When it comes to constructing new timber-framed homes, termites are always a concern. Luckily for some US citizens, not all states contain high termite populations. In states that do contain high termite populations, there are laws in place to protect home-buyers from purchasing termite-infested properties. Usually, a termite inspection report must be completed before a home’s purchase. However, the responsibility for obtaining this report can fall on the seller, the buyer or neither depending on state laws. In addition to state laws, the Federal Government has also enacted certain laws to protect properties from destructive termites. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development is the government agency that is responsible for enforcing laws that relate to public property, infrastructure and government backed real estate practices. This government body is only concerned with real estate deals that are financed with government money. When it comes to establishing termite related laws, individual states possess the greatest degree of discretion, but the federal government steps in on occasion. For example, HUD recently declared that southern Minnesota is at risk of being invaded by destructive subterranean termite species. Traditionally, HUD has dismissed the state of Minnesota as being at low risk for destructive termite activity, but now this assessment has changed. HUD’s new declaration is upsetting some lenders and real-estate developers as any property paid for with government money will now have to be subjected to federal laws concerning termites.
Since termite infestations can become expensive, it is in the government’s best interest to protect their property investments from infestations. Since Minnesota is a northern state with a colder climate, termites are not considered major pests in the state. However, considering the modern trend of climate change, termite populations are establishing themselves in more northerly regions. According to HUD spokesman, Brian Sullivan, termites have always belonged on the list of states that are at risk for termite infestations; its disclusion in the past was merely an “oversight”.
Do you think that termite infestations will become more frequent in American states that share a border with Canada?