There are many pitfalls and fears when buying a new home.  Should I buy a newly constructed house?  Should I buy a fixer upper?  What about financing?  Can I afford the payments?  These questions are very important.  But one of these questions often is forgotten to be asked.  What about termites and buying a house? Most finance companies will require a termite inspection and a treatment with guarantee if termite damage is found or suspected.  

Termites can do grave and disastrous damage to a home.  They can make any wood built structure structurally unsound.  Because of this, it is important to know what is going on inside of your new walls when it comes to termites and other wood destroying insects.  In most cases, your finance company or bank will require an inspection by a state certified termite exterminator or inspector.  If the inspector finds damage, the buyer may be required to correct the problem prior to sale.  A good realtor will be able to help you navigate this process.  


In the state of Oklahoma, there is a form filled out by the inspector known as the ODAFF-1.  This acronym stands for Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, which is the state bureau that regulates these inspections.  This form documents a number of things.  Is there any current and active termite damage?  Has there been evidence of previous termite damage? Is there evidence of previous termite treatment?  Does the inspector recommend any corrective or preventative treatments?

In order to make sure that there are no issues with termites, inspectors will recommend treatments that apply to the situation. If the house has no current or past termite damage or activity, he will likely not have any recommendations.  When a previous treatment or damage has been found, he will likely want to know if there is a warranty on any previous treatments.  If there is no warranty currently, he will probably recommend a treatment with warranty.  This is because once termites attack a structure, they are more likely to return.  And, of course, if there is an active termite problem, he will recommend a treatment with warranty.  


But what if you are buying a brand new house?  Again, the lenders all have a common policy in this regard.  They almost always require a pre construction treatment to be performed before construction begins.  This treatment creates a barrier in the top layer of soil underneath the concrete foundation.  This barrier of treated soil kills any foraging termites that might enter the structure.  Termites in Oklahoma are subterranean, so a soil treatment is enough to protect the structure.  These treatments also come with a warranty to protect against any further termite infestation from anywhere between one and five years.  

But are termite pre construction treatments effective?  They are if they are done correctly.  This is a big if.  There is honestly no way the average person, or even an inspector, can determine the quality of a pesticide treatment that is mostly underneath the foundation of the building.  The good news, is that most of these treatments are warrantied.  So if you did have a problem, it could be resolved at little to no cost to you.  Also, termite infestations take time.  Because of this, a problem with a termite infestation may not show up until after the warranty. There are other means of protection that can help in this kind of situation. Your Broken Arrow exterminator can help with more information.  


Termites are not the only insects that can damage your greatest investment, your home.  Besides termites, the wood boring beetle is the most dangerous one.  This beetle bores into wood and lays its eggs.  The larva that emerges, continues to bore through the wood, eating it, until it comes out the other side.  This can leave large holes through structural timbers.  There are some species of this beetle that only will use wood that is not seasoned or processed, but there are also some that will use any wood that they can find.  It’s important to watch for these insects in and around your home.  

Carpenter ants also are a common problem.  These ants don’t consume wood, but they bore through it in order to create their nest.  The main difference between carpenter ants and termites is the fact that carpenter ants create smooth galleys through the wood, while termites galleys are rough.  This is because termites are constantly eating on the walls of their tunnels.  Carpenter bees are also a problem.  They bore into wood to create holes to nest and live in.  All of these kinds of insect damage are noted on the ODAFF-1 if they are found at a home.  In every one of these cases, the buyer would be asked to correct the problem with a Broken Arrow pest control treatment.  


Once a building is in place, there are two main ways that it can be treated for termites.  The first is known as a liquid treatment.  This kind of treatment has been around for many years, and is very successful.  It consists of creating a trench around the home, and drilling underneath the foundation where necessary.  The trench and holes are filled with pesticide, creating a barrier in the soil around and below the home.  The second type of treatment is a termite bait station treatment.   This is a somewhat newer treatment that has shown itself to be very effective and much better.  It consists of plastic stations that are buried around the home, making a barrier.  They are filled with bait that must be checked on a regular basis.  The termites find the bait, take it back to the colony, and it kills off the colony. 

Now a word about warranties.  The liquid treatments are warrantied much like pre construction treatments.  They protect your home from termite invasion for a specific period of time, usually between one and five years.  The termite bait stations usually have a renewable warranty.  Once a year, you will pay a renewal fee and the Tulsa pest control company will come out and inspect the stations.  This will renew your warranty yearly and can be continued indefinitely.  


Your home is the largest investment that you will make in your lifetime.  It is important to protect it against termite infestation.  If you are buying a home, or you would like to protect your home from infestation, call TermMax Pest Control today.  We are the best Tulsa exterminator and the best in the state.  We service the greater Tulsa area including Broken Arrow, Owasso, Turley, Sand Springs, Coweta, Claremore, Sapulpa, Catoosa, Jenks, Bixby, Pratville, and more.  Call today for a free estimate.  We are here to help!

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