Top 10 Termite Prevention Tips

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Slide4After the long, cold winter experienced across much of the country, spring can’t come soon enough for many people. Before we know it, daylight will last longer, flowers will start blooming and children will be spending more time playing outdoors. But, as the weather continues to warm, people may also start to see an unwelcome sign that spring has sprung – the presence of swarmers, or flying termites.

Spring is prime termite season as swarmers emerge to mate and establish new colonies, which often include vulnerable residential properties. Termites can literally eat a home out from under its owners, often without them even knowing until much damage has been done. They have the ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected, 24/7, and can compromise the structural stability of a home within several years depending on the species. In fact, termites cause $5 billion worth of property damage annually.

Luckily, there are many steps homeowners can take to help prevent termites from infesting their property. Here are 10 tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) to protect your greatest investment from termites:

  1. Eliminate or reduce moisture in and around the home, which termites need to thrive.
  2. Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and exterior AC units.
  3. Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles.
  4. Replace weather stripping and loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
  5. Divert water away from the house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
  6. Routinely inspect the foundation of a home for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), cracked or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
  7. Monitor all exterior areas of wood, including windows, doorframes and skirting boards for any noticeable changes.
  8. Maintain an 18-inch gap between soil and any wood portions of your home.
  9. Consider scheduling a professional inspection annually. Wood-boring insect damage is not covered by homeowners' insurance policies.
  10. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.

Termites cannot be controlled with do-it-yourself measures. If you suspect a termite infestation, contact a licensed pest professional immediately to determine the extent of the problem and receive a recommendation of an appropriate course of treatment. To find a local, qualified pest professional, visit the PestWorld.org zip code locator.