Every homeowner’s worst nightmare, unwanted guests! Silent, tiny and incredibly sneaky, termites build colonies 24/7 and lose no sleep or sweat over it.
Homeowners insurance is designed to cover risks and damage that are accidental and sudden. As a pest control company will tell you, termites aren’t a sudden phenomenon. While you may not initially know they’re sharing your home, they will stick around as long as you continue to provide them with food and water. The cost to remove termites and repair their damage is generally not covered by your homeowners insurance. Pest control is part of your responsibility as a homeowner — just like cutting the grass or repairing a leaky faucet.
Can Termites Actually Damage My Home?
According to the National Pest Management Association, termites cause $5 billion in property damage each year. These unwanted guests can live in your home or business and cause damage for years before they’re discovered. Unfortunately, by the time people discover they have termites, the pests have caused a lot of damage. Repairs might mean opening walls, accessing floor joist and taking up flooring to replace the damaged areas to your home’s structure.
How to Get Rid of Termites
In Florida, termites cause more damage to structures than fires, floods and storms combined. It is very important to protect your home from these very destructive insects. Good construction and proper maintenance of your home is the first step. Since homeowners insurance does not cover damage caused by termites, hiring a licensed pest control company to inspect and treat your home is the next recommended step.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) regulates and licenses Florida’s pest control industry. Using FDACS’ Business Search tool, you can find out how many formal complaints have been filed against a particular company. You can find out if a company is also licensed by visiting the Pest Control section of FDACS website.
(FDACS) strongly recommends that you do NOT treat for termites yourself as you will not have access to the most up-to-date bait systems, chemicals, and equipment to get the treatment under the home’s foundation. Instead, use a licensed pest control company that has the education, equipment, knowledge and expertise to treat your home.
- Have a professional apply treatment regularly. Experts recommend keeping an annual termite prevention contract with a licensed pest company. Prevention is key when battling termites.
- Minimize the soil-to-wood contact around your house. Keep mulch away from your foundation and make sure wood siding is at least six inches above the soil and without wood rot.
- Keep water away from your foundation. Check your roof for leaks and that your downspouts direct water away from your house.
- Clean up your yard. Termites feed on wood and paper, so remove dead trees and stumps quickly and don’t leave cardboard or newspaper in your yard.
It pays to be aware of the destruction termites can wreak and to inspect your house regularly to catch any damage sooner rather than later. Your home is important – and must be carefully protected. Whether you’re a new home buyer or a veteran homeowner, our homeowners insurance professionals take the time to get to know you. Learn more today about what homeowners insurance covers, and always feel free to reach out with any questions.