TAMPA, Fla. – (July 14, 2015) – Florida’s termite swarm season has arrived and is proving to be busier than usual according to termite lawyer Pete Cardillo. Homeowners should use care to avoid being victimized by termites – or by aggressive pest control companies.
What’s more, the recently reported arrival of non-native termite species such as the Asian and Formosan termite, particularly ravenous species, are apparently cross-breeding, potentially creating what some scientists worry could be a kind hybrid super termite.
To make sure your home doesn’t become a buffet for these creatures, Florida termite lawyer Pete Cardillo offers property owners the following tips on protecting their homes from termites and aggressive pest control firms:
Protecting your home from termites:
• If you see lots of bugs flying inside or around your house, it’s likely a sign of a termite swarm. Keep in mind that flying ants are often mistaken for termites. A quick way to tell the difference is that termites have straight abdomens; ants have a narrow “waist” between segments.
• Look for sagging or bowing walls inside your house, which could be a sign of termite damage hidden behind the wall. Look for the small, transparent wings that termites shed.
• Small drinking-straw-width tubes of mud on the outside of walls of a structure may be evidence of termite infestation.
• Wet or deteriorated wood, or curious dust around windowsills, can also be a telltale sign of termite activity.
Protecting your home from opportunistic pest control companies:
• Small companies don’t often have enough experience, or may be fly-by-nighters (here today, gone tomorrow). All the guarantees and warranties in the world won’t matter if your pest control company goes out of business.
• Many large, national pest control firms appear focused more on sales than on servicing existing clients.
• A good, medium-size, regional company that’s been around some years and is well established in the community is your best bet.
• Actually read your contract, front and back! Here’s often where you’ll find disclaimers of liability and arbitration clauses, which can make it difficult or impossible to sue the exterminator for incompetence or fraud.
• Don’t sign unless you get a repair guarantee. This is critical. Even seemingly minor termite damage can cost thousands to repair. Extensive termite damage can even require a house to be torn down and rebuilt.
• Make sure the contract spells out a mandatory annual inspection of your property – inside and out. Don’t agree to anything less frequent than an annual inspection.
• Make sure the contract stipulates that your property will be treated with the liquid chemical pesticide Termidor, which is far superior to traditional “bait station” approach some firms take.
“Taking some simple precautions before any termite damage occurs can protect property owners from ever having damage. It will also help us advocate for them if termite damage does occur,” commented Mr. Cardillo.
Pete Cardillo is the founder of Tampa-based Cardillo Law Firm who focuses exclusively on the prosecution of termite damage claims and is a noted authority in the area of termite claims litigation. The firm represents condominium, apartment, commercial developers and homeowners who have termite damage claim disputes with their exterminator or their insurance carrier. Questions about termite related matters can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-642-2873.