Arrow Exterminators Blog

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Don't be a victim of termite damage, you can stop these hungry little pests!

Richard Spencer

Fact is, in the US, termites strike five times as many homes as fires do and cause more economic damage annually than tornados, hurricanes, and windstorms combined. Because home insurers often do not cover termite damage, homeowners spend an estimated $5 billion each year, out of their pockets, to repair these problems.

When left untreated, termites have the longest life span of any household pest, often living up to 15 years - or longer -- under favorable conditions. During this time, they can leave a house physically weakened and cause major, costly damage.

As spring approaches and temperatures heat up, we typically see a record number of reports of termite activity. And with the current economy, protecting your home from damage may very well be the best investment you could make.

The experts at Arrow Exterminators propose several tips to help you avoid termite infestations:

  • As most termites are attracted to moisture, avoid water accumulation near your home's foundation. Divert water away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
  • Quickly repair house damage from a leaky roof or window as termites can thrive in this moisture.
  • Never bury wood scraps or waste lumber in the yard, especially near the building. Remove old tree stumps and roots around and beneath the building.
  • Most importantly, eliminate any wood contact with the soil. Maintaining a 1-inch gap between the soil and wood portions of the building is ideal.
  • Consider working with professionals who offer the specialized skills necessary to rid a home of termite infestation: knowledge of building construction, an ability to identify termite species and the knowledge of applicable methods of termite control.

Recognizing the destruction termites can cause, it is important to be aware of infestation warning signs:

  • Swarming of winged insects in the fall and spring - termites can easily be confused with flying ants.
  • Evidence of mud tunneling in, over and under wood structures.
  • Wooden structures exhibit darkening or blistering.
  • Damaged wood becomes extremely thin and can be easily punctured by a knife or a screwdriver.

Let us know your termite experience or any tips you have to share with other homeowners.