Before the housing market began to collapse, preconstruction termite prevention was having its heyday, as hundreds of homes went up on a regular basis and owners demanded termite pretreatments as added insurance against termites. Many termite control firms in various states, including Arizona, were making most of their income on such pretreatments as recently as six or five years ago. But in the last six years, the housing market has undergone a massive change. For example, the number of homes going up six years ago was about two million. Now, six years later, that number has been reduced to a quarter of the original figure.
The collapse began when it finally became clear that the wrong decisions were being made by homeowners, who often ended up using their homes as leverage for other loans. The years prior to the collapse saw so many homes being built because that was traditionally the American dream: to manage to make at least one big investment that would permit a person or persons to retire safely and happily later on. Since most Americans feared or were intimidated by the tough investment worlds of stocks and business, they ended up investing in their homes, waiting for the structures to appreciate. In the excitement to make good investments, however, too many people paid too much and prices went overboard, with people still buying. When the loans started catching up on homeowners, the first signs of collapse began to show, leading to the heavy foreclosures we see today and the severe decline in the price of housing. The impact of these changes has been significant on the preconstruction termite control industry.
The termite control firms exclusively focused on pretreatments have nearly all gone extinct. Those who focused on it (albeit not exclusively) have since branched out into other forms of termite and pest control in a bid to stay alive in this market. Even so, experts caution that the demand is still weak for post-construction treatments as well. It only stands to reason that if homeowners are so pressed for money that they can no longer afford pretreatments, it would be more likely for them to try and resolve their current termite issues or infestations by themselves using DIY methods, as opposed to hiring skilled and trained technicians to handle their termite problems for them.
What all of this makes clear is that termite prevention companies now have to focus on diversifying their offerings if they want to stay afloat, and that hard times shall still be here for quite a while. The goal now is to help homeowners see that their homes are still investments in a sense—they are the places where families live, where households are held together—and require protection from termites in order for their prices not to drop even lower.