Termites and the Damage they cause could be a homeowner’s worst fear. While they’re tiny, they can cost home owner hard earned money and be frustrating learning how to deal with them. In fact, termites alone cause over $5 billion in property damage annually, according to the National Pest Management Association. What’s worse is that homeowners insurance does not cover the destruction these ravenous critters can leave behind.
“ What you don’t know can hurt you!” Not having a wood-destroying inspection done annually, can leave the homeowner stuck with expensive damage and difficulty finding the best way to eradicate termites from infested house.
“Termites, and the control or eradication of them, is a growing problem in the U.S. due to our climate and the prevalence of wood as our primary building material,” So what are the best ways to keep termites out of your home?
Here are a few Tips:
Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.
If you use wood to heat your home—or you just like lighting a roaring fire during the cold months—you need to make sure to store the lumber at least 20 feet away from your home. Keep the wood that you bring indoors elevated and away from the walls and floor.
Remove stumps and dying trees from your property.
Stumps and dying or dead trees are highly attractive to termites. The dead wood provides everything they need to sustain their colony. Get rid of them!
Keep tree branches off your home.
Overhanging branches can act as highways into the home. For more than just Termites; rats and other rodent can use branch and wires to get to the attic or any wood they touch. Make sure to keep tree branches trimmed and far away from your home.
Be mindful of wood foundations.
Unlike concrete foundations, wood foundations are more likely to sustain termite damage. Not only your home’s foundation, but also think about low decks, walk ways, and patio post. Even though pressure treat wood, over time they can weaken and become susceptible to termite damage. If you have a wood foundation, routinely inspect it for signs of mud tubes (see below) or wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
Eliminate or reduce moisture in and around the home.
Subterranean termites require ample moisture in order to thrive. To reduce the moisture level in and around your house, repair leaking faucets, water pipes, and exterior AC units. Also, divert water away from the house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters, and splash blocks.
Here are some examples of what to check for, or Possible signs of a termite infestation around your home:
Termite wings: Thin, papery wings are typically found near windowsills or floors.
Mud tubes: Termites build these tiny tunnels to connect them from the soil to their food source.
Rippled wallpaper or paint: This can appear similar to water damage and can be a good indicator of termite activity as well.
Hollow-sounding wood: The hollow sound heard when the wood is tapped is a sign that termites have been feasting on it.
Frass or termite droppings: This is a sign of drywood termites. It usually has a hard, gritty feel to it.
What to do if you have a termite infestation?
If you think have termites, don’t panic or think that your house is going to collapse at any moment.
“An infested home can almost always be saved.” In fact in over 25 years of inspections only a few seriously neglected out buildings need to be torn down and rebuilt.
However, termites do tend to fly under the radar, so by the time you notice an infestation, the damage may feel overwhelming. It’s best to call a licensed inspector to help you diagnose the severity of your infestation and work on eliminating termites from your home.