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How to Prevent and Treat a Termite Infestation

Termites might not carry human diseases like other household pests, but they can be a very expensive problem. An estimated five billion dollars’ worth of damage is caused by termites every year, and termites can even lead to fires or compromise your home’s structure. Fortunately, there are many effective ways to keep these critters at bay. Here are five ways to prevent and treat a termite infestation.

Start Before You Build

The best termite prevention method is to build a termite-proof home from the ground up. Frame your home with a termite-resistant material like steel or pressure treated wood. Build your home on a poured concrete foundation and use a basaltic termite barrier or termite mesh to keep these destructive bugs below ground.

Reduce Soil Contact

If your home is already built, it’s not too late to prevent termites. Reduce soil-to-wood contact by maintaining a barrier of four feet or larger between your home and plants, hedges, flower beds and mulch. Turn off or relocate outdoor lights during the swarming season in late winter and early spring.

Watch for Signs of Infestation

Keep an eye out for evidence of termites so you can seek professional termite treatment as early into the infestation as possible. Tunnels in wood, blistering in sheetrock and termite droppings are all strong indications that termites are eating their way into your home. Mud tunnels around your home are also evidence of termite activity.

Hire a Professional

Are you ready to evict your unwanted wood-eating guests? Insecticides are the most effective way to get rid of termites, but these strong chemicals are best left in the hands of professional exterminators. A good exterminator knows how to identify the type of termite you’re dealing with and how to apply the right insecticides in the safest and most effective amounts.

Non-chemical Treatments

If you’re not keen on chemicals or can’t afford to hire a professional to apply them, there are some natural methods you can use to get rid of termites. Biological control agents like certain species of worms and fungi can be ordered and deployed around your home to kill and repel termites. You can also install barriers like steel mesh or sand.

However you deal with termites, the most important thing is that you don’t ignore them. One or two termites on the windowsill can quickly spiral into a full-blown infestation if not treated promptly. Taking action as soon as possible can save thousands of dollars in termite damage.

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