Pittsboro Real Estate Agent Eric Andrews discusses termite inspections in Chatham County, NC. In North Carolina, Wood Destroying Insects include termites, powder post beetles, ants and carpenter bees. In the southeast, termites do more damage do more damage than flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes combined. Termites come out of the dirt and enter wood when possible. Once in wood, they enter floor joists and walls, destroying houses. Mulch on the outside of a house and wood or cardboard in a crawlspace is an open invitation for termites. If you’re purchasing a home in the area, e sure to get a WDI inspection and be sure to get an annual contract for termite prevention once you own the home.
Speaker 1: What can you tell us about termite inspections?
Speaker 2: So, we call them a WDI report, it’s wood destroying insects. We’re looking for powder-post beetles, carpenter ants, and termites. I’ve had an insurance agent tell me before that in the Southeast, termites do more damage than fire, tornado, hurricane, and flooding combined, as far as a monetary amount. So they’re actually eating your home. There’s also carpenter bees, I forgot about carpenter bees, we have those in Chatham County. So termites, if we have soil to wood contact they will tunnel, termites will create a tunnel from the soil to the wood that is their highway system to get to the food. They eat wood and the majority of our homes are made out of wood in North Carolina and so they’re literally eating you out of house and home.
Speaker 1: Why don’t they just stay in the woods? There’s so many trees.
Speaker 2: So many woods. It’s just, I don’t know. I guess they don’t have to work through alive, it’s dead wood, so it’s not live wood and everything. The biggest thing is people will put wood or cardboard in their crawl space, and that has direct contact with the soil and that’s just like dessert to termites and everything. So you definitely want to keep wood and paper out of your crawl space, even a cardboard box or anything. Once we have termites there, they can get into your floor joists, they can get into your walls, they can get into your rafters. It can be catastrophic. It can be a lot of structural damage, real expensive. It takes a long time for termites to do damage. It’s not something that happens overnight.
And the big thing is people will build up their mulch bed so high, and then they’ll have this easy termite food that’s wet and outside touching the house, which is termite food and it gets wet and it’s outside and it just creates a highway system for them. You can treat these homes for termites and then if there’s any kind of structural damage or whatever we can [inaudible] some boards or put some support in there so it’s not detrimental if your house has termites. I will tell you that one of the things that’s required when I go on a listing appointment is they will ask, it says it right on the form, do you have a current termite bond? And I can tell you more than half the time, if somebody shrugs their shoulder and says, I don’t know what you’re talking about. What’s a termite bond? I don’t have it. I’m not on an annual termite contract.
They’re pretty much half termites, that’s how common they are in Chatham County and North Carolina. So if you tell me that you’ve been in the house for 10 years and you don’t have a termite bond, we probably have something going on.
Speaker 1: What’s termite bond?
Speaker 2: So termite bond is just a contract with a local exterminating company that they’re going to check your house every few months and see if you have any tunneling. And if they do, they can spot treat it right then and there. To treat an entire house is usually in the $9 to $1,300 range. That’s if you have a pretty bad infestation. If you have a really bad infestation, they’re going to tent the house, which could be thousands of dollars and you’re sleeping in a hotel for a few days.
It’s not that expensive. Not everybody likes chemicals and spraying for termites all the time. If you’re a little bit more environmentally conscious, or if you have a well really close to the house, you can surround your home with bait stations. You’ve probably seen those green circles around the house every now and then, and when you see those green circles, you pop them up and it’s a block of wood that’s right there at the soil, and the termite companies know that if you have termites in those they can do bait stations where they can put this poison and the termites take it back to the colony, kill the queen, no more termites. And especially now we’ve had two years of incredibly wet weather, there’s going to be a lot of problems with foundations, there’s going to be a lot of problems with termites. I highly recommend that anybody that has a house right now, it doesn’t matter what it’s made of, brick, aluminum, [inaudible], manufacture, stick built, whatever, you make sure that you get annual inspection termite contract.