Termites: Prevention and Treatment

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Termite damage costs Americans more than $1 billion every year! Termites have the ability to enter through spaces that are as thin as a piece of paper and can infest every part of your home. Termite colonies never stop working and eating and will continue to eat away at your home 24 hours per day. It is therefore undeniably important to take preventative measures to protect your home as well as the necessary steps to eradicate termites in the case of an infestation.

Some preventative measures include:

    • Having your home checked for termites yearly as well as before buying or selling a home.

    • Avoiding wood to ground contact (a minimum of 6 inches should be left between any
      wood siding and the ground).

    • Treating any wood surface that is in contact with the ground.

    • Preventing excessive moisture from gathering under or adjacent to your home and
       improving surface drainage.

    • Cutting back trees, shrubs, vines and any other plant material that is near or on your
       home.

    • Removing any wood piles that exist near your home.

In the case of an infestation it is important to take immediate action.

Special skills are required in order to totally eradicate a termite infestation. Many points of entry for termites are difficult to access and identify therefore strong knowledge of building construction and specialized equipment is often needed. Masonry drills, pumps, large-capacity tanks, and soil treatment rods are needed in order to inject liquid pesticide, into the ground alongside the foundation, beneath concrete slabs, and within foundation walls.

It may be possible to treat a small termite problem yourself, however. For example, if a mailbox post, sandbox or other small wooden object not attached to the house is infested you may be able to solve the problem with a do-it-yourself product. Food grade diatomaceous earth has been suggested as a way to eliminate small infestations of termites. When it comes to a large infestation in your home, however, treatment is better left to professionals.

Image by emills1