How to Ace the Pest Test

Greenwald Gerke


November 30, 2020

How to Ace the Pest Test … 

Finding a Trustworthy Company is Key to Successful Termite Eradication

By Ron Greenwald and Patti Gerke

*First published for the Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC)

The owner of a decrepit, century-old, wooden barn once remarked, “The only thing keeping it standing is 10,000 termites holding hands.” 

Termites are everywhere – literally. They’re one of earth’s most ubiquitous insects. Colonies thrive on every continent except Antarctica. Termite queens can live for more than 30 years; much longer than the wooden structures they hungrily destroy.

Whether you are a property manager, a homeowner looking to remain in your home or in the process of selling a home, termites are not your friend. Trying to eradicate them on your own with retail products will treat only the symptoms – visible insects – not the cause. For complete, enduring removal, you need to hire a pro.

Beware the Sting

If you don’t want to get bitten by an unqualified or nefarious operator, choosing the right pest inspection company is critical. Misleading information and outright scams abound, says 30-year industry professional Dan Hume, owner of Hume & Company Termite and Damage Repair Specialists. 

He says, “Never feel pressured into hiring someone. Always ask to see the license of the contractor performing the service. If you feel unsure, get a second opinion.”

Hume describes the “termite hamster wheel” in which the pest problem is never resolved, and the homeowner continues paying year after year because they do not understand the history of their structure or root cause of the termite problem. 

In California, subterranean termites swarm in spring, whereas drywood termites swarm in fall; especially during Santa Ana winds. In both cases, since the little buggers cannot always be seen while they are wreaking havoc, inspections should be conducted annually with a full Pest Inspection Report provided to the owner. 

Hume recommends that people avoid contracts and instead opt for annual free inspections. He notes that unlike regions in other parts of the country, “our” termites are a less aggressive species. Do not give into fear propagated by deceitful operators that you MUST remedy the problem immediately. You have time.

Follow the Three Rs

Pest companies are not all the same. You want to find someone who is reliable, reputable, and recommended. 

Pest control is a genuine craft. Professional practitioners have an abundance of knowledge of the root cause, which they should be eager to share with prospective clients. Many factors must be considered, from the cubic volume ensuring that a fumigation will be successful to repairing damaged wood, which a termite company typically is not licensed to perform and bring to code.

Our advice is to do your homework. Choosing the right termite company should be done through referrals. Do not be afraid to ask questions.

Determine if the company performs thorough inspections and, importantly, if it follows stringent Structural Pest Control Board laws for the fumigation process.

As Greenwald & Gerke Realty Team, we are experienced in all home-selling aspects and in marshaling professional resources on your behalf. We are here to provide complimentary assistance and referrals.   We are here to help make the rest of your life, the best of your life!

Finding a trustworthy pest control company is the secret to saying, “Termites Be Gone!”

Here at Greenwald & Gerke, we always have your safety in mind. If you are a senior or have a senior in your life that you care about, call us now to maximize the joy in their life: (844) 782-9674.
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Greenwald & Gerke Realty Team


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San Diego, CA 92130

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