The Heat Is On...And So Is The Termite Pressure

Monday, June 15, 2009

By NPMA Staff

 

When the summer season begins and the temperature rises across the country, homeowners should be attentive to termite pressure - a potential problem that can impact their single greatest investment. As termites can feed on wood, sheetrock, wallpaper and fabric, an infestation can possibly affect the structural dependability of one's home.

"Termites cause over $5 billion in property damage every year," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "Warm weather combined with the increased moisture, which we experience in summer months, may increase termite pressure. Although termites do not pose as health threat like mosquitoes, ticks and rodents, they do pose a threat to your home. Summer is a perfect time to both inspect your property for these hard to detect pests and take proactive steps to try to prevent infestations."

NPMA experts offer these tips to help homeowners prevent termite infestations:

  • Avoid any moisture at the foundation of your home.
  • Divert water away from your property through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
  • Reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation.
  • Prevent shrubs, vines and other vegetation from becoming overgrown and covering vents.
  • Remove old form boards and grade stakes, which may have been left behind after a home was constructed.
  • Eliminate any wood that comes into contact with the soil; maintain an 18-inch gap between soil and any wood.
  • Routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of termite damage.

"Just as parents wouldn't prescribe medicine for their children, homeowners shouldn't attempt to remedy a termite infestation in their own home," advises Henriksen. "If you suspect termites in your home, contact a licensed pest professional whose expertise and technology can best rid your home of these unwanted pests and prevent future infestations."