Experts at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and Fischer Environmental propose several tips to avoid termite infestations:
- As most termites are attracted to moisture, avoid water accumulation near your home’s foundation. Divert water away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
- Quickly repair house damage from a leaky roof or window as termites can thrive in this moisture.
- Never bury wood scraps or waste lumber in the yard, especially near the building. Remove old tree stumps and roots around and beneath the building.
- Most importantly, eliminate any wood contact with the soil. Maintaining a 1-inch gap between the soil and wood portions of the building is ideal.
Recognizing the destruction termites can cause, it is important to be aware of infestation warning signs:
- Swarming of winged forms in the fall and spring – termites can easily be confused with flying ants.
- Evidence of mud tunneling in, over and under wood structures
- Wooden structures exhibit darkening or blistering
- Damaged wood becomes extremely thin and can be easily punctured by a knife or a screwdriver
“As termites are known to cause over $5 billion dollars in damage each year, virtually all experts recommend calling a pest professional to protect one of your most important investments, your home, from termite infestation,” says Missy Henriksen, NPMA vice president of public affairs.
Professionals offer the specialized skills necessary to rid a home of termite infestation: knowledge of building construction, an ability to identify termite species and the knowledge of applicable methods of termite control.
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