The average teen boy should consume 2,400 calories a day for a healthy lifestyle. But for most teenagers 2,400 calories just isn’t enough. Many a parent can attest to the unquenchable hunger of teens, that leave buckets of chicken emptied, pizzas disappearing as if by magic, and hot dogs–well, those don’t stand a chance. Termites have a similar unquenchable hunger, a hunger for wood. And, just as food will go missing from your fridge and cabinets overnight and leave you regretting the day you ever had those hungry lifeforms, termites can silently eat away at the support beams and load bearing walls in your house, leaving you wondering how they could do this for years without you knowing.
There are a few ways to know if your house has a termite infestation. It is only when a colony has been within your home for multiple years that you will see the biggest, most obvious signs. Recognizable damage to your walls, floors, and ceilings, and a visual sag in your floor are clear indicators that termites have already been occupying your home for years.
Termite swarmers found around your living spaces are key indicators that you have a mature colony living inside your home. Swarmers can also exit your home and be found on your exterior walls and on window frames.
Mud tubes found crawling up your exterior foundation reveal termite entry points. These gateways allow termites passage from the outside world, into the wood filled interior of your home. These mud tubes can be as small as the length and width of a pencil, so be thorough in your search. Once you are sure your wall voids and attic spaces are termite free, use these following tips to help prevent any future termite invasion.
- Seal any gaps or holes found in your foundation and fix any broken siding.
- Remove or fix any sources of water build up, such as leaky pipes, broken appliances or dripping faucets.
- Stack any dead wood at least 20 feet from your home and off of the ground.
- Remove any large pieces of dead wood such as tree stumps or fallen trees.
- Keep all mulch and soil 15 inches from your foundation and away from direct contact with the walls of your home.
- Keep your attic and crawl spaces properly ventilated to assure a dry uninviting environment for termites.
Though teens and termites both eat you out of house and home, it’s obvious which is preferable. As always, the best termite extermination and prevention comes only from the pros. Call your local pest control agency and have an inspector do a full inspection. Food is expensive whether it is several boxes of Captain Crunch or the wood support beams in your house. Save money and protect your home from these hungry insects.