This is the time of year when termite infestation is foremost on our 'What can go wrong at my house' list.
To be truthful, here in Georgia fighting termites is a 12 month round-the-clock battle, but thoughts of the little home wreckers are on everyone's mind now, so let's see what you have working at your home.
First, know this: termites are everywhere. Even around a freshly treated house there could easily be termites living in the yard. The key is to not allow them to cross the threshold into your house.
So let's say you had a treatment done in the past. Is that good enough?
Generally a house needs re-treatment every 5 years or so. I would guess that a majority of houses in the metro area are not covered with a current, up-to-date termite treatment.
There are two kinds of treatments which can be used to have your house considered as treated – a liquid version (Termidor) and a bait station treatment.
I am a fan of the liquid termite treatment for a couple of reasons.
One - I am not totally sold on the bait systems which require a regular inspection from your pest control company (inspection should be done Quarterly). When you get the liquid treatment you know you have the termite poison around your house whether the pest control man shows up or not.
The bait stations on the other hand, are installed into your ground about every 20 feet or so. They are generally filled with wood. If during a regular inspection your pest control company finds termites in the bait station, then your house is treated with a liquid poison to kill the termites.
(Ironic insert here – the poison that pest control companies use at this point is, ta da – Termidor – the same stuff you could have had put down to begin with)
Also - you don't own the bait system if that is the route you take. Often times the pest control company owns the system so if you fall behind in your payments, they can come and take it out.
This is perhaps the most important thing to know about the bait systems: if you are going with a bait system, you are buying the company that installs it as much as you are buying the system.
You need to invest your money with a company that has the where-with-all and the personnel to do regular inspections and are able to act if there is a problem.
Pest control companies also offer different kinds of repair warranties. Some companies even have their own construction divisions to do the work, which is nice.
Know this though - if your house has an up-to-date termite treatment on it, with regular inspections and termite damage shows up, the odds of your home having major damage are slim. Unlike in cartoons, termites don't blaze through a house in minutes.
Keep that in mind when you consider warranties.
One more thing – liquid treatments and bait treatments should run at about the same cost. Find a company that offers both, and then make your decision.
Happy hunting. Termite hunting that is…