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What are you doing about termites?

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article image Termite traps

Ten years ago about 80% of homeowners did nothing but hope; the rest used a professional to come and look and spray once a year. Very few took on the job for themselves. Today that DIY percentage is increasing rapidly because the bait that professionals use is available to homeowners and monitors are now placed ON surfaces without having to be dug in. Same principles, same results, no safety issues and significant money saved.

But you have to wonder: why are three quarters of homeowners still in denial?

These are the usual reasons:

  • I had a pest inspection when I bought the house and it was OK
  • There was a barrier installed during the construction
  • Building codes enforce termite protection
  • Fingers crossed; it won’t happen to our house.
Here are some facts:
  • about 150,000 homes were attacked by termites last year (that’s more than fires and floods combined and you pay a $thousand or so for that cover)
  • the average bill was about $10,000 ranging from a few hundred dollars to $100,000+
  • about a third of homes sold last year failed the termite inspection
  • if a home doesn’t pass, the buyer walks away or offers around $50,000 less.
  • those 150,000 attacked homes and every termite horror story you hear about or see on TV is the result of termites getting across or through a barrier.
Termites swarm every year. If you’ve seen dropped wings outside on the patio or veranda, that means the termite nests are nearby. They know where you live. But don’t be too paranoid, more than 99% of termite pairs don’t successfully establish a nest. Then again just one nest is a threat you can happily do without.

It is the usual marketing ploy for pest controllers (and the manufacturers of DIY termite control systems — like us) to promote fear and scare tactics. But selling fear is largely unsuccessful; think of TV campaigns about road accidents, smoking and all the other things we all believe will happen to someone else — not me. Buying termite prevention is always going to be a grudging purchase. But the risk of  a major termite event at your home is too high compared to the low cost of defending it.

As you can see from those stats, the chances of you having to find the money to pay for termite attack is about 1 in 3.

Finding $440 to spread termite trap monitors around your home is a once in 10-20 year event. Only when (if) termites discover the traps will you need to buy the bait to feed them. Bait cost is $275 for enough to kill a couple of small colonies or a big one. You will probably be glad to pay the money when you know you are actually killing the colony and removing that threat.
For a pest man to come and inspect once a year and nothing else is $300 and upwards. If you get them to put monitors around your home the bill gets well over $2000 then nearly $1000 a year to come a few times a year to inspect them. If there is a strike, there are additional charges for coming to feed them multiple times until it’s all over. Experts may know more about termites than you. But it’s not that complicated. DIY is not only straight forward, it is hard to muck up the process once you see the manual.

 So, what are you going to do about termites?

  • cross your fingers
  • pay a pestie every year
  • do a proper job, safely, save money and lose the termite anxiety complex?

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