When you are a homeowner, spring can take on a whole new meaning. It is not just warmer weather and melting snow. Don’t take spring at face value. You also must be prepared for the next generation of household pests that will begin to come out in full force. With that in mind, March 15th to March 21st has been dedicated as Termite Awareness Week. Arguably the most destructive of all pests who can invade your home, the National Pest Management Association wants to spread awareness throughout the country about termites who annually cause billions of dollars in damage across the U.S.
At the first sign of warm weather, winged members of large termite colonies will begin to leave their homes to form new colonies. These termites will swarm together in a large, black cloud and move as one to the next wooded area or structure. If your home is in that path, you are at risk for a termite infestation. The swarm is often mistaken for flying ants. To the untrained eye it is very difficult to tell the difference. To be safe, you might want to check with a professional pest control company, if you see these insects too close to your property to do a home inspection.
Termites will leave signs of their presence but it is likely that you already have an infestation if you are seeing them. These insects are often referred to as the silent destroyer for this very reason. Be on the lookout for a few signs that they might have taken up residence in your home. You might see tunnels in the wood of beams, trim, or even furniture around your home. You should also be on the lookout for what might look like sawdust in obscure corners that is actually feces. As termites will eat anything that has cellulose, which includes many building materials, you might also spot areas on your ceiling or walls that are discolored and resemble water stains, or are sagging. If you see any of these signs, it is important to call in a professional at once to help you assess the damage.
Luckily, there are a few ways to help make your home an unappealing spot to stay for these pests. In order for a colony to thrive they need food and water. Check all water and drain pipes to and from your home for leaks or clogs. A dry area is an important factor in prevention. While you are at it, make sure that all weather stripping and screens around doors and windows are in good repair and secure. This also goes for loose siding or mortar. These pests do not require a large opening to make their way in. When you are building anything with wood, make sure that there is a gap between the wood and the soil and store firewood or brush away from your home.
Though these tips will help, they are not a guarantee. To prevent extensive and costly damage to your home, consider a professional inspection at least once a year. Your local pest prevention company can make sure that your home is pest free and eliminate any threats as they occur.