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FAQ: Preconstruction Termite Treatments 101
By: Robert (Bob) Batman

This FAQ is limited to two types of termite treatment: 1) soil treatment, and; 2) baiting service.

1. What is the a preconstruction termite treatment? A. Termite treatments can be classified as either 1) existing structure treatment or 2) preconstruction treatment. Preconstruction treatment refers to treatment performed prior to or during construction. See 2 and 3 below.

2. When is a preconstruction soil treatment performed? A. For a termite soil treatment ("treatment") to be classified as a preconstruction treatment, the treatment must be performed in accordance with the termiticide (pesticide used for termite treating) label instructions and it must be performed during construction (prior to pouring of concrete footings and slabs). Basically, a preconstruction treatment is the same as an existing structure treatment with the following exception: treatment is performed to certain surface areas' prior to the pouring of concrete footings and slabs (floors, stoops, patios, walkways, driveways, or etc.) over the surface area. You can forget treating the soil under a footing after the footing is poured. If you have to drill-treat floors, stoops, patios, walkways, driveways, or other obstructions, you are performing an existing structure treatment, not a preconstruction treatment.

3. Can a termite baiting service be performed prior to construction?

A. Yes. Here's an actual example: A friend of mine asked me to put monitor and baiting stations in an area of known termite infestation which also happened to be the location where he planned to build a combination barn, four car garage and workshop at some time in the near future (within 2 or 3 years). His thinking was to eliminate, if possible, the termite colony or colonies prior to disturbing the area during construction. This would be one example of preconstruction treatment. A monitor and baiting service in this case would be practical, however, soil treatment would not.

Termite monitor and baiting stations would probably be damaged during the construction of a building, therefore, it is best to perform initial instillation of monitor and/or bait stations following construction.

4. What about state law and its affect on how a preconstruction treatment is performed?

A. Some states have more to say (requirements) than others regarding preconstruction termite treatments. A good professional pest control company should know exactly what is required in the state(s) they operate.

5. What about scheduling the termite treatment crew...what should I do?

A. Check with the treatment company about any advance notice requirements regarding scheduling a treatment crew to the treatment site. Remember, all the contractor's workers must leave the treatment site during treatment and cannot return until the termiticide has been absorbed into the soil and has dried. Treatment cannot be performed when the ground is frozen or saturated or if workers are at the treatment site.

If a contractor does not cooperate, that is something you will have to deal with: the treatment crew will simply leave the treatment site untreated, and you will have to reschedule for their services. Expect an additional service charge for the wasted trip. Some people actually require their contractor to include the preconstruction termite soil treatment in the contractor's building specifications along with a statement pertaining to the builder being responsible for scheduling the service with the customer's treatment company and delaying construction in case inclement weather delays the treatment.

Do not blame the treatment company if the builder/contractor poured concrete before the treatment crew arrived. This is a common occurrence and a situation you will have to take up with your builder/contractor. Expect an additional charge, if the treatment crew has to return or drill-treat through concrete to perform part of the treatment.

6. What about the contractor's workers disrupting the soil following a preconstruction soil treatment?

A. Disturbance of treated soil is a common occurrence at construction sites. This is something which is beyond the control of the termite treatment company. Normally, the preconstruction treatment service price is based on either two (2) or three (3) trips to the treatment site: 1) prior to placement of footings, 2) prior to placement of ground level slabs (basement, garage, stoops, patios, driveways, etc.), and; 3) following final backfill and grade. Sometimes, depending on the structure and contractor's methods, final backfill and grade can be treated at the same time as the areas where concrete slabs are to be poured. Expect to pay an additional amount for each additional (extra) trip you or your contractor request. Remember, you will need to give appropriate advance notice to the treatment company for each trip.

7. Don't all builders pre-treat the houses they build for termites?

A. No. Certain FHA, VA, and HUD construction and some commercial construction requires either preconstruction termite soil treatment or a baiting service, or combination of both. Other types of construction do not require preconstruction treatment. If your builder claims your house was pre-treated for termites, s/he should be able to provide you appropriate treatment documents from a professional pest control operator.

8. I plan to build a new house in a lake community. What kind of preventative termite treatment do you recommend?

A. Actually, I would have to visit the site before recommending anything, and my recommendation may depend on several factors. The only control recommendation I would give without visiting the site would be a termite baiting service.

If you live in the Greater Kansas City Missouri/Kansas Area and need Termite Treatment/Service, Give Best Exterminators, Inc. a call
(816) 765-8844 or (913) 671-8844.

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