Termite Control and Prevention (Before You Fall Through the Floor!)

Damage Control

Termite control is one of the toughest cases of pest removal for homeowners. These tiny ant-like insects can hide and burrow in complex colonies numbering in to the thousands. Termites tunnel and burrow through structures to reach a food or water access point. This intricate process also leads to significant structural damage, including weakened foundations, damaged flooring and unsafe framing for a home. Termites are also known to ruin entire crops with their voracious appetite and their extensive colony structures that can be built above and below ground. Preventing a termite colony from establishing roots in the first place is the best pest control option for homeowners. The type of pest control and prevention method will depend largely on the property that could potentially be impacted by termite damage. It is also important to note that even with detailed termite inspections, the pests can still go unnoticed for extensive periods of time thanks to their tunneling skills.

Prevention Is the Best Policy

Termite damage is one of the most costly types of repairs a homeowner can face. Termites have the ability to gnaw through everything from dirt to wood to carpeting. Insurance companies are often wary of covering termite damage in regions that are prone to termite populations. This is largely because the scope of structural and foundation damage to a home can be so expensive to repair, with no real guarantee that the same home won’t be impacted by termites again. Some termite removal methods that a do-it-yourself homeowner may consider in preventing termite damage includes the following:
  • Inspect wood structures and foundation supports regularly for signs of termites. This includes garages, porches and decks. The insects themselves can be visible, along with mounds of dirt from their tunneling activities.
  • Replace any timber that is coming into contact with the ground. Concrete or other masonry materials are safer from termite populations.
  • Keep areas around a home dry. Inspect the rainwater, gutter drains and soil touching the foundation of a home. Add sand or gravel if the ground remains saturated too long after a rainfall.
  • Weed and clean the garden. In addition to wood, termites also dine on rotting vegetation.
  • Clean up after pets. Termites have also been known to feed on animal waste, so keeping the yard clean and disposing of it regularly and properly is a great preventative measure.
Preventing a termite problem is a far easier form of pest control than an actual extermination process. The sheer damage a colony of termites can generate is the necessary incentive for even the laziest couch potato to get up and take care of things before termites take over.

Bad Ideas for Termite Control

While termite prevention is the best policy for termite control, there are many bad ideas that homeowners are often given that can actually make a small problem worse.
  • Don’t buy a house without a professional termite inspection. Many homeowners are overwhelmed when they get an assessment of termite damage and just decide to jump ship. Now their problem will be yours. Get a complete home inspection, including a termite analysis, particularly if you are purchasing in a region prone to termite populations.
  • Don’t use chemical sprays and assume you are finished. Spotting termites and killing them with toxic sprays is a great way to express aggression, but without looking for tunneling areas or the colony source, a weakened foundation will still be at risk for collapse.
  • Don’t assume the worse. Before ripping up your entire foundation and replacing it with concrete, the termite problem may not be as bad as you thought. Sometimes old colonies or tunnels are abandoned. Without an active colony, no additional damage will be incurred.
Catching a termite problem early on and implementing some additional pest control methods can be all that a homeowner needs to be protected from costly termite damage. Doing nothing because there’s nothing you can do is some of the worst advice a homeowner can receive - or believe! By getting a handle on the termite problem early, there will be far less work down the road.

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