Advice for treating Termites in Tampa 1920 wood frame bungalow?

6 Replies

I am looking for a tenting company in Tampa, FL, for a termite problem in a remodeled wood frame bungalow built in the 1920s. The wood frame house was tented more than 10 years ago and the house is in excellent condition. However, due to mild evidence of activity, such as seasonal swarming, we have had it spot treated with injectible syringes for the past few years, by our regular pest control company, and that seemed to be working fine until recently.  Suddenly, we are seeing a lot of termite activity, droppings are falling from the popcorn ceiling, which means there is activity in the attic, and I want the whole house to be tented. I don't have a company I use for tenting.  My questions are how to find a good tenting company, how to estimate price, what should tenting cost on a 1900 sf single story bungalow? What should I look for in the contract, and or be cautious of in a contract. Is the annual inspection and warranty worth the price? Anything else I should know? Any suggestions for companies in Tampa, FL? Thank you  

Hi there- I used Couch Pest Control on a recently purchased 800 sqft 1920s cottage in Dunedin plus a 120 sq foot laundry building and I paid $1200, which includes retreating within the first 12 months. I have warranties on other properties but am starting to think it might make sense to just pay to tent when needed, rather than paying several hundred dollars a year for the warranty, as my parents did. It's true that after paying their warranty for a number of years, when they did see evidence of big-time termites, Couch came and tented their 2200 sqft two story 1920s house for free.

Good luck- Waverly

make sure the termite company checks which types of termites you have.  you may need to inject treatment into the ground, too, if there are subterranean termites.  these termites live in the ground at night, and every day come up into the house, even the attic, then go back into the ground again at night.

@Waverly Rennie @Cathy Svercl  

Thank you. The company I have been using does the injection method, its sort of a spot treatment method. When I spoke to them a couple days ago, they said that the injection goes to the active termites, which then spread it to all the other termites they are in contact with, so they think it is more effective than tenting. They say that tenting only kills them one time, then they can repopulate just as easily as ants. Thoughts? Thanks! 

Above ground termites (Drywood termites, etc) need to be killed in the house, whether tenting or injection or other means.  Subterranean termites need to be killed where they live, in the ground.

Remember that wet soil will also attract termites - so look for pipes leaking and plants/mulch that stay wet close to the building.

In Florida, a wooden building that hasn't been treated for termites recently... has termites.

Hi Jon,

I bought a house in South Tampa (4bed/2400sq ft, built 2005) in March, had it inspected, and then discovered drywood termites swarming a month later.  They were in the upstairs bathroom cabinets (and possibly the wall behind the cabinets).  After getting 5 quotes (the cheapest to tent was $2,400), I decided to buy a can of the termidor foam on Amazon for $30 and treat it myself after watching a few youtube videos. So far so good.  

The prevalence of termites in Tampa is one of the reasons block construction is so much preferred here (along with storm resistance and reduced utility costs).  

If you're seeing signs of drywood termites in multiple locations, then spot treatment probably isn't going to work and you'll need the place tented.  I'd bid the job on thumbtack.com or homeadvisor.com. Look for good reviews on Angie's List too.

I tend to think the annual warranty is worth it on wood frame houses around here assuming it's not much more than $200/year.  Generally I think smaller companies in which the owner shows up and does the work himself are best.  No need to waste time having every contractor come by in person, just ask over the phone or online how much they'll charge to tent a house your size and warranty it each subsequent year.  

Good luck!

there are two types of houses in FL. those that have termites, and those that will have termites. 

get a professional to figure out which type of termite you have. they will tent or trench (or both) the house. you can trench and protect yourself if you want to save the cost.

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