[dropcap]1[/fusion_dropcap] Termite damage happens from the inside out, so it can be difficult to find all the termite colonies in a structure, and there can be a lot of damage before there are visible signs of termites. According to independent research from the University of California , for local treatments to have maximum effectiveness, infested boards need to be accessible to drilling and treatment. By some estimates, inaccessible areas in (single-family) homes can represent 40% of the structural members. Inaccessible areas in multi-unit residences comprise50% to 70% of the structure. [dropcap]2[/fusion_dropcap]Termite queens can live up to 25 years and lay thousands of eggs a day. Killing the queen does not stop the colony. The colony just replaces the queen. The only way to stop the colony is to kill all of the termites. [dropcap]3[/fusion_dropcap] By the time you see a drywood termite swarm (sexually maturetermites called alates), the colony that produced the swarmis at least three years old. The only job of the alates is to create a new colony, often in another part of the same building. Multiple colonies in the same piece of wood may contain up to 10,000 individuals. [dropcap]4[/fusion_dropcap] Termites do not respect property rights. They often exist in the walls, roofs, attics, and crawlspaces of joined units. Its all wood to them! [dropcap]5[/fusion_dropcap] Termite damaged wood does not improve over time. Untreated, youll just end up with more damaged wood and more expensive repairs.
Check out these photos of actual wood we pulled from a termite damaged structure.
Either the HOA (Home Owners Association) pays if fumigation is necessary or the owners of joined properties split the bill.
Termites rarelyinfest only one unit of a multi-unit structure. Remember, termites eat from the inside out, so by the timedrywoodtermites create visible damage, theyve been attacking the wood foryears and have very likely spawnedseveral other colonies whose damage is not yet visible. Those colonies are often dispersed throughout the same structure. As much as an owner may wish to think their unit is unique, the fact is that termites know no boundaries. As long as your unit shares wood with another unit, it probably shares termites as well.
There is nothing wrong with treating an isolated, young colony, with a local treatment. But, as weve discussed, drywood termites are rarely local or young. However, as a termite inspection and control company, we often perform local treatments for drywood termites in townhousesonly becausethe owners of both units rarely agree on fumigation! In most cases, local treatment is a second best solution. HOAs usually authorize local treatments becausethey do not want the headacheof persuading multiple property owners to do the right thing: kill the termites and stop the property damage.
Even HOAs that understand the importance ofgetting rid of wood destroying termites, sometimes face the challenge of hold-out homeowners. In California, the HOA of one eight-unit townhouse complex that was riddled with drywood termites facedtwo lawsuits: one from the single hold-out who refused fumigation and the otherholding the HOA boardcollectively and individually responsible for all termite damage to the other sevenunitsbecause of the delay in fumigation!
Termite fumigation is less of a hassle than it was in the past. It is certainly a lot less of a hassle than having the wood framing on your windows disintegrate from termite damage. Fumigation requires that you bag someconsumable items in specialty bags provided by your termite company, remove plants and pets from your home, and take a 2 night/3 day vacation. Thats not much of a hassle to maintain your largest investment, is it?
Yes, we can fumigate townhouses, condominiums, and other multi-unit properties. Fumigation is the best way to ensure that drywood termites stop eating you out of house and home!