UPDATED: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 12:17pm
BBB PRESS RELEASE — A single termite doesn’t look dangerous or menacing, but a whole colony can inflict serious structural damage on a home in a fairly short period of time. Each year, termites cause about $5 billion in property damage, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a Better Business Bureau National Partner.
Termites are known as “silent destroyers” because of their ability to chew undetected through wood, flooring and even wallpaper. As the ground warms, termite populations emerge in search of mates and new structures to invade.
Choosing a pest control company is a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly. In 2013, there were nearly 5,000 complaints reported nationally to BBB against pest control companies. Complaints allege services paid for were not provided, extermination attempts were ineffective, and companies hid high cancellation fees.
Check pest control company BBB Business Reviews at bbb.org/central-texas before signing a contract. Look at the company’s rating, how it has responded to customer complaints and any advertising issues it may have. Solicit bids from at least three different pest control companies before making a decision. BBB provides a free Request a Quote service to make it easier to gather estimates from local BBB Accredited Businesses. Also, be sure the company meets state licensing requirements by verifying with the Texas Department of Agriculture.
BBB offers four ways to avoid a termite infestation:
Repair and replace when necessary. Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and AC units on the outside of the home. Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles. Replace weather stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
Keep it clear. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off the ground. Direct water away from your house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. Keep mulch at least 15 inches from the foundation
Inspect, inspect, inspect. Routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), cracked or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped. Monitor all exterior areas of wood, including windows, doorframes and skirting boards for any noticeable changes.
Protect your investment. Not sure if you have termites? Consider a termite inspection from a qualified pest management company. NPMA recommends a termite inspection every 1-3 years, but half of homeowners they surveyed have never had their homes inspected. Your BBB has 101 local accredited pest control companies in Central, Coastal, Southwest, & Permian Basin available for free at bbb.org/central-texas.
For more information on termites and other household pests, visit Pestworld.org.
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For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2012, consumers turned to BBB 124 million times for Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million companies and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin serves 79 counties in Texas, is supported by more than 11,000 Accredited Businesses, and in 2012 handled nearly 23,000 complaints for consumers doing business in our service area.