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What You Need to Know About Termite Damage

Welcome back. FM Talk 106.5 Mobile Mornings. And I'm always thankful anytime this guy gets to come into the studio. And once again, Bryan Comer with Tobias & Comer Law, LLC. Bryan, thanks for coming in, man.

Thanks for having me, Dalton.

So, when you told me what we were going to be talking about today, I- - the first thing I did was cover my eyes because I've had some business with termites in the past, and it hasn't been good business on my end. Don't enjoy termites at all. And that's what we're talking today about termite damage and what folks can do if they are a victim of termite damage and not getting a fair shake. So let's talk about it. And these subterranean termites, I mean, I imagine, you have had so many people come to you and call your office and say, hey, I've had this problem. How can you help me out?

Yeah, absolutely. And a lot of people, anybody who lives here knows if you go out during the swarm season in May, typically where you got to turn off all the exterior lights and make sure that even some of your interior lights are off. But Mobile and Baldwin County are two of the hottest spots for subterranean termites, specifically Formosan termites in the entire country. And it's just the perfect confluence. They just love it here like we do. But it's the perfect confluence of the water and the temperature. And it was just perfect for them, unfortunately.

Yeah. The moisture and everything. Absolutely. I think I read I saw that list one time, and we were right there at or near the top at that time. Hawaii was up there. So you can kind of picture those climate. It's almost rare to talk with someone who's lived here for any amount of time who doesn't know what these termites are and what kind of damage they can cause.

That's right.

And that also means if you don't have the right bonds or the right kind of insurance to make sure that you're protected, if that happens to you, then you could be in a world of trouble.

Yeah, absolutely. And there are there are different kinds of bonds, and oftentimes people don't understand them. They can get kind of confusing. There's typically two different types of bonds that folks can get. Usually when you purchase your house, you're going to have a bond if you're renting a home, check into if your landlord has a bond on the house. But there are two different kinds. There are those that offer a repair and retreatment, which just as the name would sound, if there are termites there, it's going to cover retreatment, killing the termites, but then also repairing the damage. And then there's a retreat only. And they typically will only retreat and kill the termites that are there. But even in those situations, there are certain circumstances where repairs are warranted, too. But it's very important to make sure that you have the bond that you pay your premium on the bond if you have one, because it renews each year.

Yeah. And my wife and I, when we were first time homeowners, made that major mistake where we had the bond with who we bought it from. Once that ran out, we were looking at the cost. And having never dealt with something like that before, we were saying, man, maybe it's really not worth it. Well, that did end up biting us just about a year later after we made that decision. But I'm sure there are also instances where somebody thinks they have a certain bond, and then once it comes time to find out, they find out they don't have the right type. Like you said, there's two different kinds.

Yeah, absolutely. It's always a good idea to check the kind of bond that you have. It's really easy to do. All you got to do is contact your pest control company and they'll have it. You know, and it'll say right there at the top, what kind of bond you have.

What can you do if you do find that you have a lot of termite damage?

So, the first thing you need to do is obviously put the carrier on notice or put the company, the bond holder, on who you have the bond with, put them on notice of the claim. And so then they'll come out, they'll evaluate the scene, and they're supposed to treat whichever kind of termite bond you have, they're supposed to treat and kill the termites. That's the first thing you want to do. And then it's important to find out how bad the damage goes. There's also an Alabama governmental entity, the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, is the entity that regulates pest control companies. And if necessary, you can file a complaint with them and they can come out and actually take a look at the full scope of the damage.


Yeah. And make sure that, it's free to you as a citizen, but to make sure that the termites have been eradicated and that see the full scope of what's going on.

What's that office called again?

It’s the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry.


In Montgomery.

Yeah. That seems like really good to know that something like this happens. It's almost we've talked so many times about really difficult things when you've come in here, whether it's car wrecks or pedestrians or some of these products that are actually very dangerous. And someone's probably thinking termites if they've never been involved with something like that, how much money could it actually cost you? And how bad could this make your life? But I'm sure you've seen and have talked to people that they come by and say, listen, these termites, they're ruining my life right now,


And I'm just trying to look for some recourse.

Yeah. Everybody's home is their Castle. Right. And so that's the place we go where we feel safe. That's the place where we raise our families. It's where we live, it's where we eat, it's where we raise families. And so the mental toll, I think, is just as big, if not bigger, than the actual damage to the property for most of termites, in particular, a particular kind of subterranean termite. And they can eat, they can, it's disgusting how quickly they can eat through a house. And so, it’s usually it's always hidden because they're eating the studs and the back of the sheet rock when you're not seeing it typically. And when you see them, that typically means that the colony is already big and developed. And I want to be careful there because there is a distinction. And we have the swarming season. And so that's when you see the little things flying all over the place, that's when they're trying to move as a colony. Okay. But that doesn't mean that your house is infested with termites. If you have an established colony, sometimes they'll be coming out of that. But that's why it's important, if you see them to call your pest control company. Have them come out and take a look at it.

It's insane how deep those termites can go in the ground as well. So if someone has been burned in the past and recently, because we've all seen the stories in the news about some of these companies and what they've been doing over the years, and they want to find out if they have a case, can they call you?

Absolutely. Just like any other case of defective product or a drunk driver, there's never a consultation fee or anything, but they can reach out to us at or call us at 251-432-5001 set up a time. And I'll be happy, Desi, or I’d be happy to talk with them about their case and meet with them and go and look at the house if we need to, whatever we need to do and answer their questions and then see if there's something we can help with.

That's fantastic and good to hear. And I know there's a lot of people out there dealing with some serious situations involving termites, but you guys do a lot more than just termites.

We do.

 I mentioned some of them earlier, drunk driving, people that were driving on drugs, terrible accidents. You guys have covered the span of things at the Tobias & Comer Law, LLC. And if they have questions about those, is that the same number they can reach out to?

Yeah, absolutely. And you're right. What I usually tell folks is that if something bad has happened and God forbid that it ever does, but if it does and it's happened to them or a loved one, feel free to reach out to us, whether it's somebody injured on the many waterways here that we live and live by and enjoy, or whether, like you said, it's a defective product or even termites or something like that, then we'll be happy to talk with them and see if it's something we can help with.

And one of the many reasons I love talking with you and Desi when you come in is I know there's a lot of the bad that comes with your job, some of the stuff you've had to see and families who have just been in so much pain. But on the good side of things, I mean you learn about a different subject almost all the time. Your depth of knowledge is so expansive and things like termites, it's like, wow, you guys really go all in and learn all you can about it before you work these cases and that's why I really appreciate talking with you. So, thanks for coming in, Bryan.

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