South Carolina Termites and Termite Bond Claims
For most of us, our home is our most valuable and fundamentally important asset. Choosing a reputable pest control company to protect your home from termites and other pests that could destroy your home is a high priority decision. The typical scenario is that you pay a pest control company an initial lump sum payment for a “Termite Bond.” The termite bond specifies the services provided and various guarantees in the event certain termites, under certain conditions are found. Every year on an anniversary date, you pay a renewal fee, a smaller amount than the initial lump sum. At the renewal time, you will typically get a reminder from your pest control company that it is time to pay the renewal and receive an inspection. Some companies will visit once a year, others more.
Sometimes termites make their way into the home. It is discovered by either the homeowner, an on-site contractor doing other work, or the pest control company inspector, who is on-site, inspecting for termites.
It is very important at the time of discovery, to conduct a very thorough home inspection, top to bottom, to discover the species of termites and their probable source. Eastern Subterranean termites come from the ground. Formosan termites can come from colonies in the ground; or they can fly onto the property during a “swarming” season and build a colony above ground in a structure, as long as there is a water source. Termite bonds typically exclude termites that fly onto the property via an “aerial infestation” because this is an event that presumably, a pest control company cannot prevent with ground based chemicals, or ground based bait station monitoring.
Methods of controlling termites:
Chemical Control (Termiticide)
Pesticides that kill termites and their colonies are called termiticides. Pest control operators use drilling and trenching methods and technology, to strategically place chemicals in the ground around the structure to prevent termites from entering the structure. Present termites are also eliminated with chemicals.
Bait Station Placement and Monitoring
Bait station placement and monitoring, where termites are attracted to bait stations placed strategically around the perimeter of a home at specific intervals. Some bait stations contain a termiticide that begins a “slow kill” process, allowing affected termites to live long enough to infect their colonies and spread the termite kill back into the entire colony of thousands, sometimes millions of termites; others a combination of products involving quarterly maintenance by the trained operator.
A well known product is the Exterra bait station product.
Click to visit Exterra’s page on how it works.
State Laws, Regulations and Licensing of Pest Control Companies
South Carolina Pesticide Control Act
The South Carolina Pesticide Control act is the legislation applicable to commercial pest control companies, including termite control companies. To read the laws and code click to visit the SC Statehouse Code section.
See also the Rules and Regulations for the Enforcement of the S.C. Pesticide Control Act [PDF]. or visit the webpage.
The Pest Control operator is required to disclose to the homeowner the types and amounts of any termiticides being injected into the homeowner’s property. There is a Termiticide Disclosure Form that the termite operator must prepare at the time of termiticide use. If there are issues with the home that prevent the operator from treating a home to an adequate standard, then those issues must be disclosed to the homeowner so that the homeowner has the opportunity to correct the deficiencies with the structure that is preventing the pest control operator from treating to standard a particular area of the home. Examples: High moisture in an area, or inaccessibility to vulnerable areas. If there are areas of concern the pest control operator is required to have the homeowner sign a Waiver Form [PDF]
All un-waived areas of the home are presumed to be safe due to adequate treatment to the minimum standards set forth in the SC Pest Control Act and applicable regulations.