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What To Ask For During Termite Inspection

What questions should homeowners ask during a professional termite treatment?

Homeowners should find out specifics about the location and extent of termite damage.  They should ask for further information on the products and materials that will be applied in and around their home.  A federal law requires commercial applicators of “restricted use” products to be certified. The certification program is left up to the state. Homeowners can call the certifying state agencies for further information.  They should also be aware of the difference between a repair and a retreat contract which stipulates a company’s ultimate responsibility for the job.

Homeowners shouldn’t hesitate to question their pest control operators about other pests or related pest information.  PCOs are well-trained, educated and capable of discussing pests and pest-related public health and property threats. As consumers become increasing aware of and worried about the recent influx of pest-related public health threats they should feel free to contact NPMA or their local PCO to address any issues.

How long does termite treatment typically take?

Termite treatments range take less than a day depending on the location, extent of damage, and the products and materials used to treat the infestation.

All professional pest control treatments require vigilant follow-up by the homeowner and pest control professional to ensure success.   With recent information suggesting an influx of pest-related public health threats, it is vital that homeowners remain in close contact with their PCOs during all treatments.

What can a homeowner do to prevent termites?

The National Pest Management Association offers several tips to help homeowners prevent termite infestations:

  • Since termites are attracted to moisture, avoid moisture accumulation near your home’s foundation. Divert water away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
  • Reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation or dehumidification. Prevent shrubs, vines and other vegetation from growing over and covering vents.
  • Before and during construction, never bury wood scraps or waste lumber in the backfill, especially near the building. Be sure to remove old form boards, grade stakes, etc., left in place after the building was constructed. Remove old tree stumps and roots around and beneath the building.
  • Most importantly, eliminate any wood contact with the soil. An 18-inch gap between the soil and wood portions of the building is ideal.

Other Pests

Can pests other than termites damage property?

Absolutely, there are many pests that can cause significant damage to homes and to property.  Carpenter ants, carpenter bees and powder post beetles can all damage wood areas of homes and property.  Mice, rats, and other types of rodents and wildlife can contaminate food supply and chew through electrical wires and other important belongings.

Professional Pest Control

What should a homeowner look for when selecting a PCO?

A recent national study found that over 50% of homeowners take the time to check the certifications of pest control companies before hiring them.  This is a great start when looking to select a PCO.  You should make sure to do the following:

  • Always deal with a qualified and licensed pest management company that is a member of national, state or local pest management associations.
  • Ask friends and neighbors to recommend companies they have used successfully and how satisfied they were with the service.
  • Check prospective choices with the local Better Business Bureau for a reliability report or to see if complaints have been filed against the company you have in mind.
  • If a sizable amount of money is involved, get bids from several pest management firms.
  • Don’t rush a decision. Since you are paying for professional knowledge as well as skillful application of pesticides, look for someone whose judgment you can trust.
  • Before signing a contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the pest to be exterminated, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem.
  • Find out if the company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment.
  • If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing prevention and management are necessary.
  • Buy value, not price. Beware of bargains that sound too good to be true
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