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Smiling Sun

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Avoid Mosquitoes and Termites This Summer

As temperatures rise, termite and mosquito activity increases and pest populations boom.  Both mosquitoes and termites are attracted to and depend on water for survival, so one of the most important things you can recommend to your clients is to eliminate standing water around their home. Also, trimming back excess vegetation and moving firewood away from the foundation is important. Both types of pests will live in vegetation and termites will seek wood and mulch as a food source.  

Mosquito Prevention Tips:

  • Eliminate all sources of standing water such as children's wading pools, birdbaths and flower pots;
  • Keep rain gutters cleaned out to prevent water from standing in drains;
  • Cut back or get rid of unnecessary vegetation around the home where mosquitoes can breed and/or rest;
  • Keep swimming pools covered in colder months to prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs there, and drain any water that has collected on top of pool covers;
  • Remove water that has collected in tree holes and hollow stumps;
  • Screen windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside homes; and
  • Consider using yellow bug light bulbs in outdoor light fixtures – the bulbs reduce the number of flying insects around your home.

Termite Prevention Tips:

  • Termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year.
  • Termite swarmers begin to emerge in the warmer weather and start looking for a new location to start a colony – which is why now is the perfect time to educate yourself about protecting your listings. 
  • Look for these warning signs of a termite infestation:

1. Thin, papery wings near window sills or floors
2. Mud tubs built by termites to connect them from the soil to their food source
3. Distorted areas of paint or wood surfaces which appear “bubbled” or cracked
4. Hollow-sounding wood

  • Eliminate moisture around foundations.  Also, divert water from the house by using proper downspouts and gutters because termites are attracted to moisture.
  • Do not stack firewood or lumber near home. Termites can burrow into the woodpile and then right into the home.
  • Remove old tree stumps in the yard.
  • Keep tree branches and shrubbery well-trimmed and away from the house which will also help with inspections and finding termite infestations. Additionally, avoid excess piles of mulch since this is a favorite food source for termites.
  • Reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation.
  • Have your home inspected annually by a licensed pest professional who specializes in termite control. If you have termite protection is important to maintain your coverage and renew annually.

These tips can help your listing show better and get you to the closing table with fewer pest related issues!