Choosing Between Termite Spot Treatment vs Tenting

Termites are one of the worst home invaders you could possibly get. As a matter of fact, a lot of people hope they never ever encounter these pests, and for good reason!­ Termites can be harmful and destructive, and if left alone they can wreak utter havoc on your home or property. They can cost a lot to deal with and get rid of – you would have to think about costs of termite spot treatment vs tenting for example. Another thing is if you neglect dealing with an infestation and the termite colony grows without anything to stop it, you could end up with terrible structural damage to your property.

We’ve quite honestly lost count of how many people we’ve heard of that have had to pay a lot of money to get repairs done on their homes and properties due to termites. This can honestly happen when termites make a home in important structural supports that are load bearing.

termite spot treatment vs tenting

Do you suspect a termite infestation in your home? Or do you actually have an infestation and you are now looking for a way to get rid of them? Perhaps you might just be looking for the difference of termite spot treatment vs tenting. Regardless of which category you fall into, we are here to help. Today, we’ve got a handy guide with all sorts of information – from identifying termites to getting rid of them. Are you ready? Let’s start!

Oh No, Do I Have Termites?

First of all, before we even get started talking about termite spot treatment vs tenting, we first need to know about termites. Understanding them better is a good way to be able to know how to get rid of them, and how to prevent them in the future. And so today we are going to talk about a number of things just to make sure everything is clear.

How to Spot a Termite Infestation

The first thing that we want to talk about is how to know if you have a termite infestation. The thing with termites is that they are nefarious, insidious little creatures by design. Generally, you won’t know if you have termites until the infestation has worsened enough to the point where signs become visible. However, regular inspections of your home and heightened vigilance around the usual swarming seasons will allow you to prevent not just termites, but also ants, from making a home on your property.

Because we want to know how to spot the termites, here is a list of the things you should be looking out for – the signs of a termite infestation.

Unexplained Clicking and Sounds

Have you ever wound down at the end of the day and gotten into bed only to hear this faint but noticeable clicking noise? No, it’s not one of your appliances or electronics going bad. And no, it doesn’t immediately mean that your place is haunted either. If you are hearing some unexplained noises from the walls (often clicking), it’s a good sign of termites. They are simply quiet clicking noises as the soldier termites shake their small bodies or bang their (tough!) heads against wood. When they do this, it is usually to warn the colony of danger. However, it could also be because they are munching away!

Yes, the ones that love to eat your wood are actually the worker termites. This behavior has been observed for millenia – in fact, it was even observed in ancient Rome 2,000 years past by Pliny the Elder (a writer of Roman origin).

Want a fun fact? Termites eat faster when rock music is playing in the background!

Flying Termites

This is actually generally the first observable sign of a termite infestation – when you start seeing some flying termites hanging around your home. These are called alates or swarmers – the males and the females who left their previous nest to find a new place where they can establish a brand new colony. So if you start seeing some flying termites, start taking action right away – it could be either an infestation waiting to begin, or a sign that one has already begun to take hold.

A note – some species of termites like to swarm during the night, and they can at times be attracted to sources of light. There are other species on the other hand that don’t mind swarming in the daytime. Drywood termites, however, like to swarm after a particularly rainy day (as a result, they are more common during rainy seasons).

Discarded Wings

Although flying termites can be indicative of a looming termite infestation or one that has already occurred, another sign that you might have termites is finding some discarded wings around your home. It is actually the flying termites’ wings – these termites lose them after they have found mates. For example, female as well as male drywood termites find mates before they then crawl into a nesting site suitable to them – after shedding their wings of course.

These newly paired termites will then seal themselves in and start their new colony. The new royalty (aka the king and the queen termites) care for the younglings until enough workers are produced so they can take over. These termites can live up to TEN years. TEN!

In some species of termites, however, the males will die off soon after they mate!

Ants – Particularly White Ants

If you see insects that look like ants in your home but they are white, those aren’t ants – they’re very likely termites! The confusion is understandable, ants and termites look similarly after all. In fact, sometimes, they may even behave the same!

Here are the ways in which termites differ from ants:

  • Termites are white or creamy in color, and at times may appear transluscent
  • Termites have antennaes that are 100{760fa5fe69264f9efb02d8b9e11421e4d46635a96414139e1b83337fc8d2242a} straight, whereas ants have them bent
  • The waist of a termite is much thicker than an ant’s
  • In flying termites, there are two sets of evenly-sized wings. On flying ants, one set of wings is larger than the other.
  • There are no white ants that exist – at least none that we no so far. So if you see something that looks like a white ant, you may need to call an exterminator.

Timber That Feels Papery or Sounds Hollow

Termites generally consume wood from inside going out, and in the process, they leave either a thing casing of timber or paint. Therefore, knocking on wood that has termites will produce hollow sounds.

Doors and Windows That are Hard to Open

Although these are actually also signs of hot and damp weather, windows and doors that are stiff and possibly warped may also be signs of termites. They produce some moisture as they eat and tunnel through the frames, causing warping.


Tunnels, also called galleries, in woodwork are rather difficult to see from the outside. However, if you catch a glance through a broken piece of wood, it is almost certainly a sign of termites.

Termite Droppings/Frass

One big sign of termites is frass – basically the droppings of a termite. This key indicator is almost always looked for when a terminator comes. It’s one of the things to check for before deciding whether termite spot treatment vs tenting is the right option. Frass usually looks like black marks or also dark powder-like substances around wherever they are infesting. Usually, you can spot these around small holes in your woodwork.

