Studies show that 1 in 5 U.S. homes will be attacked by termites and with as many as several million termites per acre in many parts of the country, it’s not a matter of if you will have termites, but when. It is imperative that you protect your home from this unwanted threat.
Termites eat 2-3% of their body weight per day and feed year round on cellulose which is found in wood and any product derived from wood: lumber, pallets, cardboard boxes and paper products. Signs of a termite infestation include pencil-sized mud tunnels built on foundation walls, sheetrock or other areas, and damaged wood. Damage can range from pin-hole size to major structural damage to studs, joists and sill plates. Another sign of a termite infestation is the appearance of winged termites in swarm season, March through May for most parts of the country. A termite swarm is an event in which certain environmental conditions trigger a great number of winged termites to simultaneously fly from their nest (about 600-900 ft) to mate and locate new nest sites and food sources. Once matched, a “royal couple” burrows into the ground where the queen begins to lay eggs. A queen can live up to 20 years and lay up to 2000 eggs per day. When termites swarm, they can swarm from the interior and/or exterior of your home—which means a colony is already present in or around the structure.
Termites look similar to ants, yet there are differences between the two. Termites have 2 body segments and straight antennae; ants have two body segments and bent antennae. Termites have 2 sets of wings, same size and two times their body length; ants also have 2 sets of wings, one big, the same length as their body length and one small. Termites see your home structure as their food; ants enter the home for consumable food.
To reduce the risk of infestation, keep all wooden contacts away from the soil and all cellulose, firewood, stumps, lumber, scrap wood, grade stakes, foam boards, cardboard boxes, newspapers and compost piles as far away from your home as possible. Mulch should be 10-12” from the foundation of your home and do not allow shrubs, vines, tall grasses and other dense vegetation to grow against structures. Thick vegetation makes it hard to inspect for termite activity, and these plants tend to trap moisture. And additionally, minimize moist areas by grading the soil and installing gutters to allow water to drain away from your home.
If you do not have a termite warranty, an annual inspection of the interior and exterior of your home by a professional is recommended. Look for a pest control company who offers Termite Letters and Termite Warranties, as well as termite treatment programs which include inspection, initial treatment, and covers retreatment at preferably, no additional cost, and any damage caused by future termite infestations while under warranty. As more buyers are looking for a home with a current Termite Warranty in place, calling on a pest control company for such will reduce the risk of infestation and protect the homeowner from potential future expenses resulting from termite damage.
Termites cause more than $5 billion in damage annually—this is more than floods, hurricanes and tornadoes combined—so contact a professional today and protect your home.
Contact Skyline today for your termite solutions. 770-844-6440.