Thursday, October 1, 2009

Irvin warns Georgians to protect structures against termite infestation after recent flooding

Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin alerts Georgians that they need to “consider options” in preventing future termite infestations as a result of recent flooding in the northern part of the state.

“Structures in Georgia are particularly vulnerable to termite attack and it is important to be protected,” says Irvin, whose department license structural pest control operators.

The recent rainfall -- and subsequent flooding -- have saturated soils and damaged homes and businesses that will require major rebuilding. Irvin says now is a good time to review or re-establish termite control measures that may have been disturbed by the flooding.
Irvin says home and business owners should always seek professional help when dealing with termites.

“A licensed pest management professional can best answer the question ‘Is my home or business still protected against termites?’” Irvin says. “If you have a liquid termiticide barrier treatment or termite monitoring/baiting programs (to protect your structure), it is essential that the pest control company determine if the barrier or stations have been disturbed by heavy rains or flooding.”

Re-treatment of termiticide or re-installation of a baiting program may be required.

Irvin says a trained structural pest control professional will be able to look for soil erosion and ascertain if soil has been carried away by the rains and flood and deposited away from a foundation or next to it. If there is a shifting of soil away from a foundation, it may be probable that termite re-treatment will be necessary.

Irvin says re-treatment may also be needed if there is movement of adjacent attached slabs such as patios, porches, driveways and sidewalks or a foundation.

“The disturbance of the liquid barrier treatment or termite monitoring system is an unfortunate occurrence, and is neither the fault of the homeowner, business owner, or the pest control company,” the commissioner says. “A property owner needs to review their termite control contract to see who is responsible for the reestablishment of the termite protection. This can be found in the terms and conditions of the contract.”

Irvin advises home and business owners to be cautious, in addition to using and seeking the advice only of licensed professional pest control companies.

“If a company is not licensed in Georgia, it is illegal for them to practice termite control work, and your property will not be professionally protected,” Irvin says. “If you are in doubt, call Structural Pest Control, Georgia Department of Agriculture at (404) 656-3641.” You can also verify a company’s operator’s license at

“Being inadequately protected is a gamble that you should not entertain,” Irvin says. “You want to be 100-percent certain that you don’t have a termite problem because if you guess wrong, it could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Here, an ounce of prevention is the best course.”

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