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Termites & Other Pests

rightTermites and other pests
Termites and other wood destroying organisms (WDO) such as carpenter ants can do massive damage to a home and greatly impact its value. In humid areas where termites are a problem, it’s not unusual to find past or present infestation. Most pest exterminators will tell you it is not a matter of if but when your home is attacked by these creatures.

How do I prevent termite infestation?

There are many steps you can take toward preventing infestation if you know what termites look for and take steps to make your home less attractive to them. It is recommended that all homes be inspected by a licensed pest inspector/exterminator. Regular treatments are a great preventative measure.

Termites are ground insects that look for habitats that provide food, moisture and shelter close to the ground. Any place where wood meets ground qualifies, especially if the soil in that area stays moist. Correcting this situation may require re-grading to separate soil from any wood around your home. Since mulch and many other landscaping materials cause the soil to remain moist, you should make sure to minimize mulching around your foundation. Keep mulch at least four (4) inches away from siding. Some experts recommend mulching no closer than a foot from your home’s foundation. You should also stack your firewood away from your home, preferably by several feet. Make sure that gutters and downspouts are in good condition and keep moisture from accumulating. You should also make sure to eliminate any moisture problems in and around your home, especially in basements and crawlspaces. Adequate foundation ventilation is very important to keep humidty levels low as it doesn’t require standing water to attract these wood destroying organisms. Monthly perimeter inspections around the home and in crawlspaces and basements – particularly in the spring are also wise.

Tip: Attached garages are a common entry point for termites and other WDO pests and they can go undetected as personal belongings, lawn mowers, tools, and storage shelving tend to lay against the walls. Keep the perimeter areas of your garage clear so you can easily view/inspect the area for any telltale signs of infestation (mud tubes, moisture intrustion, rotting wood, etc.)

As mentioned above, you can also hire professional termite exterminators to apply chemical treatments that protect your home. Be sure to find out how long the treatments last. The chemicals on the market today generally protect your home for up to 5 years. It is very important that with any treatment you maintain a "bond." A bond usually involves an annual payment to the pest extermination company who performs the treatment to warranty the home against infestation. As long as the home is bonded, if there is ever any pest infestation, they will typically provide any re-treatment and repair (if required), free of charge. This is a great insurance policy to avoid potentially costly repairs if infestation goes unchecked for a long period of time.

leftHow do I know if my home has termites?

It takes an expert to detect hidden termite damage. General home inspections do not typically include a termite inspection, however if we find evidence of termite damage/infestation (unbroken tunnels, etc.) we will notate it in our report and recommend further evaluation by a licensed exterminator. A pest inspector can determine if termites or other WDOs are active or not and treat, if needed.

The most common termite variety in the Upstate South Carolina area is the Eastern subterranean termite.

Again, it is highly recommended that you get a termite inspection in addition to your general home inspection. Most (not all) real estate transactions will require a termite inspection. Generally, requirements will depend on your mortgage lender.

What can I expect to pay for a termite inspection?

A licensed pest (WDO – wood destroying organism) inspector in the upstate South Carolina area typically charges $85 – $125 to do a termite inspection. At the conclusion of their inspection, they will provide you with a termite/moisture letter (commonly referred to as a CL-100).

High Tech Inspections

Simpsonville, SC 29681
Telephone: (864) 569-5776
Fax: (864) 752-1110
Email: robert@hightechinspections.com