As the calendar turns to spring, it’s not just you and your family that get more active outdoors. Like many members of the animal kingdom, termites become more active in the spring season, which is why Termite Awareness Week is always the last full week before spring begins. This year, Termite Awareness Week will be March 7th-13th. Join us at Innovative Pest Control as we recognize Termite Awareness Week and help you learn how to keep termites from becoming a major problem in your home.
Why Termites are a Major Issue for Homeowners
While termites can benefit an ecosystem by breaking down and adding nutrients to the soil, they are also a major issue for homeowners. The National Pest Management Association estimates that termites cause more than five billion dollars in property damage each year, most of which is not covered by homeowner’s insurance.
While termites cannot see or smell the wood they feed on, when they bump into it, they will continue to eat it until they are stopped or run out of wood. Termites never sleep, constantly chewing on the wood that comprises the most important aspects of your home, including mulch, fencing, or your home’s interior. Termite damage can compromise the integrity of portions of your drywall, foundation, floors, and framing. Depending on what part of the house the termites are most prevalent in, they cause major safety concerns for the occupants or even make a structure unlivable until repairs are done. However, there are steps you can take to prevent a few termites from turning into a major problem.
Recognizing the Signs of Termite Damage
The first step in preventing major termite damage is learning to recognize the signs. Termite damage can be seen in many forms around your house and property. Here are some of the obvious signs of a termite infestation in your home:
- Look for the presence of mud tubes on the exterior of your home, particularly around the foundation, along pipes, and in or around crawl spaces or attics.
- Be alert for floors or ceilings that have a swollen appearance.
- Check for softwood that makes a hollow sound when tapped.
- Watch out for visible mazes in the walls or furniture of your home.
- Paint that appears to be bubbling or uneven can indicate termites.
- Be aware that the smell of feces, mold, or mildew is a sign of the presence of termites.
- Discarded wings near entry points indicate the presence of swarmers in your home.
- Termite damage can also mimic water damage, making it difficult to identify.
How to Prevent a Termite Infestation
There are many steps you can take to help protect your home from a termite infestation, and Termite Awareness Week is a great time to think about those steps. A few simple changes can help prevent termite infestation in your home:
- Move woodpiles and other debris at least 20 feet away from your home.
- Keep flower pots and plants away from your home’s foundation.
- Make sure mulch remains at least six inches from your home’s foundation.
- Schedule annual HVAC and plumbing inspections.
Following these basic guidelines can help prevent termites, but it may not always be enough. Since termites are small and do most of their damage where it cannot be seen, the best thing you can do is have the experts at Innovative Pest Control perform a free home termite inspection. Our trained professionals will inspect your home and property for signs of termite damage, and help you build a termite control plan to keep your home protected year-round.