This is Ben with Ben’s pest control. And today we want to talk about termites. More specifically, we want to discuss subterranean termites.
So, just so most people are aware, there are what I would consider three main categories of termites in Florida. You have dampwood termites, dampwood. termites are termites that are associated with wood that is usually soaked, it’s saturated with water. And they’re not normally considered a insect or a pest that is damaging to structures because if you have them, you would have to have a leak or some kind of moisture issue that is, is fairly extreme.
The next species is dry wood termites, which on the Treasure Coast, we have a lot of dry wood termites, but we’re not going to discuss those today. Those fly in. And they’re not. They are important. But they’re they’re not what we wanted to discuss today.
So today, we’re discussing subterranean termites. And with subterranean termites there are the eastern subterranean, and then we also have formosan subterranean. And there’s so there’s two different species that fall into the subterranean category that we deal with on a regular basis. I actually believe there’s a third one. But the third one is very similar to the eastern subterranean. And behavior on characteristic wise seems to be very similar. The formosan is the one that sticks out. And most people have heard horror stories about the formosan and is the one that is very aggressive, and they cause a lot more
damage. So anyways, what I want to start by saying is that when it comes to subterranean termites, I guess it’s a it’s a situation where a lot of people don’t realize how bad they can be. I know when I first moved here, I moved down from the north, and I didn’t even know what they were and I, I tell people, my first experience was subterranean termites. I was hired to do pest control. And one of my stops one day I had come to call it within. And the lady said, I have these bugs all over my bathroom there. They were everywhere. They’re flying all over my house, and she was pretty panicked. And I said, Okay, ma’am. And I went into her bathroom to take a look around, and I couldn’t find a bug anywhere. So she said to me, she said, Well, they’re on the window sill. But the window sill was like eight or nine feet up in the air. And I said, Well, I’m gonna have to get my ladder. She’s like, there. She’s like, I’ve got the tub here, you can stand on the top and there was a half wall between the tub and the shower. And she’s like, we’ll stand on the tub if you have to stand on the half wall. But take a look up there and pull some down and see what I’ve got. So I stepped on the tub, I stepped on the half wall, and the half wall, proceeded to absolutely crumble. It just fell apart. And the wall was in pieces on the floor, destroyed this, probably four foot wide wall by four to five foot tall wall, built on a two by fours and drywall and was tiled on one side for the shower, literally just crumbled underneath me. And so I had to say, Ma’am, I’m pretty sure you have termites. And so that was my first experience. And I know coming from the north. This was something that to me was extremely strange, extremely crazy mind blowing, that there could be this little bug that gets into your house and eats up your house. And maybe I’m from the greater North too far. Because I know for a lot of people in the northeast, they’re familiar with subterranean termites, and even carpenter ants, but where I’m from, I have not heard of a bug that I knew of getting into people’s homes and actually eating up their home or causing substantial damage to their structure. So this was something that was just crazy to me. I didn’t, didn’t couldn’t even imagine this. So over the years, I’ve learned a ton about termites in 25 years. And some of the things that are statistics that are put out there. Annually, termites cause $5 billion worth of damage to homes. I mean, that’s just an astronomical amount of money. So structures every year based on a pest Another thing is your homeowners insurance does not cover termites, they will not pay if you have damaged they will not pay if you have termites, if you have termites as the homeowner you are responsible to make sure that that house is taken care of and treated. covered. And it all falls to you to make sure that you are in good shape
as a buyer of a home. One of the things that I tell people and one of the messages I’ve shared for a long time is that when it comes to buying a home in my understanding, most mortgage companies don’t require most anything except the termite inspection. The mortgage company is so determined to protect their investment that they want to make sure that you have had a termite inspection that the house that you’re buying is not infested with termites or has what they believe to be absolutely substantial amounts of damage to the structure. So I tell people, of course, when you buy a home, people will get wind mitigations. That’s for your insurance company. Though some cases don’t require a four point inspection. Depending on the whole the home is and most buyers know, hey, I’ve got to get a home inspection. So what I’m buying isn’t just run down and destroyed beyond my wildest imaginations. But like I said, the only thing that is required in a lot of cases by the mortgage company unless you’re putting enough money down, is the termite inspection. And specifically, like the VA loans, they are sticklers on the termite inspection, they want a termite inspection they want to receive that it’s been paid for it is something that’s, that’s very important to them. So I kind of try to use that as an example for people.
Now, what I want to discuss is I want to discuss all of my experiences. I told you about the wall that I mentioned earlier with the termites. But in 25 years, needless to say, I’ve seen a lot of damage. And I’ve seen a lot of things that people could have prevented if they had treated their houses prior. I use one example we had a lady that had her, her house had had termites for five years. Now in her defense, she thought she was paying somebody to treat the house every year. In her case we found formosan termites, and I felt terrible, they had absolutely spread all the way up to our ceiling in our one story house. And after five years of not getting control, and not having actual contract with a company. Her company just kept telling her well, we’re treating and we’re treating it treating it. She hired us last year to come in and treat her house. And there was needless say there was pretty substantial damage in the walls, all the way up to the to the roof trusses. And it was a very, very sad situation as far as there was a lot of money that had to be put out to to fix her home.
