How To Keep Your Dream Home From Becoming A Nightmare
Your home is one of the largest investments in your lifetime. Protecting that investment includes monitoring your home for pest infestations. Of the infestations that homeowners commonly encounter, wood destroying insects are often the most feared and with reports indicating that termites alone cause over $5 billion in damages in The United States annually, it is certainly understandable. Preventing conducive conditions and monitoring for activity are an important part of proactively protecting your home. Here are some tips for keeping your home safe:
- Divert water away from the foundation of the home utilizing French drains, downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. Basements, crawlspaces and attics should be well ventilated in order to maintain dry conditions. Repair of leaking faucets, pipes and AC units both interior and exterior on the home. Termites and other wood destroying insects are attracted to moist conditions where wood damage and rot are present.
- Know what the signs of termite damage are and be vigilant. Inspect your home both interior and exterior on a regular basis for signs of activity including mud tubes, cracked or bubbling paint, hollow sounding wood, soft drywall or wood including window framing, doors, baseboards and trim. In the event that you find potential activity, contact a qualified pest control professional to provide a thorough inspection of both the interior and exterior of the home.
- Arm yourself with information and knowledge. Speak with a qualified pest control professional or local extension office or university and research the species of termites and other wood destroying insects (carpenter ants, carpenter bees, etc.) that are native to your area.
- Keep all wood and firewood stacked a minimum of 20 feet from the home on raised platforms in order to reduce surface feeding sites.
- Keep gutters clear of debris. Clogged gutters may overflow into attic spaces and wall voids creating moist conditions and damaging wood.
- Remove tree stumps. Although it may be easier and less expensive to initially leave a stump in place, these stumps often rot creating perfect areas for termites to feed.
- Trim trees back from the house. Carpenter ants utilize tree branches to access roof and attic spaces. Activity in these areas often goes unnoticed and damage can become severe before it is discovered.
- Piles of sawdust-like shavings can often be seen directly below exit holes in wood infested with carpenter ants. Unlike termites, they do not consume the wood that they destroy.
Most importantly, if you see potential evidence of activity, contact a qualified pest control professional for an inspection and treatment. Not every pest control company will be qualified to handle a wood destroying insect infestation; be sure that the company you select is well informed on these pests and the necessary treatments to eradicate them.