Eastern subterranean termites are abundant in Massachusetts, but infested houses in the state can almost always be treated before serious structural issues emerge. When homes in Massachusetts do suffer extensive termite damages, the reason is always due to several years of neglect, and this is certainly the case when it comes to the historically notable Greek revival home located at 34 Pleasant street in Rowley. This house has been at the center of controversy for the past several years due to the extensive termite damage that it has sustained. The home has reportedly been infested with termites for decades, and the infestation has been growing out of control since at least the 1970s. Rowley Historical Commission board members and most Rowley residents don’t want to see the house torn down despite the house’s heavily termite-infested conditions. The resident’s wish to save the house is not due to an interest in preserving history as much as it is about preventing the house’s termites from flooding into nearby homes if the house were to be demolished. The private owner, however, wants to demolish the home to make way for a new ranch style house that would cost significantly less money than renovating the current property.
The Greek style home was built in the town back during the 1860s, but in recent decades, residents have come to resent the home’s existence due to its dilapidated condition, as many argue that the home has been nothing more than an eyesore for the past 30 years. Residents also feel uncomfortable living next to a home that has contained a growing infestation of termites for at least the past 40 years. Residents fear that if the home is demolished, the termites will attempt to seek refuge in their houses located nearby; instead, they want to see the home restored and its termite inhabitants eradicated professionally. Residents have grown frustrated with the historical commission’s slowness to have the home inspected in order to determine if it can be renovated. The longer the commission waits, the larger the termite population in the home grows, and this puts other nearby homes at risk of falling victim to a termite infestation. The home has gaping holes in the roof and the second floor has partially collapsed due to termite damage, but the home remains standing to this day, albeit in slightly better shape.
Would you worry about succumbing to a termite infestation if you lived near the termite-infested home?