buggybumperSeptember 10, 2004

Labor Day of 2002: dozens of termites were swarming in my 2nd bathroom. Rental office was called and they sent up a maintenance man with a can of spray. I told them I wanted a professional exterminator, and one was sent a few days later. He found termites and extensive wood damage on the balcony, which he treated (sprayed). He told me that the whole building needed to be tented. Wood was replaced by landlord. I learned that numerous other residents (in my bldg. and others) had found termites inside their apts., which were sprayed by apt.'s maintenance man.

Fall of 2003: a kick-out hole was discovered in living room which means termites are inside wall. Maintenance man was sent to spray and patch hole. I've noticed several areas damaged by termites throughout the complex and seen lots of balcony railings replaced the last two years.

Labor Day of 2004: return from out of town to find that termites have again swarmed in 2nd bathroom. Find them throughout the apt. (alive) for the next few days.

I obviously need to find another place to live because the owners seem to be contented with "band-aid fixes." My main concern is my furniture. What if termites have gotten inside and I don't find out until after I've moved? Can I request the owner to "microwave" my furniture now?

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Termites can't colonize without a source of water ... your furniture is safe.

And before you leave, call the city housing or safety department. The thought of TERMITE infested balconies sounds like some serious accidents waiting to happen.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2004 at 9:26AM
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Thanks for your response, lazygardens.

We have a lovely species of termite in California called drywood termites, which doesn't require a water source (like the subterranean termites you're probably familiar with). Drywood termites are commonly found in furniture. I talked to Orkin when I was visiting family in Georgia (they were doing a termite inspection at my Mom's) and was told that the only time they see drywood termites is in furniture that has shipped from the Southwest.

So it's a legitimate worry, especially since they are very difficult to detect. I could not realize termites are within my furniture until several years down the road when it's been destroyed. That's why treatment (tenting, microwaving, etc.) should be done with my furnite inside because it kills the undetected termites.

However, if the owners continue to ignore the problem and won't have professionals treat the whole building, what can I do regarding my furniture??

    Bookmark   September 20, 2004 at 2:03PM
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"However, if the owners continue to ignore the problem and won't have professionals treat the whole building, what can I do regarding my furniture??"

Ask a termite professional.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2004 at 10:19PM
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I have. Orkin (in Ga.) told me that they have vaults to treat furniture. I contacted Orkin in California and Terminix, and they don't have vaults. I will continue to look for a way to treat furniture. However, I would like to know if the owners can be held liable and have to pay for the treatment. There's nothing in my lease regarding termites. Thanks again...

    Bookmark   September 24, 2004 at 12:32PM
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Part of a landlord's obligations (by law, not by lease) is to keep the premises in good repair. If their failure to act correctly caused damage to your stuff - yes, they are responsible. Just as if you reported a problem with a toilet not flushing correctly and it overflowed and soaked your stuff.

However, you will probably have to sue them to get your money.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2004 at 11:28AM
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I have, recently,(on a saturday) discovered termites in my apartment. They were all over my kitchen and entire living room -wall to wall. When I found out that I had termites, I immediately phoned my landlords "contact numbers". I was hung up on and afterward refused to have someone come and inspect the situation until the next business day. Their excuse was that there was no such thing as a 24 hr. pest control service and the next available date would be a monday. Monday came, I called the landlords' phone from my job (leaving the number 2 times)and asked him to please call back my work number before he planned anything. Needless to say, he never called me,instead he entered my apartment when my boyfriend was home (never calling me) and never made it a point to fix the problem. He told my boyfriend that he had spoken to me before unlocking the door and he was not going to have anyone to check the termites until thu. or fri.

Since then, I have tried many of times to get in contact with the landlord. I have left many messages in regards to my furniture being only a couple of months new and the termites eating even the sub-floor below the carpet. Do you have any advice for me and the situation that I am currently in?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 12:55AM
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Do you have renter's insurance? Contact them, and tell them that believe that your furniture has been infested with termites from your building and the landlord has not done anything since being contacted by you when you informed him that his building was infested. They will contact your landlord. Maybe his response to them will be quicker.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 8:11AM
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