Another example, I just had a gentleman here not long ago in Palm City that hired us to treat his house for termites. And the gentleman owns the house since it was built I believe he said it was like 30 years. And he had owned the house for the first five to 10 years when all sudden he had a swarm of these, these bugs coming out of the wall and he called a professional and they came out and they said oh sorry, you have termites in your wall. And they found termites in his master bathroom. They found termites by his kitchen where his dining room was. And the company treated in the company appeared to have done a great job. And this gentleman went about 15 years without having seen any termites. And now he his wife decided she wants to remodel their bathroom. So they called it a contractor and they started ripping the bathroom apart and found just tons of damage in the bathroom where these things have been established and have been eating and it was all hidden behind the walls that they never saw never knew existed. It wasn’t until the remodel when they were redoing the shower and the wall between the shower and the commode room that it became extremely obvious how much damage the termites from prior had done. Now this situation, completely unrelated. It just happened that when they rip apart the bathroom, he found a spotless kitchen and the floor look the baseboard looks soft. So this gentleman asked his contractor to come in and the contractor probe the piece of wood with a screwdriver and found he had termites again, that had come up through his plumbing pipes in his bathroom. and in this situation. They were active they were back in the house, he was out of his initial termite warranty. The gentleman called us he was referred by his friends to us and knock on wood we were able to get out there and get the house treated pretty quickly and and keep the damage took a minimum. But he was still when I spoke to him he was still blown away by the amount of damage that was in the walls. So that was another situation that we encounter not long ago. I can tell you that, we have another gentleman who’s a client of ours I want to say this goes back about four For five years, and we had done a home inspection for him, and specifically the termite inspection. And so
when I do my termite inspections, I always tell people, listen, we’re doing a visual inspection and everything we see looks great. But what you need to know is sometimes it’s not what we can see, it’s what we can’t see. And the gentleman happened to be buying a house that had been completely remodeled, and it looked good. And, and he said, Well, what do you mean? I said, Well, with the remodeled house, everything that’s up front, looks great. It’s all been replaced. It’s beautiful. It’s been painted, it’s great. I said, but we have no idea what’s going on behind the wall. I said, just because it’s been fixed up and ready for sale, doesn’t mean that there haven’t been issues or that there couldn’t be issues. Strangely enough, I’d say about a month went by and the gentlemen that end up buying the structure. And he called me up and he said, Ben, my cable guy just came out to install my cable, and they, they open up the cable box in the living room, which backed up to his master bathroom. And when they open up the cable box, it was loaded with dirt. The termites had brought dirt and the dirt was in the walls. And as the guy pulled the cable out, all the dirt fell out of the box on his floor along with the termites. And his wall in his bathroom had just been completely active with termites. Now, I’m not going to say that the people selling the house went out of their way to hide something. I don’t know what they did. I don’t know what they didn’t do. But it just seemed completely crazy to us that I just told them that there could be something going on that we can’t see. And in this case, we ended up being spot on the wall had substantial evidence of termite activity in it. We got his house treated. Four years later, he’s going on absolutely no reoccurrence of termites. And personally, as far as I know, when I’ve seen him, he loves us to this day. And he’s extremely grateful for what we did to get rid of the termites.
So those are just some of the examples that we’ve seen over the years. So I would say to anybody who’s listening to the podcast, please get your house inspected. If you have a wood house, please treat your house. I’ve told people listen, I don’t care if you use me, I don’t care if you use my competitors, get your house treated, it’s worth protecting your investment. Your home is your biggest investment most people make in their lives. And it would be crazy to watch that investment get eaten or damaged by bugs. It’s it’s just out of my my train of thought it just doesn’t make any sense. You want to protect it from something that could cause you substantial damage and substantial financial loss. So for the average person who’s listening and and the people who are like, Okay, well, what do we do? Get an inspection, get an inspection every year, if you have to check your house, if your house is wood, have it treated preventatively to make sure that you’re covered for any kind of future situation you could be dealing with when it comes to the termites. You want to protect yourself. Keep a warranty on the house. Right now in today’s market. A lot of people are buying houses and they may hold on for three or four years. I tell people if you’re buying a wood house, it’s great to keep your termite protection. So when you go to sell your wood house, the new buyer can be told listen house has been treated, it’s covered. There’s a warranty on the house, the house you’re buying is protected from termites, even though they’re going to need a termite inspection. What a better peace of mind that to say listen, here it is, this company is on the hook if you have any problems. Other than that, if you have any questions, please feel free to give Ben’s pest control a call at 772-878-1972 or check out our website. And we’d be happy to give you a free consultation a free evaluation. Our website is BensPest.Biz Thank you and have a great day.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai