Did you and your home survive our annual May/June termite swarming season?  Or, didn’t you notice all those wings and other body parts resting on your windowsills?  Does that mean you have termites in your home?  Maybe.

Unless you’re an expert on termites, this is one of those areas that’s almost impossible to pin down and, ultimately, you have to rely on the experts for advice.  Trouble is, not all the experts agree on what to do or how to do it.

Let’s start from the top.  When termites swarm, they may or may not find their way into your home.  If they do, it doesn’t mean you definitely have dry wood termites chomping on your wood beams and trusses. Even if you do have termites, you may not see evidence of it for quite a while until they start leaving their wings or the results of their eating habits in your attic, on your windowsills, etc.

One caveat.  When termites swarm, they are not auto-matically swarming from the outside.  It may mean that a colony of termites that has been in your home for some time has finally decided to take a vacation and swarm from within the home trying to find a way to get the family out as a group.

So, if the swarming is from the inside you can rest assured that you have termites somewhere in the home. Now comes the hard part.  You call a national or local termite company, they confirm your suspicion that you likely have termites, and they give you the option to either fumigate your home by tenting it or treat the problem with chemicals and avoid the tenting process.  

If you’ve ever tented your house, any other option is enticing because of the work you have to do to prepare your home for tenting.  But, if your house is at all large, the odds are that you’ll eventually have to tent it to make certain that the termites are put to bed. There are areas of most houses that chemical treatment cannot reach effectively, and you ultimately end up having the home tented.

The termite experts are fond of saying that there are two kinds of home owners in Florida, those who have  had termites and those who will get termites.  The best advice is to study your situation carefully, meet with several termite companies and understand their recommendations and the bases for them as best you can, then make a decision based on how best to get rid of the termites for your own sake and for the sake of the next owner if you decide to sell  your home.

Finally, just a note about the cost of tenting your home. You’ll probably get a range of prices to do the tenting from the various companies in the business, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. Don’t forget the cost of staying somewhere while the home is being tented, the cost to store food and other items that you may need or want to remove from the home during tenting, the expense of boarding your dogs or cats during the process, and then replacing those food and other items that don’t survive being exiled from the home and need to be replaced.  The cost of vacating the home may well be as much as the cost of tenting.  Just something else to keep in mind.

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