Home projects ramp up with the new year; out with old and in with new renovations. One thing homeowners should consider is pest protection that secures not only those new projects, but also their largest investment: their home.
Termites work in secret: staying out of sight, tunneling underneath homes, or even worse, inside the home’s structure. Depending on the region where the home is located, weather will play a crucial role in the type of termite species that can invade.
Subterranean termites are considered to be one of the most destructive types of termites. Found in every state in the U.S., they use “mud tubes” from the ground reaching up to the structure. They work to damage structures, weakening them bit by bit by eating 24 hours a day, every day.
Formosan termites are the most destructive of the subterranean species. Working and invading from the ground up, Formosans make up large colonies. Found mostly in the southeast, they can chew through insulation, utility poles, and even wires and cables.
Drywood termites are the sneakiest species as they do not need soil to survive. They are brought into homes in wood furniture, so caution and careful inspection should be taken when purchasing secondhand furniture.
Homeowners should take special care to eliminate areas of moisture as this is a huge attractant to the home for termites. An annual termite inspection with a licensed pest control company is highly recommended to find areas of damage and potential infestation sites and determine a proper prevention and treatment plan.
When it comes to protecting your home from termites, your best bet is not to rely on just luck – termite prevention is critical to minimizing or completely avoiding the costly destruction termites can cause to your home. In fact, some cultures consider termites in the home bad luck. These cultures see termites as an omen of death in the near future for the homeowner; the only way to escape this ill fate is to eliminate the termite colony or abandon the infested home.
If prevention fails, early detection is the next best thing. Termites can cause significant damage to your home while remaining undetected for years. For this reason, annual termite inspections can help identify these pests early, saving you from costly long-term damages.
Prevention is key. Here are a few tips for termite prevention in your home:
Keep Landscaping Neat
Termites will look for any way possible into your home in search of food. Try to reduce any soil to wood contact around your home by getting rid of any lumber, mulch, plants, or wood from your foundation. Try to also keep at least a 4 inch barrier between any mulch used in your landscaping and the side of your home. If possible, use pine straw instead of mulch as it is less appetizing for termites. Keep shrubbery trimmed back at least 12 inches from the walls of your home and get rid of any fallen branches, dead wood, or old tree stumps on your property.
Dry It Out
Make sure your storm drains are directed away from the foundations and that they drain at least a few feet from foundations. Check for and repair any leaky faucets, pipes, or appliances and eliminate any other sources of excess moisture in your home. Keep sprinkler heads pointed away from foundations. If you have a crawlspace, consider crawlspace enclosure to not only help eliminate moisture under your home, but prevent mold, mildew, wood rot, and pests from getting into your home.
Be Mindful of Swarming Season
Most subterranean termites swarm during spring while drywood termites usually swarm in late summer and early fall. Be mindful of termite swarming season and make sure your outdoor lights are turned off at night. If possible, try to relocate any exterior lights to recessed areas away from doors and windows as swarmers are attracted to light.
Do Your Own Inspections
Keep an eye out for signs of termites in your home. Discarded wings and evidence of frass are sure signs you have termite tenants. Other signs include blistering sheetrock, mud tunnels, cracks in your foundations, and a hollow sound when tapping on wood. Make sure the exterior of your home is well maintained to prevent these by inspecting and repairing wood siding and window frames.
Call the Pros
Termites can be difficult to detect for long periods of time and even more difficult to get rid of once they are established. If you suspect you have a termite problem or if you want to get a step ahead of the prevention game, contact a professional pest control company who can set you up with annual termite inspections and, if necessary, a termite control plan.
You May Also Be Interested In:
Energy Saving for the Holidays
Should You Enclose Your Crawlspace in Winter?
Keeping Pests Away From Your Holiday Treats
What Are These Little Black Ants?
5 Ways to Avoid Bed Bugs For The Holidays
Are termites active in fall and winter? The answer is a resounding yes! All species of termites are active year-round, even in the cold weather of fall and winter. The only difference in termite activity when the weather cools off is a change in their routine – termites will nest deeper in the ground to access warmth and modify their tunnels for easier access to winter food sources. If termites have already colonized your home or office their routine won’t change at all. Heated buildings and their adjacent soil provide the ideal habitat for termites to thrive even in cold weather. Colony queens also lay their eggs year-round which means that not only are termites active during every season, their colonies are also consistently growing. Swarming termites are unlikely to be seen in the fall and winter months as termite swarming season typically begins in the spring.
Regardless of the season, there are some common signs of termite infestations to look for in your home or office including:
- Crumbling wood
- Hollow windows and doors
- Bubbling or buckling floors
- Loose tiles
- Holes in drywall
- Sagging sheetrock
- Discoloration of ceilings or walls
There are a few steps for termite protection you can take in and around your home. Make sure all water and gas lines are sealed adequately. Fix any leaky faucets or appliances and get rid of any standing water. Try to eliminate any cellulose material as this is a termite’s primary food source.
If you suspect you have a problem with termites or want to make sure you stay ahead of any potential problems, contact a professional termite control company who can provide you with a free termite inspection and set you up with the most comprehensive termite protection for your situation.
