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RALEIGH – Hurricane Florence not only flooded many areas, knocked out power and destroyed the possessions of thousands of homeowners and businesses in North Carolina, it may have washed away household termite protection as well, Commissioner Steve Troxler said today.

“If soil eroded from around the foundation of a house, or if more soil was deposited on top of original soil, a home’s termite protection has been jeopardized,” Troxler said. “Where termite bait systems are in place, the bait or monitors in saturated stations may need to be replaced at the next scheduled monitoring.”

In a conventional termite treatment using a liquid termiticide, the chemical applied to the soil next to foundation walls, pillars and chimneys and under expansion joints in slabs prevents termites from moving from the soil into the wooden members of the structure. After the treatment has been completed, the chemical will remain securely attached to the soil particles. For the treatment to remain effective, the soil adjacent to the foundation must remain in place after a treatment has been performed.

Only where flooding has eroded treated soil away from the foundation or deposited untreated soil or sediment on top of the treated area should it be necessary to have a retreatment performed. If there was no erosion or sediment present, a retreatment should not be necessary. If the foundation wall of a home has been damaged and repair work is performed, then the soil treatment will be compromised and a retreatment will be necessary.  Some warranties allow the pest control company to charge for such treatments; but many do not.  Homeowners should review their termite contract to see who is responsible for re-establishing the termite protection of their home.  This language can be found in the terms and conditions of the contract.

Flooding may also have an adverse effect on termite bait systems in place around a structure. If the area was flooded but there wasn’t erosion, there is still a possibility that the bait is contaminated with motor oil from roads or run-off from crops or lawns treated with pesticides, in which case the baits need to be replaced. Saturated bait material as well as the cellulose material used in monitoring stations must be replaced. These corrective measures should be performed as part of the next regularly scheduled monitoring of stations by the pest control company.

If a retreatment is required, homeowner’s insurance may cover some or all of the cost of restoring the effectiveness of termite treatments. Homeowners should check with their insurance agent as soon as possible to see if their policy will cover any extra charges.

In order to continue to protect your home from an attack from termites it is essential the homeowner and the pest control company work together to determine if the liquid termiticide barrier or bait stations have been compromised by flooding and then take appropriate action.  It is also imperative that homeowners utilize the services of licensed pest control companies in North Carolina.  It is a violation of State Law in North Carolina for an individual to perform Structural Pest Control for hire without a valid Structural Pest Control License.  Credentials of licensed North Carolina pest control companies can be found on the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services’ web site, http://www.ncagr.gov/spcap/structural/index.htm

For more information, contact the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Structural Pest Control & Pesticides Division at (919) 733-6100.

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