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first_imgTreat a new or recurring termite infestation (there-treat-only contract).Treat a new or recurring infestation and repair newstructural termite damage (the re-treat-and-repair contract). TermsThe terms and conditions of termite control contracts varygreatly among companies. It’s best to study and understand eachcontract type before selecting one.Usually, termite control contracts are renewable annually for aset number of years. Many companies offer a 5-year annuallyrenewable contract. Some provide shorter and longer terms.The term for many termite bait contracts has no maturity date. Itmay remain open-ended for as long as you keep paying the yearlyrenewal fee.The cost of the first treatment typically covers the contract fora year. At the beginning of the second year and each year afterthat until the contract expires, you have to pay a renewal fee.Each year, the contract is considered renewed and its activestatus continued only when the company gets the renewal fee. Mostcompanies may cancel the contract if the fee isn’t paid by itsdue date.RetreatmentRetreatment contracts generally require that the company returnand treat part or all of the home to get rid of a new orrecurring infestation at no extra expense, as long as the termsof the contract are met.Under a retreat-only contract, the company holds noresponsibility for damage, old or new, from a termiteinfestation. Under this contract type, repairing the damage isthe sole responsibility of the property owner.With the retreat-and-repair contract, the company pays to repairnew structural termite damage, as long as the terms of thecontract are met.Define ‘new'”New” means the damage can be documented to have happened sincethe first treatment, or the contract’s effective date.But you can’t tell from the damage when it happened. Termitescommonly infest, feed on and then leave food resources in wood.They leave only the evidence (damaged wood, soil in wood) thatthey were there at some point.So, when you make a claim against a repair contract, you usuallyhave to show that you found live termites at the site of thedamage.If you find live termites, a photo or video often helps provideproof of activity. Termite control companies may also have toverify the presence of live termites.(Dan Suiter is an Extension Service entomologist with theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.) By Dan SuiterUniversity of GeorgiaTermites cost Americans more than $1 billion each year to repairthe damage they cause and hire termite control companies to treatinfested structures.They’re in nearly every region of the United States. But they’remost abundant, and thus cause the most damage, in the Southeast.Here, in any yard in a suburban neighborhood, a residentpopulation of termites will likely be found feeding on woodenfence posts, garden stakes, railroad or landscape ties, treestumps, fallen limbs, firewood, etc.To learn more about termites’ biology, see the University ofGeorgia Extension Bulletin No. 1209, “Biology of SubterraneanTermites of the Eastern United States” (www.ces.uga.edu).Contract typesProfessional termite control firms offer homeowners two types ofcontracts. They generally state that companies will either:center_img Volume XXIXNumber 1Page 26last_img read more

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