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Termites: Litters of Critters

When you become a homeowner, spring suddenly becomes a little more ominous. As the warmer weather rolls in so do a swarm of household pests, including the most destructive of all— termites. Fortunately, there are several practices you can utilize in order to detect termite damage and prevent further infestations.

How to Detect Termite Damage

Termite damage can be detected by signs both inside and outside your home. Inside your home, watch for tunnels in the wood of your beams, trim, or furniture. Additionally, if you notice sawdust in corners of your home, it is likely termite feces. Outside, examine the exterior foundation of your home for signs of mud tubes coming up from the soil, as termites create these ‘shelter tubes’ to travel up into the building. You’ll also want to pay special attention to any wood in direct contact with the soil, including porch posts, trellises, stirs, and fences.

Keep in mind that any wood (inside OR outside your home) with a dull thudding or hollow sound is a sign of termite activity and warrants an immediate thorough examination. The presence of flying termite ‘swarmers’ inside your home is a sure sign of an active infestation, while the presence of swarmers outside your home serves as a warning.

Termite-Proof Your Home

Termite infestation can be averted by taking a few simple preventative measures. When making additions to your home, be sure to use termite-resistant building materials. Redwood, cedar, and juniper are ideal choices for additions, as they are less prone to termites. Maintaining good cross ventilation in crawl spaces keeps those areas dry and termites out. Create sand barriers in all crawl spaces and under fence posts, patios, and steps to prevent infiltration of moisture and pests.

Eliminating standing water and moist soil near your home is also an important practice, as both tend to attract termites. Pruning back plants close to your home prevents moisture and mold buildup on wood walls. Laying films of 6mm polyethylene in crawl spaces under your foundation creates a moisture barrier between the soil and your home’s framing. Further, sealing all wood exposed to moisture using a weather sealer and using 16-grit sand (granules that are too large to be carried away and too small to be used in tunnels) to fill cracks and repair broken seals in foundations and patios are also good practices for preventing termites.

 

Have questions about whether or not your home is at risk for termites? Contact us for a consultation with one of our certified industry experts. We’re always within reach, so don’t hesitate—call us at (770) 760-1967 and schedule your inspection today!

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