How A Termite Heat Treatment Works

April 22, 2016Pest Control Standard

Heat treatment (also called thermal treatment) is a modern and chemical-free method of removing termites. During a heat treatment the parts of a structure where the termites infest are heated up to 130 degrees fahrenheit. Depending on the severity of the infestation, this inhospitable temperature may be maintained for up to 8 hours, effectively killing all termites where the heat was applied.

Unlike fumigation, a termite heat treatment will also eliminate the termites’ eggs, ensuring the next generation is also killed.

However, like fumigation, a heat treatment is only effective against drywood termites.

Average Cost

Depends on your needs. A spot treatment will be substantially cheaper than a whole-structure treatment. A whole-structure treatment of a 1250 square foot house averages $2000 to $3000.

Application Time

1 day under most circumstances. Unlike tenting, heat treatments kill the termites during application and don’t rely on prolonged exposure.

Treatment Time

Can range from several minutes to serveral hours. The termites will die on exposure to the heat treatment’s hot temperatures.

Hassle Factor

Green Heat SD says that since no chemicals are used sensitive items, such as food and clothes, do not need to be moved out of the structure being treated. Heat-sensitive items, such as TVs or computers, can be moved or covered with a thermal blanket.


  • No long move-outs required.
  • No chemicals are used.
  • Is recognized by the state of California as a primary method to eliminate drywood termites.
  • The pest control company can control where the heat is applied. If it is known termites are only inhabiting a certain part of a home or structure, technicians can focus the heat on this area – allowing for deeper penetration into the wood
  • Since no whole-structure tenting is required, the property owner doesn’t have to worry about any secondary property damage – broken roof tiles, rub marks from a nylon tent, etc.


  • Can be more expensive than tenting under some circumstances (for example: if whole-structure treatment is required).
  • Won’t prevent future infestations.
  • Heat treatments will not kill undetected colonies of termites living in your home or structure.