Termites are so destructive because they eat wood from the inside out, often going long periods of time before they are discovered. For this reason, annual termite inspections are critical to protecting your home. These inspections help spot signs of termites sooner, allowing termite control to be implemented earlier in the termite infestation.
There are several different options when it comes to termite treatments. Here are four of the most popular:
Liquid-soil termite treatments are applied to the soil around your home to act as a treatment barrier. They last for an average of 5 years. A trench is dug around the perimeter of your home, and liquid termiticide is applied. The trench is then filled in. This method helps to prevent future infestations while also killing any existing termites as they travel between your home and their nests.
Bait station treatments are another option for termite control. Bait stations are strategically placed around your home using this method. Each station contains a slow-acting termiticide that the termites take back to their nests and share with other termites. These treatments may take longer to work on termites. They also necessitate regular monitoring and maintenance to ensure that each station contains bait.
Wood treatments are an additional termite control option. These treatments make use of either surface sprays and treatments or injected sprays and foams. Wood treatments kill existing termites while also penetrating the wood to prevent future problems. These treatments necessitate direct access to infested wood, which can be difficult to obtain in some cases. Sprays are better for new construction treatments because the wood can be treated while the house is being built. Injected foams are better for use on existing structures because they can expand into cracks and crevices that sprays may not be able to reach.
Pre-treated building materials are ideal for new construction. The termiticide can be sprayed or brushed on. Termiticide can also be applied anywhere the new structure comes into contact with the soil, allowing the soil to be pretreated. Using pressure treated wood is another option because termites are less likely to infest wood that has been treated with chemicals.
While these termite treatment options are efficient at eliminating existing infestations, unfortunately they do not provide permanent elimination of termites. There is always a risk that termites will return to invade again. Termite control is an ongoing process, requiring persistent maintenance and prevention techniques to continue to keep them out.
You can prevent termites by:
- Getting rid of water sources by eliminating or reducing standing water around your home.
- Repairing any leaky faucets, pipes, and air conditioners.
- Diverting water away from your house with properly functioning spouts, splash blocks, and gutters that are clear of debris.
- Repairing and replacing damaged roof shingles, fascia and soffits on your house.
- Replacing weatherstripping on doors and windows.
- Routinely inspecting foundations for loose mortar, uneven or bubbling paint, wood that sounds hollow when you tap it, and for the presence of mud tubes which termites use to reach food.
- Regularly inspecting wood in and around your home for noticeable changes, making sure to check windows, doors, and skirting.
- Making sure there is at least an 18″ gap between the soil and the wood portions of your home.
- When storing items in the attic or basement, using plastic storage containers and metal shelving instead of cardboard or wood.
- During swarming season, keeping doors and windows shut as much as possible. Keep outdoor lights turned off at night also, as they will attract swarming termites.
- Keeping firewood stored at least 20 feet away from your home and elevated off the ground.
- Keeping plants a few feet away from your home.
- Making sure there is at least a 4″ barrier between your mulch and the side of your home. You can also use mulch made of rubber, plastic, or gravel.
- Removing any tree stumps from your property.
- Scheduling an annual termite inspection of your home and property to help detect termite problems early before they can cause significant damage.
Contact your local pest control company for a thorough evaluation.
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