Inspect Your Home For Termites This Spring
One of the most troublesome pests to pop up during spring is the termite. They can create a lot of trouble for homeowners, causing as much as $5 billion worth of property damage every year. After the last freeze, termites emerge from their nests and begin their search for a new location in which to start a colony.
Don’t give these pests a reason to choose your home as their new breeding ground; use preventative measures and stay on the lookout for signs that your home might have termites.
Termite Prevention Tips
No matter how old your property is, it is always important to follow preventative measures to help keep your home free of termites. The following tips will help you keep these pests away:
Eliminate or reduce moisture: Termites thrive in environments high in moisture. If your home has weathered rain, snow, and ice during the winter, bringing with it moisture damage, then your home becomes a prime target.
Look out for signs of moisture in your home and try to keep your property dry and well ventilated. This advice is important for areas such as crawl spaces, basements, and attics. Any soffits, fascia, and rotted roof shingles should be repaired, along with any leaking pipes or faucets.
Make an effort to divert water away from the foundation of your home, by installing gutters, downspouts, and splash blocks and ensuring these are properly functioning. Any leaks or repairs should be addressed to remove moisture from your home.
Take care with wood: When it comes to termites, you need to be particularly vigilant with wood in and around your home. Be sure to inspect all areas of wood on your property, including skirting boards, door frames, and windows. Keep an 18-inch gap between the wood portions of your home and soil and store firewood at least 5 inches off the ground and 20 feet away from home.
Schedule routine inspections: While it’s important for homeowners to conduct regular inspections around the home for signs of termite damage, the best thing to do is schedule an annual inspection with a qualified pest professional.
Termite damage often goes undetected for long periods, and if you don’t catch it early, then you may be left with substantial damage to the property. Many homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage from wood-boring insects, so the last thing you want is to be left with a hefty repair bill.
Signs of a Termite Infestation
If you are concerned that you may have a termite infestation in your home, here are some common signs you can look out for:
• Termite swarms are one of the first signs of an infestation and tend to appear in early spring. Watch out for these near indoor lights and windowsills; you may notice discarded wings left behind.
• Distorted or cracked paint on wood surfaces.
• Blistering or darkening of wood structures.
• Mud tubes on your home’s exterior.
• Small piles of wood-colored droppings.
• Soft wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
If you spot any of the above signs, then you may be facing a termite infestation in your home. In this case, don’t delay and contact a professional immediately to address the problem before extensive damage is done.