including dry rot. They also go under the crawl space.

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