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Sutersville Council ponders termite control

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The ground termites that have been chewing away in the kitchen of the Sutersville Municipal Center have received a reprieve from the exterminator, possibly for a few more weeks, as borough officials seek clarity on prices being proposed by exterminators interested in doing the job.

Sutersville Council President William Ringbloom said at the council meeting last week the borough needs to learn whether the three companies would deduct the cost of exterminating termites in the kitchen, if the borough wants extermination services for the entire building after the kitchen is treated. Ringbloom and fellow council members Jaison Marshall and Edward Marvich Jr. will review the bids from the pest control firms.

Terminex International Co. Ltd. of Memphis, Tenn., proposed to treat the kitchen for $480, but would add more with some additional fees. Professional Pest Management Systems of West Newton would charge $504 for termite control services, while Cook Exterminating of West Newton would charge $530 for extermination work in the kitchen.

To treat the entire building, including the space for the borough's volunteer fire department, Professional Pest Management would charge $8,000; Cook Exterminating would charge $3,710; and Terminex would charge $3,485. Terminex would add extra fees, but has offered a free one-year service agreement, Ringbloom said.

Borough officials also want to learn what service agreement the pest control companies are offering for work in the municipal center's kitchen.

Exterminators that inspected the 55-year-old building found that the ground termites are underneath the structure, as well as in the kitchen, said Valerie Converso, borough secretary.

Council had solicited bids for termite control services after Mike Manley, assistant chief of the Sutersville Volunteer Fire Department, told council that termite damage can be seen in the kitchen and the insects are emerging through the floor.

Marshall said in August that the termites are isolated in one section of the building, a cupboard area.

Sutersville's problems with ground termites are not unusual because eastern subterranean termites are present throughout the state and often damage structural timbers in buildings, according to Pennsylvania State University's College of Agriculture Sciences. When this damage becomes evident, it is usually the result of years of infestation.

Controlling termites in a building can involve making structural changes, such as using pressure-treated wood at places where the wood is in contact with soil or chemical treatment. Either method when used alone may provide the desired results, but when structural and chemical methods are combined, the most satisfactory results are often obtained, Penn State said.

In other matters, council expressed concern about the potential for an increase in truck traffic when the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation places a 36-ton weight limit on the West Newton Bridge.

PennDOT had announced earlier this month it was placing a 36-ton weight limit on the structurally deficient bridge. The bridge did not have a weight limit prior to PennDOT's decision.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-836-5252.