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Termite Awareness Week is an annual observance promoted by The National Pest Management Association. This year, Termite Awareness Week is being observed the week of March 17-21. The emphasis during this week of observance of termites is to educate homeowners about the threat of termites and instruct homeowners how to protect their homes against the destruction of termite invasion.

The threat that termites bring to homeowners is not to be taken lightly. It is estimated that these destructive creatures are responsible for as much as $2 billion in structural damage each year. This damage can range from window ledges being destroyed to sagging floors, damaged foundations and, in extreme cases, collapsed buildings. Unfortunately, this damage goes unnoticed for long periods of time due to the activity of termites beginning on the inside, sometimes leaving not much more than the outer shell of the structure.

Understanding the behavior, activities and eating patterns of the termite is helpful information that will equip the property owner in implementing a few tips to prevent an invasion of these destructive pests. While it may not be possible to be 100% effective in keeping termites out of your home, the following ideas and tips will make your property much less inviting.

  • Keep all firewood, mulch piles and stacks of lumber away from all buildings. These are ideal attractants to the termite.

  • Seal off all obvious points of entry. This includes any cracks or gaps in the foundation and around windows and doors, and utility entrances. Keep screens on all windows to prevent swarmers from accessing the home.

  • Direct all water away from the foundation with the use of guttering, downspouts and splash blocks.

  • Inspect foundation and exterior wood for mud tubes or any other noticeable changes.

  • Remove any water sources inside the home by repairing any leaking faucets or drains. Termites cannot survive without water.

While these do-it-yourself tips are extremely helpful, it must be understood that removal of termites from any structure cannot be performed with DIY measures. Professionally trained pest management specialists should be called the moment the homeowner has the slightest suspicion that there may be a termite invasion. With the use of their training and experience, the pest management company will determine the extent of the problem, recommend a method of treatment and advise the homeowner in damage repairs. Establishing a schedule of routine inspections with your pest management company will be prudent to the home maintaining a pest-free status.

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