April showers bring May flowers… or so the saying goes. For those of us who own homes (and those of us who want to help you own homes), April showers also bring termites. I know, I know… it’s not such a catchy phrase. In fact, that one word… TERMITES… can strike fear in a homeowner’s heart. Here are some tips on how to keep your home termite free and what to do if those pesky bugs have already set up camp.
Termites love, love, love moisture. All that warm, wet wood makes their job of eating your foundation and framing oh, so much easier. It’s also why the month of April should be known as termite month… all that rain helps turn our homes into a bug buffet. First and foremost, you need to have a good relationship with a great bug company. When selecting a pest control company, it’s important to confirm that they are licensed by the Department of Agriculture. Membership in Tennessee’s state pest control association and/or National Pest Management Association suggests that the company is an established firm with access to training and technical information needed to do the job correctly. References are invaluable and you should not hesitate to ask a potential company to provide them. Lastly, consider getting inspections and/or estimates from two to three companies to help verify the existence of a termite problem and allow you to compare services.
If you live in the Williamson County Area, I would suggest Scott McFarlin at Northwest Exterminating. Contact him at (615) 890-4161.
Even if you don’t have a home that requires monthly visits from the bug-busters, you need to have a contract for a yearly termite inspection. You also need to make sure that your pest control company is getting down and dirty… crawling under and around crawl spaces, doing a thorough inspection of basements, cellars and the like.
Besides having a trustworthy pest control company on speed dial, you can also avoid termite infestations by remembering the following:
Immediately repair water leaks and moisture problems. Pay special attention to leaky roofs, attics and slow drips around sinks and in bathrooms. Most of us think of termites as attacking from the bottom up, but they’ll find any vulnerable area from which to launch their attack.
Clear gutters and downspouts so that water cannot accumulate and cause water damage.
Ensure that drain spouts and HVAC drainage lines flow away from your home.
Mulch should be no closer than six inches from your home’s foundation. Just as mulch helps keep our shrubs, trees and plants moist, it creates a perfect environment for termite swarms.
If you have irrigation systems, check them regularly to make sure they are spraying away from exterior walls and foundations.
Stucco, wood and vinyl siding should be a minimum of six inches above the finished soil level. Without that six inch foundation, you’re sending termites an engraved invitation to a house party.