Treatment and Damage Mitigation

termite spot treatment vs tenting

Here is the thing – termites can cause a lot of damage to your home without you even realizing it. This is why it is so incredibly important to start treatment as soon as possible the moment that you detect any signs of termites! You can choose in between termite spot treatment vs tenting, or you can speak with your local exterminator to see what the best option for you is.

It is certainly rather important to seek treatment for the termites as soon as you can, if only to mitigate the possible damage to your home. This eliminate the chances that the termites can do even more, and it will also allow you to save on money because you will not have to spend to fix a lot of structural damage.

How to Get Rid of an Infestation

Now the question becomes how do you get rid of an infestation? Well, to be honest, the best and surest way to completely get rid of termites is to call your local exterminator. They know best how to get rid of these insects, and they also know better about termite spot treatment vs tenting.

Make sure that you hire only reputable companies, of course. It’s certainly important to check whether the company is licensed, so you can make sure they are qualified. Also, do check out the company’s online feedback before you hire them – this is a sure-fire way of finding out whether people have had mostly good or bad experiences with them.

But just to get you better informed, we are about to talk about it here!

Termite Spot Treatment vs Tenting

Here we will finally discuss termite spot treatment vs tenting so we can find out which option is the better one of the two. To be completely honest, despite the fact that we are giving you a lot of information to help you decide, we still advice that you seek an exterminator’s advice.

Nevertheless, let’s get talking about these two termite treatment options!

What is Spot Treatment?

termite spot treatment vs tenting

Spot treatment is also known as local treatment, where only wood that is easily accessible is treated. This method is essentially limited to the treatment of known infestations, and as a result if you have some infestations in harder-to-reach areas, these parts will not be treated.

Termite spot treatments are done by taking a drill to the walls and the wood where known termite infestations exist. Then, exterminators will use chemicals to kill off the colony or at least the termites that are found in that particular area.

How effective is spot treatment? Spot or local treatment is rather effective, but we would normally only really recommend it for those who know that their infestation is newer. For infestations that are just beginning or are in very small and minor areas not close to load bearing wood, spot treatment is actually just fine.

Cost of Spot Treatment for Termites

On average, when it comes to termite spot treatment vs tenting costs, spot treatments are always more affordable. On average, spot treatments cost homeowners roughly 537$, with the lower end being 220$ and the higher end being 877$. The cost of the spot treatment will depend on a few things – the size of the area being treated, whether the area is damp or humid, the severity of the infestation, and the number of treatments required.

Remember – you should strive to treat termite problems as early as you possibly can, because termite treatments only get more difficult over time.

Pros and Cons

Now we want to talk about the pros and the cons of spot treatments.

✔️More affordable
✔️Less of a hassle
✔️Quicker and easier to get done
✔️Great for infestations that are just getting started or infestations confined to smaller non-load bearing areas
❌This is not for extensive infestations
❌Not ideal for load bearing wood and structures
❌Also not good if you are unsure how far or deep the infestation goes
❌Generally risky in terms of the possibility of the reoccurrence of infestations

What is Tenting

So now that we have talked about spot treatment for termites, it’s time to talk about tenting! Tenting is also known as fumigation. It’s basically what you do see on tv or in the movies where an entire house is encased in a tent before being pumped with gas that is lethal to the termites. This method is almost always 100{760fa5fe69264f9efb02d8b9e11421e4d46635a96414139e1b83337fc8d2242a} effective, which is why it’s usually the choice for extensive termite invasions.

Tenting is great for eliminating all infestations, including the ones that you cannot see. And so it often comes recommended by exterminators if you want a treatment that is one-and-done. If you’re worried about your possessions such as your dishes, furniture and even your clothes being affected by the gas – don’t!

Most tenting is done with inorganic gas that will completely dissipate after the fumigation. There is no residue left behind on any surface, so you won’t notice a film clinging on. There is also no odor left behind, so there is no need for concern. You don’t even need to put your items away. You can leave these out in the open without a worry.

The only thing that really needs to be done during fumigation is ensuring that everyone – family and pets alike – must be out of the home. Unfortunately, this means that you will need to find alternative accommodation for you and any pets you may have during the fumigation and for a few days after.

Cost of Tenting for Termites

As we have mentioned, in the battle of termite spot treatment vs tenting, local treatments clearly win. This is for obvious reasons, of course – first off, the treatment involves the entire property. Furthermore, you will need to find alternative accommodation for the duration, which means you may need to splash out on motel or hotel costs if you don’t have anyone that you can stay with.

The treatments themselves can cost upwards of a thousand dollars. If the property is particularly large, you may need to have several thousand prepared. Just be ready with your wallet.

However, there is a plus side to the cost – once you spend, you likely won’t have to again. Again, this particular method is usually 100{760fa5fe69264f9efb02d8b9e11421e4d46635a96414139e1b83337fc8d2242a} effective, which means that in the end once the termites are dead they are gone for good.

Pros and Cons

✔️Almost always effective – the most effective way to deal with termites
✔️One-and-done treatment
❌More expensive
❌Requires you to vacate the premises for a few days
❌A lot more hassle


In conclusion, I think we can easily say that there are tradeoffs in the battle between termite spot treatment vs tenting in terms of cost and risk. To be completely honest, you would certainly want the termites to be completely gone, no? When this is the case, we would almost always recommend tenting – and we are sure that exterminators will usually recommend the same.

Nevertheless, we hope that we have answered any questions you might have had about these two treatments and which of them is more effective. In the end, our goal was to help you know all there is to know! Finally, we hope that you are able to get rid of your infestation permanently. Good luck!