It is winter. The cold has forced subterranean termites, which are common in most states, to burrow underground to escape the sub-zero temperature. You may think that you can take a breather and not worry about these little critters, but that is not exactly the case.
Termites are active all year round. Some species, like the subterranean termites that are common in many states, simply move deeper underground during the winter to escape the cold. They will continue to forage for food and they will appear anywhere where soil tends to stay warm, including inside your home.
If you suspect termite activity in your home, check mud tubes on interior walls, particularly in places in your home that tends to be moist and secluded like your basement and attic. Do not fret, though. There are pest control services ready to exterminate termites in Salt Lake City even in winter.
There are also several things you can do to prevent termites from damaging your home once the sun comes up.
Fix Water Leaks
Moisture is an open invitation for termites and other destructive pests to enter your home. To prevent an invasion, make sure to find and immediately fix any water leaks.
Leaks may not always be obvious, so search for signs like dark spots under the sinks and stains in the ceiling. The presence of mold and mildew might also mean that you have a hidden plumbing problem. Monitor your water meter for changes to make sure that water is not dripping from the pipes.
Poor drainage that may cause water to accumulate poses a serious problem. Make sure that gutters and downspouts are diverted away from the house to prevent any damage to the foundation when the snow and ice melts.
Cindy Mannes, the vice president of public affairs at the National Pest Management Association, warned that “termites are experts” in detecting cracks and cervices formed due to water damage. Homes that have sustained water damage are especially becoming prime targets for termites to invade and establish a new colony, destroying your property from the inside out.
Maintain Proper Ventilation
Areas that are often secluded, like attics and basements, should have proper ventilation all year round. Without proper ventilation, condensation might seep into the wood, creating an ideal environment for termites to swarm and feed.
Dampness may also build up behind walls which makes your home vulnerable to termite infestations that will be harder to detect and treat. Remove any item, including plants, that may block air from flowing through the vents.
Keep Dry Wood Away
If you store dry wood in your property for burning during winter, move them as far away from the exterior of the home as possible. If you have to bring them inside, use them immediately to decrease the likelihood of bringing termites into your home.
Dry wood should also be kept elevated. If you leave the pile on the ground, it might attract not just termites but other insects including ants. Moisture might also rot dry wood, making it more appealing to termites.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Home maintenance to prevent termite infestation, in particular, is better than having to pay for termite control and home repairs later on.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), termites cause billions of dollars in damages every year across the United States. Homeowners spend over $2 billion in treatment to remove the pests from their properties.
As termite infestation often goes undetected, it is also wise to have a professional inspect your home periodically and apply re-treatment on any vulnerable areas of your home.