The winter months may leave some homes damaged this spring and vulnerable to the most destructive pest – termites. We want to advise homeowners to be aware of the property threats posed by termites and brush up on some simple tips to prevent or detect an infestation as weather conditions improve.
Termites are known as “silent destroyers” due to their ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected. They cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year – an expense typically not covered by homeowners insurance.
When spring rolls around, termites emerge from their overwintering spots in search of mates and new structures in which to establish their colonies – most often our homes. Unfortunately, termites can be difficult to spot with the naked eye, so homeowners should routinely inspect the foundation of the home for signs of termites, including mud tubes, cracked or bubbling paint and soft wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
The native termite species swarm during the day when the temperature rises around the 80 degree and above mark. Their bodies are black in color with two equal pair of wings which are clear. These reproductives of the colony generally swarm toward a well lit area like a window, glass door or any source of light.
Bill Clark offers a number of valuable tips to help homeowners prevent termites from inflicting serious structural damage to their biggest investment:
- Keep attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
- Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and AC units on the outside of the home.
- Repair fascia and soffits and rotted roof shingles.
- Replace weather stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
- Divert water away from your house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
- Maintain an 18-inch gap between soil and any wood portions of your home.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.
Although the winter season isn’t quite over yet, it’s never too early to schedule a termite inspection.