April showers bring May flowers, but they also signal the beginning of the termite season. This is the prime time for termites to spread their wings and go searching for a new mate to begin their next termite colony. Unfortunately, one of their favorite places to set up a new colonies is inside your home. Termites can literally eat a home out from under its owners, often without them even knowing until much damage has been done. They have the ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected, 24/7, and they can compromise the structural stability of a home within several years depending on the species. Southeastern Louisiana is particularly susceptible to the dreaded Formosan Termite. Termites cause $5 billion worth of property damage annually. If you have swarming termites that appear to be coming from inside of your walls, call our office immediately. Homeowners are often unsure if these winged invaders are flying ants or termites, but a quick visit to our pest library will help you make this identification.
Luckily, there are many steps homeowners can take to help prevent termites from infesting their property. Here are 10 tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) to protect your greatest investment from termites:
- Eliminate or reduce moisture in and around the home, which termites need to thrive.
- Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and exterior AC units.
- Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles.
- Replace weather stripping and loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
- Divert water away from the house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
- Routinely inspect the foundation of a home for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), cracked or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
- Monitor all exterior areas of wood, including windows, doorframes and skirting boards for any noticeable changes.
- Maintain an 18-inch gap between soil and any wood portions of your home.
- Consider scheduling a professional inspection annually. Wood-boring insect damage is not covered by homeowners' insurance policies.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.
Termites cannot be controlled with do-it-yourself measures. If you suspect a termite infestation, contact a licensed pest professional immediately to determine the extent of the problem and receive a recommendation of an appropriate course of treatment. Billiot Pest Control offers a variety of the industry's leading termite treatments, and can give you a free estimate to ensure your home doesn't become dinner for termites!