Friday, April 19, 2024

Termites: Tiny bugs can cause BIG problems

  Hey there, house hunters and happy homeowners! As your friendly neighborhood realtor, I'm here to talk about a topic that can strike fear into the hearts of even the bravest residents: termites. These minuscule munchers can wreak havoc on your home's structural integrity, leaving you with a sinking feeling (literally, in some cases!). But fear not! By understanding prevention and action steps, you can keep these creepy crawlies at bay and protect your precious property.

Prevention is Key:

Think of your home as a termite fortress. The first line of defense? Eliminating moisture – their lifeblood. Here's how:

Fix leaky faucets and pipes: A dripping faucet might seem like a minor annoyance, but for termites, it's an invitation to a moisture party.

Direct downspouts away from the foundation: Ensure rainwater flows away from your home, not towards it.

Maintain proper ventilation in crawl spaces: Good airflow discourages moisture build-up.

Trim back landscaping: Don't let bushes and shrubs hug your foundation – create a barrier of at least 18 inches

Tip: Do not put pavers/hard landscaping around the house touching the foundation. Leave 18 inches of space with gravel to allow for termite treatment around the foundation. 

Schedule regular inspections: Yearly professional inspections are crucial for early detection. Most termite treatment companies offer free yearly inspections.

Tip: Take advantage of them by setting a recurring reminder on your calendar.

Signs of Trouble:

Even with precautions, termites can sometimes be sneaky. Here's what to watch out for:

Mud tubes: These winding pathways on your foundation walls are a telltale sign of subterranean termites.

Hollow-sounding wood: Tap lightly on wooden beams or floors. If it sounds hollow, it could be termite damage.

Swarmers: Seeing winged termites near your home indicates an active infestation. Don't squash them – call a pest control professional immediately!

Taking Action:

If you suspect termites, don't panic! Here's what to do:

Contact a qualified pest control professional: They'll assess the situation and recommend a treatment plan. Arizona Department of Agriculture has a lot of information on termites on their Pest Management Division (PMD) website below. 


Before hiring a professional - check their license status and any violations reported against them here -

Pest Management   -> License Search   (check their license status)

                                 -> Complaints        (any violations reported)

Search by property address if termite infestation was recorded with PMD below before buying a property.

Termite Records 

Follow their recommendations: Treatment options like bait stations, soil treatments, or fumigation might be necessary. 

There are 2 types of warranties these pest control companies offer. 

   1) Retreatment plan: The pest control company is not liable for damages caused due to the termite infestation but they will treat the infestation under warranty and typically offer free yearly inspection. Usually cheaper to get these plans.

   2) Damage repair plan: The pest control company inspects before giving this plan and they cover damage repairs due to termite infestations up to a certain dollar amount. some companies won't cover the damage if they can prove that the infestation started before their contract start date. Usually, these are expensive plans but pest control companies are on the hook for damages so they have skin in the game. 

Maintain vigilance: After treatment, stay alert for any signs of returning termites.

Remember: Early detection and action are crucial. By following these tips, you can keep termites at bay and safeguard your home – your biggest investment!

Bonus Tip:  When buying a home, factor in a termite inspection as a contingency. This can give you peace of mind and potentially identify any lurking termite troubles before you close the deal.

With a little knowledge and proactive measures, you can outsmart these tiny terrors and ensure your home remains a haven, not a termite hotel.

Now go forth and conquer those creepy crawlies!