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Termite damage

Termite infestations can be devastating. The property damage value was estimated $6.8 billion in the United States in 2021, according to reports by the Professional Pest Management Alliance. Termite activities were low in the winter. However, with spring steadily approaching, warm temperatures are to bring termites out of winter hiding to look for food and water. Homeowners and the pest control industry need to prepare for this year’s termite season.

Termite-friendly Temperatures

Rising soil temperatures promote vigorous foraging activities from the hungry over-wintered termites away from nests. Termites forage cryptically by tunneling underground and building mud-tubes aboveground to find food and moisture in the ground as well as above the ground.

Rising ambient air temperatures also trigger the reproductive winged termites to emerge out of their nest to embark on a nuptial flight. This is an event we call swarming. Swarming typically occur in warm, humid, and calm day, usually the day after a rain. The flying termites swarm in large numbers to find mates. The successful pairs will burrow to the ground and places having a combination of dirt, moisture, and wood to start their own colonies.

With that being said, the spring is an optimal time to schedule an annual termite inspection, which can help avoid costly damage to most people’s largest investments, their homes.

Termite Treatments

Termite treatments are not a one size fits all. Annual inspection is one of the most important parts of a termite treatment. Termite inspection is better done by licensed pest control professional because it requires knowledge on termite biology and the techniques or tools that most homeowners are not familiar with.

Homeowners need to set up a time with a licensed technician. Most importantly, be at home during the inspection and give the inspector access to the entirety of your premise. That include primarily your house, garage, attic, basement, crawl space, sink, and any other structures that need to be checked. Homeowners also need to remove any items blocking expansion joints in your garage and anything that limits access to opening of crawl space or the space under sink.

Termite Inspection Components

Inspection consists of two components:

  • Inspect in and around your home interior and exterior for evidence and telltale signs of termite activities and infestation.
  • Exam and note premise conditions conducive to current and future activity.

Inspectors document these findings by drawing a graph that notes all the findings and use these findings to formulate plan on how to best treat the property or to remedy the problems.

Of those evidence and signs of termite activities, the most obvious and easy to spot are

  • above-ground mud tubes and mud-holes
  • live and dead swarmer
  • shed wings
  • hollow or blistering wood damage
  • sagging floor
  • bulging paint/wallpaper
  • brittle drywall
  • frass in case of dry-wood termites

Conditions of premise attracting and favoring termite activities are associated with moisture and wood. They include, not limited to

  • household plumbing leaks
  • roof leaks
  • gutter leaks
  • clogged gutters
  • in-ground tree-stumps
  • pile of wood
  • flower-bad around home

Termite Awareness Week

The Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA) has designated March 6-12 Termite Awareness Week. During the Termite Awareness Week, PPMA will make their popular termite educational campaigns such as “Will They Eat It?” and the “Tiny Termite House” available on multiple social media channels to promote this national observance on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, and Pinterest.

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