Do I Need a Termite Bond?
Recently a client asked me this question while we were previewing a home. Living in the south where termites are a major problem, my response was it is always advisable for a buyer to have a termite inspection. While they are typically required by the lender, technically in Georgia, a Termite Bond is not required to sell a character. However, I always do my due diligence and advise my buyers to acquire a new or assume an existing bond.
A Termite Bond is a contract between a homeowner and pest control company, effective after an inspection has been achieved and any treatment performed. Treatments for termite recurrence are free for the life of the bond. An annual inspection is typically included and many companies also provide damage compensation (they pay for repairs/substitute) if the termites did damage.
The seller indicates on the sellers disclosure whether they have a transferable bond or not so there shouldn’t be any confusion on whether or not one already exists. As a buyer, you’re spending a lot of money for the home, why not have the peace of mind knowing your home is termite free? With termites, if you don’t pay for protection now, you will definitely pay more later!
So, what are Termites?
Termites are small burrowing insects that satisfy on wood (the cellulose). There are over 2,000 species but they can generally be grouped into four categories: Dampwood, Drywood, Subterranean, and Formosan.
Dampwood Termites are found where there is a high moisture content like in forests or near ponds. They are typically not found in homes.
Drywood Termitesdo just that, they attack dry wood. Wood above the soil level is prone to infestations, such as attic framing. Sealing all structure fractures will help keep these pests out.
Subterranean termites live in large colonies and build mud tubes to attack wood and protect themselves from open air. With up to 2 million members per colony, they are the most destructive species.
Formosan Termites are the most aggressive subterranean species and can collapse a building if left untreated long enough. Difficult to control, prevention is the meaningful with these wood lovers.
Tips to help avoid termite infestations
- Get a Termite Bond and have regular inspections
- Move all untreated wood products away from the house and avoid wood-to-ground contact
- Eliminate water leaks and fix any fractures/holes in the foundation
- Keep gutters/downspouts clear of debris and avoid rainwater buildup wherever possible
- Basement, Crawl Space, and Attic should be well ventilated and dry
- Avoid wood mulch and keep all vegetation away from the foundation
- Treat exposed wood and/or paint where appropriate
- Screen your vents…termites can fly
Fun Termite Facts
- Termites look a little like ants but are most closely related to the cockroach
- The termite is the most destructive insect in North America
- Termites cause billions of dollars of damage yearly in the U.S.
- The queen can live up to 30 years, laying hundreds of eggs each day
- Termite nests can be 20 feet high and keep up well over a million insects
- The colony eats 24 hours a day, every day