Houston Property Owners' Complete Termite Prevention Guide
Houston residents are a diverse bunch. We come from all over the world, which is part of the city’s magic. Another part of what makes Houston so special is the pride that homeowners take in our properties. It takes a lot of hard work to beat the Houston heat, but the weather isn't the only thing that threatens our homes. It turns out that termites work just as hard as we do to create a space worth living in.
Seeing The Signs
You probably understand that termite damage can be very costly. However, you might not understand exactly why these pests cause so much damage, and how easily it could happen to you. Did you know that most termite infestations that last longer than a year will almost always result in more than $3,000 worth of damage to a home? You’re probably thinking, “how does that happen? If there are termites in my house, I’d know it.” However, termites can go undetected for far longer than a year if you don’t recognize the signs of infestation. Common signs of termite infestations include:
Swarmers: These are the winged termites in charge of colonization. A large, grey cloud buzzing on your property after a rainy day means you’ve either got a termite problem already, or you will soon.
Tightening Windows And Door Frames: This indicates internal damage caused by termites.
Frass: This mixture of termite droppings and wooden pellets will get kicked out of termite tunnels as they work, collecting on your floors near the baseboards.
Soft Clicking Noises Within Walls: While it is faint, if there are a lot of hungry termites within your walls, you should be able to hear them.
Once you begin seeing these signs, there isn’t a whole lot you can do about a termite infestation on your own. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent an infestation in the first place, and they all center around moisture control. Why? Well, you see, termites prefer an easy meal as opposed to one they have to work for.
Moistened, rotting wood is very attractive to them as a food source. While they can and will damage healthy wood, they are much more likely to infest a home that has rotting wood from moisture buildup. The best ways to control moisture in your house include:
Using a dehumidifier in your crawl spaces. Areas without air conditioning often become very humid, impacting the integrity of the wood.
Monitoring pipes. Checking your pipes for leaks, even small ones, can help eliminate moisture buildup and the ensuing wood rot.
Controlling rain runoff. With an effective gutter and downspout system, you can ensure that rainwater does not puddle up near the foundation of the house. This can soften the wooden parts of the foundation over time and allow termites to enter the home easily.
Along with moisture control, another way to keep termites away from the house is to create a buffer between the soil and the foundation (about 12-18 inches wide should suffice). Storing firewood off the ground and away from the house is a good practice as well.
Now, these techniques can be effective, but they are not backed by any sort of guarantee. When there are thousands of dollars’ worth of damage on the line, why would you settle for anything less than a certainty? Sometimes, you just have to go with the professionals if you want to save time, money, and headache in the long run. The best termite prevention and control comes with professional assistance - Modern Pest Control.