“I’ve received a letter from my pest control company about my home’s termite bond for Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus. What do I do?”
According to Dr. Eric Benson’s article on Formosan subterranean termites in SC (https://hgic.clemson.edu/formosan-termites-increase-distribution-in-sc/), “Formosan termites do not occur everywhere across South Carolina. Research and citizen reports documented by Clemson entomologists show Formosan termites as being established in 16 counties, Aiken, Bamberg, Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Jasper, Lexington, Orangeburg, Pickens, Richland, Sumter, and York counties. The discovery of Formosan termites does not mean they are found uniformly throughout a county; it just means locations in some areas of that county have had established infestations.”
Homeowners in South Carolina should be concerned about Formosan subterranean termites but not frightened of them. Dr. Benson says, “The same termite control products and strategies used to control native subterranean termites work on Formosan subterranean termites. Pest management professionals in our coastal counties have been successfully protecting homes from Formosan termite attacks for decades. The same can be done for homes in other parts of the state where Formosan termites may now be found.”
If the home is not currently under contract with a pest control company, “take the time to make an informed decision about the company and treatment options that are best for you.” Dr. Benson advises that homeowners interview one, two, or even three companies for inspection and service. “Look for a company that offers a good written guarantee for their work. You should feel comfortable that you are hiring a pest control company that knows what they are doing.” For more information on how to select a pest control company, see HGIC 2412, Choosing a Professional Pest Control Company.
If the home is currently under bond, homeowners should carefully and thoughtfully read the most recent version of their contracted bond. Contact the pest control company that holds the bond to discuss what subterranean termites are covered/not covered and what damage, if any, is covered by the current bond.
Depending on the terms of that contract, it may be necessary to amend or rewrite the contract.