Terminix Survey Reveals Homeowners Mistakenly Believe They are Protected
MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent survey* revealed nearly 22 million Americans,** or 19 percent of homeowners, may risk large out-of-pocket expenditures because they think homeowners' insurance will pay to repair damage caused by termites. Unfortunately, termite damage is usually not covered by homeowner insurance policies, according to John Chapman, an entomologist with Terminix. "Consequently, a large number of homeowners who think they are covered for termite damage repairs might not arrange to contract for termite coverage." The median sale price of a house in the United States is $118,200*** which, for most Americans, is their largest family investment. "Homeowners should work with a professional termite control company, such as Terminix, to keep their investment from termite attack and the damage they can cause," Chapman advised. A trained termite control professional, experienced in the inspection and treatment process, can make the most accurate determination of the existence of termite evidence, type of termite, and the best method to control and/or eliminate the colony. The professional also can utilize the most advanced technology when treatment is required. "There are treatment options available that make termite control more convenient and less invasive for homeowners," Chapman said. To help homeowners know where and when termites are most active, Terminix will broadcast a termite swarm alert daily through May 2 on The Weather Channel at 7:50 a.m. (EST). The termite swarm alert may also be accessed on the Terminix web site at www.terminix.com. This special report includes a map indicating where termites are currently swarming or have swarmed earlier. According to Chapman, most termite damage in the United States is caused by native subterranean termites. "Formosan termites have been very active," he said, "and many people are concerned that they may be at risk for a Formosan infestation. Even though the Formosan is the most aggressive and potentially destructive termite species in the United States, homeowners should be aware that it is found almost exclusively in southern coastal areas, port cities and Hawaii." Chapman has the following additional suggestions for homeowners: -- Make sure firewood and lumber are not stacked against the house. -- Grade the soil around the foundation so it carries water away from the house. Keep gutters and downspouts in good repair. -- Set any wooden posts, such as deck supports, on concrete pads, so they don't have direct contact with the ground. -- Use pressure-treated wood where wood will contact or come close to the soil. -- Avoid having exterior veneers and stucco extend below grade level. Six inches of clearance is recommended. When choosing a termite control company, keep the following points in mind: -- Look for a reputable company with representatives knowledgeable about termite habits, types of construction, treatment specifications and state regulations. -- Ask friends and associates for referrals. -- Look for memberships in industry associations such as the National Pest Control Association (NPCA) that provide ethical guidelines and technical information. -- Find out if continued coverage is offered that includes treatment for reinfestation and repairs for future damage, and ask if it is renewable each year. -- Be certain the company is licensed by your state's regulatory agency. Terminix, founded in 1927, was the first company to be awarded a U.S. patent for a termiticide. Since then, the company has spent decades studying all types of structural pests and how to control them effectively in homes and businesses. Terminix operates 876 service centers in 44 states with locations in 12 foreign countries, as well. The company offers one of the best termite protection plans in the industry. For more information, call 1-800-TERMINIX or visit the Terminix web site at www.terminix.com. * September 1998 OmniTel random survey ** Based on 1997 U.S. Census Bureau estimate of 115,621,000 total housing units *** 1996 National Association of Realtors median sale price of a house
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