Termites are more than just a minor nuisance. They’re a destructive invader that no homeowner ever wants to see. Estimates vary, but these munching, tunneling critters usually cause around $5 billion in damage per year in the United States. Want to enlist some power tactics for your frontline defenses? Some prevention and control techniques can help you reduce or eliminate the chance of interior and structural damage. By keeping your household and yard free of clutter, watching out for key infestation symptoms, and knowing when to contact pest control, you’ll save your home from thousands of dollars in termite damage.
Top Prevention Tactics
Due to their sheer numbers and destructive power, it’s understandable to fear a termite infestation. Thankfully, you can make your home less attractive to these hungry beasts. The Environmental Protection Agency offers some vital tips for cutting back on your risk of invasion:
- Avoid storing firewood less than five feet away from your exterior walls
- Repair leaks as soon as you discover them
- Seal cracks that grant termites access to inside areas
- Keep the soil around your home properly drained
- Do not plant trees or shrubs too close to your structure
Besides these important measures, you shouldn’t forget to keep your vents free from objects that could block them, especially live plants and organic material. Moreover, you should frequently inspect areas inside and outside your home to get the jump on termites attempting to establish colonies.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
While investigating areas around your property to prevent these annoying pests from breaching your household structures, you also need to know what to look for. An infestation of any stage will be evident through several visual and auditory signals:
- Thin tubes of dirt across non-wood surfaces (commonly called “mud tubes”)
- Audible tapping at or near walls, caused by termites testing for wood
- Tiny holes present on wood surfaces
- Hollow or cracking wood structures
- Piles of dirt with intermingled fine wood shavings (known as “frass”)
If you see any of these symptoms, you need to contact your trusted pest prevention professionals right away.
Beware of Swarming Insects
If a termite incursion is already in progress, an entire colony could already be chomping away inside your home. Nevertheless, many homeowners do not notice that anything is wrong until spring or summer hits. As entomology experts at the University of Kentucky explain, warmer weather permits a group of “swarmers,” or winged termites, to surface and begin flying in search of locations to establish new colonies. They seek a mate as part of this process, then shed their wings and drop into the soil to mate. If you see these signs, it’s time to call pest control.
Termite Control Options
Reliable termite control professionals will inspect your property, evaluate the nature of your problem, and construct a plan to kill off your current infestation and prevent future ones from occurring. Treatment strategies can target both the soil and your structure, with the aim of riding your household of insects both inside your buildings and below the ground. A large portion of a colony is housed underneath your home, accessing it through subterranean tunnels. Besides attacking them within the soil, perimeter treatments are typically used to keep future infestations from reaching your home through other nests and locations.
Termite extermination and prevention are equally important to safeguard the structural integrity, comfort, hygiene, and monetary value of your home. Since termites select a property with plans to hunker down and multiply, your strategy also needs to include year-round action to be effective. Protecting your most valuable investment is a mixture of removing risk factors for infestation, inspecting your home on a regular basis, and forming a relationship with a termite control company that you trust.