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Build it and Termites Will Come
By Marie Knox

Marie KnoxFor the last six or so months (feels like forever) I have had the pleasure of watching our house grow before my very eyes. We’ve been in the throes of a rather intense renovation and expansion of our home. Overall it has been an enjoyable and rather educational experience. Even though I grew up in a construction family in the northeast (oftentimes job sites were my “playgrounds”), building practices are quite different in Florida, especially when you factor in the occasional hurricane and their influence on the ever-changing building codes.

When we purchased this 1961 bungalow we knew we’d need to expand it, but I think I even forgot just what that would entail. Throughout this entire process I just keep seeing new termite training topics emerge, especially surrounding building construction (regardless of what state you’re in) and the impact on your termite treatments construction types and practices can have.

When we contemplate termite work we think of a number of things: termite species, inspection techniques, inspection equipment, geography, soil type, tools needed including product(s), etc. Do we also take a moment to think about construction types, the different “issues” with the differing construction methods and whether additions have been made to the original structure or not? Some questions we should ask include: Are we trenching or trenching and rodding? Is this really the footer, or just concrete over-pour? Will we need to drill extensively? Are there abutting slabs or cold joints and how do we handle them? What product or combination of products will I choose? There is no cookie-cutter answer, every termite job is different and your approach to termite work should include asking yourself all of these questions and maybe even more depending on your local geography, any nearby bodies of water, and your specific state requirements and restrictions.

Just like termites are very cryptic creatures, many construction “issues” can be hidden from initial view and require thorough inspections combined with multiple questions for the homeowner to answer, especially concerning any and all structural modifications that have been made to the structure. You’ll find that much of the time, the structure has changed hands and the current owner may not have the original blueprints and may not know what the original footprint of the home looked like. This is where we have to be open to in-depth discussions and asking as many questions as it takes to make sure you can provide the best treatment possible for your customer. After all, you’ll more than likely be offering a warranty on your work and doing the best job possible is not only good for your customer, but good for you and your business too.

If you’d like to discuss this or any other pest-related topic, feel free to contact me at mknox@controlsolutionsinc.com. Control Solutions offers many solutions when it comes to pest problems and we’re here to help. (P.S. Don’t believe what you hear, there is a lot of wood involved in concrete block and steel beam construction!)

Marie Knox is PCO Technical Manager, Control Solutions Inc. She has a B.S. in Entomology and M.S. in Nematology from the University of Florida as well as 13 years of industry experience in basic manufacturing and distribution.


On the wire

Home Repair: The benefits and drawbacks of using salvaged wood
From The New Orleans Times-Picayune

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