Every year, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage in the United States. Termites are known as “silent destroyers” because of their ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected for years—damage that isn’t covered by most homeowners’ insurance policies.
As spring approaches and the ground begins to warm across the country, termite populations will emerge in search of new structures to invade. Starting from South to North, termite explorers, referred to as swarmers, will look for hospitable homes, with buildings that have sustained damage from severe winter weather particularly at risk. Once swarmers have determined your home to be a good fit, it’s likely that the rest of the termite colony will follow, resulting in a full-blown termite infestation.
The National Pest Management Association experts offer these tips to help homeowners prevent termite infestations:
- Eliminate or reduce moisture in and around the home, which termites need to thrive.
- Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and exterior AC units.
- Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles.
- Replace weather stripping and loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
- Divert water away from the house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
- Routinely inspect the foundation of a home for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), uneven or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
- Monitor all exterior areas of wood, including windows, door frames and skirting boards for any noticeable changes.
- Maintain an 18-inch gap between soil and any wood portions of your home.
- Consider scheduling a professional inspection annually. Wood-boring insect damage is not covered by homeowners’ insurance policies.
- 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 like Budget Pest Control immediately at 412-318-4912 to determine the extent of the problem and receive a recommendation of an appropriate course of treatment.