The summertime sun is shining, birds are chirping and ... the termites are chomping away at your house. Just as you begin your cleaning routine, you rub-a-dub your way to uncovering a termite infested home. Don't beat yourself up, you're not alone. According to the National Pest Management Association, when temperatures reach about 70 degrees, the young adult male and female swarmers emerge from their nests in large groups, making the hot summer season a prime opportunity to spot these otherwise hidden pests. Consider this discovery the first step in recovery and take action immediately.
First Things First
Getting professional termite treatment is a must. While there are do-it-yourself options for treatment, save yourself the trouble and headache of recurring issues. By hiring a professional, you'll receive a full inspection that will clue you in on the situation at hand. A professional will let you know the full extent of the infestation and come up with a game plan to get rid of them fast. When interviewing pest control companies, make sure you inquire about their policies should the infestation return after treatment.
Do Your Research
According to the NPMA, these silent destroyers cause an estimated $5 billion in property damage each year. Even if you don't suspect an infestation, no homeowner is immune to the possibility. Every homeowner should be fully educated in basic pest control methods and common culprits. If you are building a new home or recently moved into a home, now is the time to safeguard against pests before it's too late. Check out this guide from beyondpesticides.org for a complete list of termite categories and tips on protecting your home. You will also find different methods of treatment from least toxic to most toxic to help you make the best treatment decisions for your household.
Secure Your Home
Once you've taken control over the infestation, take the necessary steps to prevent future infestations. By knowing what attracts termites (hint: wood) and how they thrive, you'll be better prepared for prevention. Pest control professionals at Termites.com recommend the following preventative methods:
- Clean your gutters regularly
- Inspect and seal cracks regularly
- Fix leaking faucets and A/C units
- Eliminate food source like wood, lumber and paper by keeping them away from foundation or crawl space
- Divert water from foundation
- Get rid of standing water on the roof
Stock Up On Prevention Supplies
Take a quick trip to Lowe's or your local home improvement store for essential items that will maintain your home while also fending off critters. Gutter guards help reduce the frequency in which gutters need to be cleaned out by keeping debris from clogging them up. Caulk can be used to seal cracks in walls and windows to deter pests from entering your home. For your outdoor space, try doing away with wood mulch (a termite favorite) and try rubber mulch. It won't attract nasty pests and it's a great non-toxic option for home.