Homeowners should review termite treatment agreements if flooding caused substantial damage

RALEIGH – Hurricane Matthew brought significant flooding to many areas of our state. As cleanup begins, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services encourages homeowners to check whether flooding washed away household termite protection.

“If soil eroded from around the foundation of a house, or if more soil was deposited on top of treated soil, a home’s termite protection has been jeopardized,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Homeowners need to work with a licensed structural pest control company to determine if liquid termiticide barriers or bait stations have been compromised and to review treatment options.”

In a conventional termite treatment using a liquid termiticide, the chemical is applied to the soil next to foundation walls, pillars and chimneys and under expansion joints in slabs to prevent termites from moving from the soil into the wooden parts of the structure. After the treatment has been completed, the chemical will remain securely attached to the soil particles.

If the foundation wall of a home has been damaged and repair work is performed, then the soil treatment will also be compromised and a retreatment will be necessary. Some warranties allow the pest control company to charge for such treatments, but many do not. Homeowners should review their termite contract to see who is responsible for the re-establishing termite protection of their home.

Flooding may also have an adverse effect on termite bait systems in place around a structure. Saturated bait material and monitoring stations must be replaced. These corrective measures should be performed as part of the next regularly scheduled monitoring of the stations by the pest control company.

If a re-treatment is required, homeowner’s insurance may cover some or all of the cost of restoring the effectiveness of termite treatments. Homeowners should check with their insurance agent to see if their policy will cover any extra charges.

It is also imperative that homeowners use the services of licensed pest control companies in North Carolina. It is a violation of state law for an individual to perform structural pest control for hire without a valid license. A list of licensed companies can be found online at www.ncagr.gov/spcap/structural/index.htm.