How do I find a termite control pro?
Termites wreak havoc over time in many homes, and are credited with causing more than $5 billion in damage each year, according to the National Pest Management Association
. To make matters worse, the destruction they leave behind isn?t covered by most homeowners policies. Termites can be active for years before their presence is detectable. Annual inspections are key to catching termite problems early, and a professional pest control company can help find signs of termite activity and stop the termites in their tracks.
If you decide to hire a termite company
to treat your home, they will do the inspections, issue and back the guarantee, and bill you for your yearly premium (also known as an annual contract).
Here are some quick facts on how to select the right termite control professional for you:
- Seek out termite control providers with a good reputation. A good reputation is the best indicator of top-notch service. Check the reviews on Kudzu, and your local Better Business Bureau or state pesticide regulatory agencies to see if complaints have been filed against the company you have considered. Membership in various national, state, and local pest control associations (like the National Pest Management Association) is a great indicator that your termite control provider has access to modern treatment information. You?ll want to get cost estimates from at least three different reputable termite control providers.
- Ask about liability insurance. Companies who don?t have any insurance are banking on you not asking about it. If they aren?t insured, don?t consider them.
- Inquire about the details of an annual contract. Keep in mind that annual contracts don?t necessarily mean annual treatments. State and federal environmental laws prohibit annual treatments, unless there is a clear indication that the infestation has returned. The termite control provider is supposed to provide an annual termite inspection of your home based on the terms in the annual contract. If there is evidence of termite activity returning while you?re under contract, the termite control provider is liable for termite treatments. Most termite control providers will renew annual contracts for about $150-$450/per year. Ask if you can negotiate a fixed price for an annual contract that?s good for several years.
- Ask about a guarantee for services. You want the peace of mind that once you decide on a particular termite control provider and services, the course of treating the termite infestation will work the first time. However, there are cases where the infestation isn?t completely wiped out upon the first treatment. Make sure the company offers a guarantee for services and that you understand how long the guarantee is offered, as well as the terms and conditions (like having a deductible to pay).
- Schedule a free inspection. Once you?ve found several reputable termite control providers from which to choose, they should provide free inspections. However, if you want a Wood Destroying Insect Report from them after inspecting the site, expect to pay at least $50 for the information.
- Request a detailed plan of work about sites of termite activity and treatment procedures. Ask for written information on chemical treatment procedures, bait station placements, repair of woodwork, warranties, and copies of insecticide labels. If your house is infested when you have it treated, then you should assume that there could be hidden damage nearby. Make sure you maintain records and graphs of all annual inspections and any new signs of termite activity.
What to Expect from Termite Control Providers
Professional Termite Control Providers will:
- Perform an initial inspection on your property.
- Report their findings to you in writing and/or graph drawings.
- Provide a suggested course-of-action.
- Make treatment, guarantee, and payment arrangements.
- Ask you to agree to their terms and sign a contract.
- Schedule any termite-related work.
- Perform the agreed-upon termite treatment.
- Come back a year later to perform the annual inspection and written report after you?ve paid your bill.
- Continue this process until your contract has expired.
Helpful Links TermiteMD.com: Provides good cost information on getting termite treatments
TermiteInspection.com: Provides tips on how to detect if you have an infestation of termites in your home
Enjoy this article? Sign up for our free newsletters: