Spring is (almost) in the air...not that you can tell after the winter we've had around here! But hopefully soon, the birds will be singing, the grass will be turning green and the trees will start to show signs of life. It is a magical time of year for all things, including some pests like wood destroying termites. Though it is not necessarily something anyone wants to think about, spring does bring with it Termite Awareness Week, according to the National Pest Management Association. Termites are one of the most destructive pests known to man, causing millions of dollars in damage every year in the United States alone. This is why it is important to be aware of the signs that your home could be under siege by termites.
Why is this the perfect week to learn about termites? Spring is a prime time for termites to swarm. Winged termites emerge and gather in large groups, looking for a new home after the colony that they originally belonged to gets too large. These termites will form a new colony in nearby wooded areas or the nearest structure that they can find. This is also the time of year that homeowners will begin home improvement projects or even begin the process of buying a new house. If you do not know the signs of termites, you can easily be literally be eaten out of house and home.
Termites will leave tell tale signs for you to look for. Looking around your home you might spot bubbling paint or darkening areas on the wood surfaces of walls and exposed trim and beams. You might think it is water damage but it may be termites feasting below the surface. You might also find that tapping the wood might sound hollow to you. Keep an eye out for small piles of feces that look like sawdust or wings near your doors or sills. Swarmers will enter your home at those spots. You might also want to look for any sagging floors or ceilings that can indicate significant damage. If you see any of these signs, call your local pest prevention company for help. Termites are not easily eradicated so it is important that you do not try to do this yourself.
You can do your part to try to prevent infestation. Termites, like all living things, need the basics to create a hospitable environment. Food, water and shelter. You can help keep your home safe by making sure any leaking water pipes, or clogged drains are repaired and kept dry. You can also spend a bit of time trimming back brush and tree limbs away from the house so that they do not touch the siding or roof. Never store woodpiles or excess building material near the home and always remove any scrap wood, dead trees or stumps from your property.
If you really want to make sure that your home is and remains termite free, call your local pest control professional. With regular inspections, they keep your home pest free and help you to prevent termite damage before it starts!