Townhouse with termites

Townhouses and condominiums are excellent candidates for fumigation when drywood termites are found. So then, why are so few townhouses, condos, and other multi-unit structures fumigated? It’s difficult enough for an HOA to get residents to agree upon a date and menu for a barbecue party, let alone build consensus for something as little fun, though far more essential to property upkeep, as a drywood termite fumigation.

If you own a townhouse with at drywood termite problem and you want to schedule a fumigation, the first thing you must do is speak with the neighbors in the adjoining units–because the fumigation tent must cover their units as well. The information below will help educate you and your neighbors about the efficacy of termite fumigation versus local treatments. Once everyone has all the facts, it’s much easier to agree on the best solution to protect your adjoining homes.

5 Essentials of Townhouse Fumigation

To understand the reason that fumigation for drywood termites may be recommended for a townhouse, it is important to understand a few things about drywood termites.

[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 comprise 50% 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 mature termites called alates), the colony that produced the swarm is 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. It’s all wood to them!

[dropcap]5[/fusion_dropcap] Termite damaged wood does not improve over time. Untreated, you’ll 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.

Drywood Termite Damage

Frequently Asked Questions About Townhouse Fumigation

Who pays?

Either the HOA (Home Owners Association) pays if fumigation is necessary or the owners of joined properties split the bill.

Why does My Unit Need Fumigation? Termites are My Neighbor’s Problem

Termites rarely infest only one unit of a multi-unit structure. Remember, termites eat from the inside out, so by the time drywood termites create visible damage, they’ve been attacking the wood for years and have very likely spawned several 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.

What’s Wrong with Local Treatment? That’s what the HOA Recommends

There is nothing wrong with treating an isolated, young colony, with a local treatment. But, as we’ve 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 townhouses–only because the owners of both units rarely agree on fumigation! In most cases, local treatment is a second best solution. HOA’s usually authorize local treatments because they do not want the headache of persuading multiple property owners to do the right thing: kill the termites and stop the property damage.

Even HOA’s that understand the importance of getting 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 faced two lawsuits: one from the single hold-out who refused fumigation and the other holding the HOA board collectively and individually responsible for all termite damage to the other seven units because of the delay in fumigation!

Isn’t Fumigation a Big Hassle?

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 some consumable items in specialty bags provided by your termite company, remove plants and pets from your home, and take a 2 night/3 day vacation. That’s not much of a hassle to maintain your largest investment, is it?

Townhouses can be Fumigated for drywood termites. Thrasher Termite & Pest Control

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!