Termites Poised to Put a Bite on Homes this Spring Season

The National Pest Management Association advises home buyers and homeowners to be on the lookout for infestations

FAIRFAX, Va. (March 10, 2015) – The arrival of spring is expected to set the stage for an improved housing market. However, spring weather doesn’t just spur home sales, but also brings out termites whose sole purpose is to find new structures to invade and on which to feed. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has declared March 15-21 as Termite Awareness Week to help educate consumers about these saw-toothed pests and to help ensure their homes don’t become termite bait.

Moisture-damaged homes, particularly those that have weathered ice, snow and rain during the winter are prime termite targets. Once these pests enter the structure, they inflict continuous damage undetected.

“Termites cause costly property damage to the tune of $5 billion a year, and what’s worse, the damage typically isn’t covered by homeowners insurance,” noted Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “Because the extent of termite destruction isn’t immediately noticeable, it’s crucial to take preventative steps at every stage of homeownership.”

The NPMA encourages consumers to obtain termite inspections or a wood destroying organism (WDO) inspection during the home buying process, and every one to three years as homeowners. Termite inspectors are trained to recognize signs of current or past infestations. They will also look for any conditions in the home that may attract termites in the future.

Whether you’ve owned your home for 20 years or are new to homeownership, the NPMA offers the following termite-prevention tips: 

  • Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry
  • Repair leaking faucets and water pipes in the home, as well as AC units located outside
  • Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles
  • Replace weather stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundations and windows
  • Direct water away from structures through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from homes and 5 inches off the ground
  • Avoid using wood timbers in landscaping and keep wood mulch at least 15 inches from the foundation

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property. For more information, visit PestWorld.org.