This year, homeowners will unknowingly host millions of houseguests with insatiable appetites. These pesky intruders turn up uninvited and threaten to eat their hosts out of house and home. But unlike rowdy relatives who loudly overstay their welcome, these ambitious guests will invade quietly, maintaining a hidden lifestyle and thriving unnoticed for many years.
The pests are termites, a menace to any homeowner. Termites may be silent, but they never sleep; their colonies are active day and night, feasting on anything made of wood, plants or cotton. They attack structures of all types, forcing homeowners and business owners to spend billions each year on termite control.
When should I be on high alert?
In the spring, warm weather signals the onset of swarm season. This is when termite colonies grow rapidly and termite queens can lay eggs every 15 seconds. Crazy right!
FACT: Termites travel far from their colonies in search of wooden food sources and can invade any home even those covered in brick or stucco and cause significant household damage.
How can you detect signs of termite invasion?
Watch for signs such as pencil-sized mud tubes along brickwork or concrete, distorted areas of paint on wood surfaces and hollow-sounding wood. Unfortunately, most invasions are invisible to untrained eyes, if you're in doubt contact a licensed professional to come see if you're suspicions are correct.
A few termite prevention tips that can help:
- Close-up entry points. Did you know termites can sneak through cracks as small as 1/64 of an inch?
- Elevate firewood piles and move them away from the house
- Eliminate moisture, which is essential to termite survival especially in basements, crawl spaces and near plumbing
- Keep gutters and downspouts clear and trim siding or stucco at least two inches above soil level
For more information, and to help you discover if you have a termite infestation, visit pestkilled.com/how-to-get-rid-of-termites/