If you live in Southern California, this unfortunately, is a question that you may have to ask at some point. The cold hard truth is that there are more termites living in Southern California than humans and they can cause a lot of damage. So does a drywood termite infestation equate to an automatic fumigation? The quick and easy answer is no.
However, the main issue that is of supreme importance is the issue of inaccessibility. The rules and regulations that govern all termite companies in the state of California mandate that if a drywood termite infestation is found within a structure and extends into inaccessible areas that the primary recommendation must be an all encompassing treatment (fumigation). Or the area of infestation can be opened up to make the previously inaccessible area now accessible. Only after this primary recommendation is offered, a secondary “substandard” recommendation can be offered.
The biggest problem that I see within the industry is that many companies forget to offer this required recommendation and in turn, mislead consumers to believe that a “local” treatment is just as effective as a fumigation. This is simply not true. Furthermore, the prices for local treatments are typically less than a fumigation but just high enough to cover multiple trips to retreat area(s) where the local treatment is not working. Sadly, in real estate transactions the seller is paying the cost for multiple treatments well after they have left their house and the buyer is getting a treatment that is not going to effectively work.
So back to the original question. I have termites, do I have to fumigate my house? The answer is no but remember the issue of inaccessibility. We at Nordhagen and Daughters Inspections Co., Inc. are happy to provide both recommendations (fumigation and local treatment). We also refuse to mislead our customers.