I'm a little annoyed. I would appreciate some help deciding what to
I live in Palo Alto, California -- 30 miles south of San Francisco.
The house was built around 1940. A second story was added in 1985. My
(now) wife bought the house in 1990. We got married in 2002 and I
moved in. The house has a foundation (not a slab). Most of the
exterior is stucco.
A few months after I moved in, a pest control guy knocked at the door
saying that he was here to check the termite traps. I asked my wife
about it. She said that in 1999 she found a lot of "wings" in several
places inside the house. Friends told her it was termites and
recommended a pesty control company. It's a company that has offices
throughout at least Northern California. She said they installed
"traps"around the house, which they check each month. I asked her how
much that costs and she said, $45/mo. I asked her if they ever found
any termites and she said no. I told her I thought it was a scam and
we cancelled the contract.
A few weeks ago, we started some remodeling. As part of the work, the
contractors removed the stucco on part of the back and discovered an
active termite colony. It goes at least all the way to the second
floor and it appears to to into the second floor plywood. They will be
removing more of the stucco over the next few days so we'll see how
far it goes.
So, I asked my wofe if she had the original contract from the termite
company. Being the diligent person that she is, she found it. There is
a glitsy, glossy 3-page folder touting the Sentricon System explaining
how they first attact the termites to the bait traps, then when they
find termites, they send them back with a poison to kill the colony.
The enclosed contract shows that she paid $1,850 to have the Sentricon
System installed. It does not say anything about any spraying or other
treatment of the existing colony or structure. It then calls for
monthly inspections at $45/month, although I am sure they never came
out more than every 3 months and spent maybe 15 minutes.
Well, now we do have termites and since at least some parts of the
underlying structure of the house will be exposed, it's a good time to
make sure we get it checked.
Here are my questions:
1. Should I call the same company and find out why they didn;t find
any termites with their little traps?
2. Do I have any recourse to make them treat the current infestation
or pay for it? Would I even trust them to do it right this time? I
read the entire contract. I don't see any kind of a guarantee at all.
3. How can I find a reputable and competent company for a second or
4. What is the recommended treatment? If the infestation is contained
to the area already exposed, can I avoid tenting the entire house? I
tend to think that it is unlikely that we just happened to espose the
only colony. (sigh)
5. Any other comments or suggestions?
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