Ours is a brand new townhome built 2 years ago. The builder engaged a
pest control agency for termite control. We are now renewing the
warranty every year (they do not administer anything, but do an
inspection each year and we pay for the warranty alone). I heard that
its probably not needed for new homes.
Does anyone have insight into if this is required for new homes?
Thanks in advance.
Depends on the warranty coverage, potential for termites, building
quality, etc. In Florida, there have been many, many large residential
projects with horrible building defects not discovered for 3, 4, or 5
years. One in particular that comes to mind was a large homeowner's
assn. where each owner had to come up with eighty-something thousand
bucks to repair severe damage from leaky walls and windows. Some owners
could not come up with that and pay their mortgages. A condo not far
from we had the same sort of problem discovered when it was about 2
years old and the damage not as extensive. It was covered with blue
tarps for about a year. Fortunately, the board pres. was an attorney.
Our condo (40 yrs. old) has been tented twice. After the first time,
one board treas. forgot to pay the annual fee, which would have covered
the second tenting. Our neighbors on both sides have been tented within
the past 2-3 years, and the buildings are no more than 10 years.
You need to know the prevalence of termites, the prevalent type in your
area and the treatment method, what the contract covers - additional
treatment, repair damage, cost of other lodging during treatment, then
decide whether it is worth the cost.
lots of variables to consider for a straight answer, but my charges on a
couple of recent town homes averaged $900 for the termite work and $80
for the yearly renewals. If you spent the 80 bucks a year for ten years
it would be the lesser of money spent for a future termite job. So if
your yearly cost is much over $100 a year and a proper treatment was
actually done maybe not needed...if it is a cheap renewal price and the
low side of work was done just for the builder to get a permit, maybe
usually for subterranean termites they will show up in a new home (un
treated) that has a sprinkler system 4-7 yrs...a home without sprinklers
7-11 years. If the property was properly treated who's to say when they
may show up. But unfortunately, the pre treatment side of the pest
control business is considered by many the scourge of the industry.
Builders will look for and usually get very cheap prices, cheaper than
what the cost of the chemical alone would be, especially with large
projects such as town homes and apartments.
If you could find out what type of treatment and chemical that was used
I probably could give you more of an answer.
I snipped alot but very good info there. This last one, the main bit. I
made that mistake *twice*. Gosh I was dumb. Its not enough to just treat
an infestation. In my area, you need the preventive stuff too for the
If you want a laugh, here's a goodie for a professional on how we made these
mistakes. Might help the new fellow too or someone else avoid our errors.
Infestation #1. We had wood shingles on all the house. Lovely and very
distinctive dark wood. Figured we'd never have to paint the house and it
wasnt the ubiquitous vinyl siding. Come spring, we find the master bedroom
along a window as a huge number of 'flying ants' and if you lift a shingle,
wings fall out. Long story cut short, 900$ for termite treatment where they
tunneled up from the ground into the wood, 4,000$ to remove all shingles (we
had to pull them down but they removed the debris) and vinyl side the house.
Did not know about how long the treatment chemicals vary on prevention so
used a company that sounded good (wont say who, dont want to be sued for
Infestation #2. About 3 years later, about 50ft away. Place is a rental
unit at that time and realtor emails us specs and we select one that sounds
middle price and seems to have a warrentee. House across from us has major
problem and the little buggers just drifted over to us across about a 30ft
distance. Another 1,200$ this time but the chemicals used turn out to last
only 6 months although we do not realize this. Company goes out of business
so warentee useless. Realtor and renters unaware (it's not like they email
you 'hey, we went bankrupt, see ya) so all they knew was to call a number if
anything went wrong and nothing obvious did.
Infestation #3. Real close to same spot as number 1. Get back home from
Japan and notice crumbling baseboard. Luck out *major* that there is no
other significant damage yet. Do the 'Whisky Tango Foxtrot' and find out #1
and #2 were good at 'killing termites' but minimal on prevention. Had to
have the whole house treated (exterior and through the slab) then pay it off
in installments bundled with the maintenance checks. Costs me far more
than if I had just known the details about the chemicals that first
infestation and gone the right way then.
Next infestation project not related to termites. Got a lovely spider
situation in rhe attic. They crawl in at night in the bathroom through the
bathroom ceiling fan and drop into the tub. So much fun. They also come in
from the fireplace if not lit every other day or so (getting cold and they
are looking for inside for the next month or so) and run across the living
room trying to get to a 'safe zone'.
Grin, I'm trying to figure out how to deal with that one without just
driving them into the house proper if we 'spider bomb' the attic after temp
sealing the vents so the poison stays inside. I dont want to come back to
'carpet critters everywhere' of the 8 legged sort after doing the attic.
Might just get it professionally done but still looking up the info on such.
If the bathroom is on an outer wall, the spiders may be coming from the
wall getting in around where the facets/shower head stems come through
the wall. If the flanges are not against the wall tight or not sealed.
If it is more of a wall entry rather than ceiling, and if the outside
temperature where you are at is in the 70's you should get some results
by treating the perimeter of the house with any of the hose attached
insecticides, such as what you would treat a yard for fleas. Treat out
from the house 15-20 feet and up the side of the wall of the house.
There won't be much of a residual for spiders, insecticides are designed
for the habits of insects not spiders, so a re treat in a couple of
weeks may be needed. You can also place those sticky boards behind the
furniture along the baseboards to help catch roaming spiders.
