If you are fortunate enough to build your home from the ground up, one thing to remember as you are planning the structure, is the prevention of future infestations of termites. Preventing pests from entering and destroying your home requires treating the home as it is being constructed and maintaining a vigilant watch. For those that are purchasing a new or used home, it’s important to have a thorough termite inspection beforehand. Once a home is built or purchased, preventative treatment can be carried out to protect it.
An Ounce of Prevention
Some steps in prevention may include clearing plants and bushes away from the structure. Wood piles should not be located adjacent to the home as this is just an invitation to all types of pests to spread out inside the residence. Keeping the foundation area under the home dry is another huge step in preventing termites from visiting and settling in for a long and destructive meal. It is ideal to make regular inspections of the home to see if there is a termite infestation before it gets out of control.
Presence of Termites, Or Something Else?
Homeowners carrying out their own inspections may find damaged wood and assume that it is related to termite damage. A pest control professional may determine that there is no damage due to insects, but to wet wood conditions. Generally, this creates a growth of fungus on the wood which can actually cause wood to disintegrate as though it is being eaten by bugs. Replacing the damaged wood will most likely be recommended. A round of fungus treatments with a fungicide called borate can be applied to prevent damage to any newly replaced or existing wood structures. Keeping the affected areas dry will prevent recurring fungus as well as any insect invasions.
Termites are similar in appearance to ants. One difference between them is that termites have two pairs of wings which are generally the same in length and ants have two pairs, but the front wings are longer than the back ones. If viewing closely, the antennae are noticeably different. An ant’s antennae are angled at about ninety degrees and are tilted downward. A termite’s antennae are straight and look like they are sagging downward.
Using a flat-head screwdriver or other similar tool, a person can easily probe the wood beams and structures under the home by searching and pressing for hollow spots within them. Calling a termite control professional to do the examination will assure that the pests will be found if they are present.
Should termites be identified, a pest control professional can begin treatment to rid the residence of them. It may seem costly to fight the infestation, but a professional exterminator who is experienced, and owns or works for a licensed pest control business will ensure that the home is treated properly and safely for family and pets. Setting up regular Pest Control inspections gives peace of mind and continued protection of the home.