You May Also Be Interested In:
Where Do Snakes Go in Cold Weather?
Mosquitoes Active Through Fall
8 Tips for Winter Lawn Care
Where Are All of These Roaches Coming From?
Steps to Keep Spiders Out of Your Home
When you purchase your new home, you have hundreds of things to consider and decide on: What furniture do you need? Are any renovations needed right away? Does your home insurance cover everything? There is a lot to take in!
One thing that typically doesn’t come to mind until a few months after you’ve moved in is, “What about termite protection?” Termites are something that can cause damage to your home, and that damage is often not covered by home insurance policies. Sometimes, you won’t think about it until the damage has already occurred, but there are steps you can take to prevent termite damage. With the Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination System and a termite provider’s inspection, your home can be protected.
So, what are the benefits of Sentricon Termite Protection?
- With Sentricon, your home is protected every day, the moment it is installed. This is because the bait is always active; once the termite finds the bait, they will bring it back to their colony, essentially eliminating the colony before it can reach your home!
- Another benefit of the Sentricon System is that it allows you to choose a termite warranty for your home through your provider! With Northwest, we offer a Retreat or a Repair and Retreat Warranty. With the warranty, your home is protected even if the termites do cause damage.
- The third benefit of the Sentricon System and a termite provider’s protection is the annual inspection! This inspection allows your home to be checked for any signs of termite activity, which should allow your provider to catch any activity or damage before it begins. Termites prefer the bait that Sentricon provides to other competitors, so you can sleep well at night knowing your home is protected year-round.
Termite protection may not be at the top of your list, but when you think about the $5 Billion in damages that termites cause every year, it is something to highly consider! If you’re considering purchasing a new construction home, connect with your builder about what they offer your home for termite protection!
If you have questions about the right type of termite protection or warranty for your home, give your local termite provider a call; they’ll be able to answer all your important questions so you can make the right decision for your home and family.
Termites can wreak havoc on a home without the homeowner even realizing it. By the time their presence is realized, the damage is extensive and costly. Termite colonies don’t just consist of hundreds of termites – they number in the millions! Termites can invade any type of home whether it is brick, stucco, wood, or other material. Termites will eat any material that contains cellulose, not just wood. These materials include cellulose insulation, framing timbers, and even drywall. An annual termite inspection can help prevent these devastating infestations by catching and eradicating them early, preventing significant damage and saving money in treatment and repair costs.
Termite inspections will typically begin with the inspector examining all possible points of entry to the home looking for common signs of termites. These signs include mud shelter tubes (pencil sized tubes termites use to travel), piles of frass (termite excrement), termite mazes on walls, discarded wings, etc. The inspector will also use a tool to gently tap on the interior and exterior walls of the home listening for hollow-sounding wood which in another sign of termite damage. The inspector will then check the exterior of the home, including crawlspaces, to check for wood to soil contact which is the easiest way for termites to gain access to a home. Wood to soil contact could be a stack of firewood that is too close to the home or deck posts not set in concrete. The inspector will also check trees, stumps, wooden retaining walls, fences, sheds, detached garages, and any other structures on the property. They will then notify you of their findings and recommend termite treatment options.
The best way to protect your home from termites is with a termite bond. This is a termite warranty between the termite company and the homeowner that is similar to a maintenance contract. They are usually made up of two components: an agreement for termite inspections during the lifetime of the bond and an agreement to provide termite control and treatment if termites are discovered. Bonds are especially important in real estate transactions. Most lenders will at a minimum require a termite inspection. Securing a termite bond provides you with a level of termite protection that can help you qualify for loans and also improve the marketability of your home.
If you suspect you have termites in your home or just want to be proactive in making sure these pests don’t invade your property, contact a professional termite control company and set up your annual termite inspection to give you peace of mind.
Owning a home is a huge responsibility. There are so many things to consider, but when making that list of important items, termite protection should be in the top 5. Termites cause an estimated $5 billion in damages each year in the U.S., and most homeowner insurance policies do not cover damage caused by termites. Additionally, if you are looking to sell your home, the seller is usually responsible for covering the damage during the sale of the home. Knowing all this, let’s look at what you can come to expect in your first year of choosing to invest in termite protection.
A comprehensive inspection of your property is done by a certified pest professional. They will look for signs of any existing or previous termite infestations and damage. After this is completed, they will go over their findings and best recommendations on the protection and warranties available for your home.
Once you’ve made your choice and signed on the dotted line, your local office will schedule your installation day. A licensed termite control professional will come out and strategically install your termite protection system. When they have completed the installation, they will go over what was completed and walk the property with you to make sure everything was completed to a standard to which you expect.
The best part about investing in a bait system like Sentricon is cutting out the need for continuous visits and worry. Since the bait is cellulose-based and combined with a slow-acting pesticide, it works 24/7. A year after your installation, your licensed termite control professional will come back out to check every station for signs of termite activity.
Choosing the right direction for you when it comes to protecting your most important assets is a big decision. If you still have more questions, give us a call. We’ll schedule your FREE home inspection to give you all the tools to decide.