You simply can’t go without pest/termite protection in Florida. Our sub-tropical climate supports many species of insects. The key to protecting your home / business is prevention. Let’s face it, nobody likes paying for pest services; you do it because you know the consequences if you don’t! Minor termite activity can quickly become an expensive infestation.
Your home is 50 times more likely to be damaged by termites than a hurricane.
The chance of your home being invaded by some type of termite is far greater than damage from a hurricane. Florida is identified as being prone to Very Heavy Activity by the Termite Infestation Probability Map (TIP Zone Map) created by the International Residential Code. In fact, the chance of your home being damaged by termites is over 50% versus 1% of damage by a hurricane. You wouldn’t dream of not insuring your home against wind damage but your odds of structural damage by termites is actually 50 times greater! Maybe that is why most insurance plans do not cover damage from termites or other wood destroying organisms. Do you think your insurance carrier knows something you don’t?
Florida homeowners are subject to damage by several types of wood destroying insects and organisms. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) recognizes the following organisms as “wood destroying”:
- Eastern, Asian and Formosan subterranean termites
- West Indian Drywood termite
- Dampwood termite
- Powderpost beetles (true and false)
- Old House Borer
- Brown rot, white rot and poria fungi
It’s very likely, if your home has termites, you can’t sell it.
Most potential buyers today will have the home inspected for wood destroying organisms as a condition of a purchase offer. The VA/USDA require a clean report as a loan condition. Any buyer who purchases a Florida home without having the home inspected for wood destroying organisms is taking a huge risk.
Most transferrable termite guarantees only cover Eastern Subterranean termites.
But what if the home has active infestation from drywood termites, beetles or fungi? The new homeowner would not be protected!
There is only one way to protect yourself against termites if you are purchasing a home – have it inspected by a licensed WDO Inspector. The inspector will issue the required FDACS 13645 Form which will identify all types of wood destroying organisms found or alert you to conducive conditions in the home. Do not rely upon the Realtor’s assurance you do not need a WDO inspection because the home has a transferrable termite “bond”. Many realtors are confused in this regard. First, there is no such thing as a “termite bond”; there is only a guarantee or warranty which is issued by the pest control company – “bonds” are issued by surety companies. Again, most termite guarantees only cover new infestation by eastern subterranean termites (some do cover other termites/beetles) and there are different types of guarantees – retreatment only or retreatment and repair. There are different levels of financial responsibility such as “up to $50,000” or “up to $100,000”, etc. If you are going to rely upon a transferrable guarantee, make sure you understand what you are getting!
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