As spring approaches, termites are set to begin their annual feast on vulnerable homes and properties across much of the country. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is working to spread awareness about these wood-destroying organisms during Termite Awareness Week, March 13-19, by educating consumers on ways to best protect their homes.
Moisture-damaged homes are prime targets for termites. When they emerge, termites seek out these susceptible structures and begin chewing through wood, flooring and even wallpaper, oftentimes undetected. Termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year – an expense typically not covered by homeowners insurance, leaving homeowners with a costly bill to fix structural repairs.
“As many people begin to think about home improvement, and selling or buying a home this spring, it is very important for them to be aware of the destruction termites can cause,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs at NPMA. “Termites are difficult to spot with the naked eye, so homeowners should remain vigilant and employ proper prevention techniques year round. If they notice a problem they should contact a pest professional who can determine the extent of the damage and recommend a treatment plan.”
To help prevent a termite infestation, NPMA recommends the following prevention tips:
- Keep basements, 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.
- Direct water away from your house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and 5 inches off the ground.
- Keep mulch at least 15 inches from the foundation.
- Remove rotting tree stumps from the property.
- Homeowners should have a termite inspection completed every one to three years. Homes with previous termite infestations should be re-inspected every year.
- If buying a new home, obtain a wood-destroying organism (WDO) inspection separate from the regular home inspection.
*article by PestWorld