I'm not clear on what 'flanges' may mean in this case but the fixtures are
well caulked with no holes. Also though the bathroom is in an exterior wall
with window (replaced that window 3 weeks ago due to rental tenant damage),
there is a toilet enclosure along the exterior wall and the shower/tub is
Our treatment so far was to spider insecticide spray that ceiling vent and
there have been no more escapees since then. If it helps, we actually saw
oine come down that way. It'ss a not properly vented item, that just fan
vents to the attic. Not code spec but we can fix that to vent outside once
we get around to it. Kinda came that way with the 50YO house and only now
did we check that lovely aspect out.
Ceiling but your other info might work on the fireplace issue.
We are pretty sure on the fireplace issue too. After the renters didnt
bother to replace the cap, water got in and caused damage. We have repaired
all but the internal trap door that leads to the outer ash dump door. That
has not been replaced and has a 1/3 inch gap where it warped at one corner
due to rust. The fireplace is safe to operate but not 'bug sealed' and we
are not about to spray it and breathe burning insecticides....
3 weeks ago the big entrance was the front window, propped up by 2x4's after
the renters kicked it out. That has been fixed.
Alot of this is actually seasonal stuff for here. As it gets cold, they
always try to get warm. In about 2-4 weeks, they will be gone as far as
finding'em (most dead, rest so well hid they are no-see-ums).
If we are right (pretty sure, have seen them climb down from attic egresses)
and it's the attic, any advice? We plan to call and get a verbal estimate
the flange is the piece that hides the hole where the faucet/shower head
comes through the wall
I'd stay away from the large National companies and go with an
established independent in your area. The larger companies will try to
get you tied into a yearly contract rather than just take care of your
We have a few and were going to try that next. Also found another egress in
the bathroom. Lars got us thinking when he described the flanges (Thanks
Lars!). It isnt there as those are sealed here with caulk but we did miss
along the ceiling at the shower.
The bathroom is pine slab walls so it wasnt obvious there was a gap up there
but we just put some water sealing clear acrylic. Cant tell it's there from
a ft away.
The real fix of course is to kill the attic infestation then put in some
sort of preventive treatment against reinfestation. Lowes helped out
(fellow there is quite helpful in that department). Got 'spiderbombs' he
recommended (actually cheaper than the ones we were looking at). It's a
common problem in our area at this season and the ones he told us were
better for attics actually cost a little less.
If in "spider bombs" you mean the foggers, there is no difference so
just get the cheapest one. The active is probably pyrethrin or
permethrin which will be a contact kill and leave no residual
behind...that is why you can use them inside the house. Another trait in
those chemicals is they can act as a flushing agent. It will kill the
spiders,silverfish and wasps on contact that are commonly found in the
attics, but it can also push others into the home. If you ever do call
a pro what he would probably do..needs to do...is dust the attic with a
residual dust and treat the outside perimeter with a formulation known
as "micro encapsulated" along with treating the entry ways inside the
home with a liquid residual or dust products.
Thats what the Lowes fellow said. Worked a charm. We fogged this morning.
Grin, yeah a few attempted escapees but not as many as we had feared.
Havent treated the outside yet but we did that with the inside and 2
different products. Dust stuff in the attic where we could reach and a fine
mist spray as far out as we could get, then interior again. We actually did
the interior last night and along all windows/doors. We hit the ceiling
heat ducts too just in case but there seems no egress inside from the attic
If this doesnt work, we will get a professional. I suspect they have better
chemicals than we can get at Lowes and can reach farther with their gear
than we can just from the attic hatch.
I doubt there would be a requirement of any sort. I bought a
new-construction house in 1992. The lot is heavily wooded on one side
and I have seen termites in old logs. But I keep gutters cleaned,
keep debris away from the foundation, and do regular inspections
around the house and in the basement. The neighbor across the street
has a termite contract. They drilled a series of holes all around his
foundation to inject termicides. Neither of us had any infestations.
I'm sure if you read up on termite inspections, you can do it yourself
and save a little money. Termite companies like to use scare tactics
to sell their services. In any event, a yearly inspection is a good
'Required' can have several meanings this time. Your place was probably
treated. Several different types of termites apply here. Ground ones sound
like wht your area might have as thats the type where they just come out and
monitor as needed. Orkin has a spray that lasts up to 15 years as a
preventive but if you get an infestation, they pay to fix it once you have
the place treated. We just did that on our 50YO house.
Maintianing the warentee is cheap in comparison to an infestation and
cleaning one out.
Also, check your insurance and household policies. You may find you are
required to keep the warentee until you have paid off the house.
That's the bottom line. I have a program where I pay about $60 a year
for a policy that covers annual inspection, application of some
indicator wood stakes outside to find termites before they get in the
house, and free treatment if termites are found. Seems a reasonable
deal compared to the cost of treatment. Of course it all depends on
how prevelant termites are in your area, type of construction, etc.
Yup. I'm paying that a month, but thats a pro-rated cost over 3 years for
both the warentee and cleaning an active infestation out (fortunately caught
early with minimal damage, none structural). Most of that is cost of
treatment. Policy alone after that is 120$ a year in my area but I get a
deduction on my homeowners insurance due to using Orkin so my net cost is
about the same as yours annually.
Policy cost is also related to how 'active' an area is on termites. Mine is
a very active area. If i keep the policy active, I get retreatments as
needed at no extra cost (automatically at about the 10 year point) and can
transfer the policy 'live' to a new owner if I sell later. I learned quite
a bit in that termite line recently as you can see. If I ever get another
house, I will simply not buy it if it hasnt got a transferrable warrentee
with a very high preference for Orkin.
Our house has had 2 previous infestations and both caught early and killed
off, but we didnt know about the product lines so fell for the hype and
ended up with a 3rd infestation. Now, we have the solid stuff that lasts
for a decade or more and a complete guarentee. The earlier 2 cleanings were
'cheaper' but the products used, turns out last 6 months or so in my area.
Live and learn eh?
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