Termites can be defeated - even in house built on a slab

Several years ago our house was invaded with termites and there was extensive damage. Twice more the exterminators had to re-treat the house, and each time there was heavy damage. During the third treatment the company stopped and offered to refund all charges, saying the house was on a slab and therefore was untreatable and the legally allowable chemicals were ineffective. What should we now do? A reader Jackson, Mich.

A In the opinion of experts, concrete slabs are easy to treat for termites, unless there are complicating features such as radiant heating or heat ducts buried in or under the slab.

These latter problems are difficult to handle for even the best pest-control operators, but are by no means unsolvable.

True, there are some chemicals that were once usable by exterminators and now are forbidden, but that sounds more like an excuse than a reason to bail out of your house problem.

If it were my house, I'd get opinions from two or three responsible, experienced pest-control operators. Get in touch with members of the National Pest Control Association, 8150 Leesburg Pike, Suite 1100, Vienna, Va. 22180. If you want to telephone the organization, dial: (703) 790-8300.

What's your home-building or upkeep problem? Forrest M. Holly, a former West Coast builder now living in Arizona, has been answering such questions in this column for the past 17 years. Send questions to the Real Estate Editor, The Christian Science Monitor, One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115.

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