March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, but during the middle of the month, it’s all about termites. March 16 caps off Termite Awareness Week – so what better time than now to brush up on these pesky insects?

Be Aware of the Facts

With an insatiable hunger for soft wood, termites cause an incredible $5 billion in damages to more than 5 million U.S. homes each year.

The U.S. Department of Forestry reports that the Washington, DC metropolitan region is heavily infested with subterranean termites – one of two types of termites that cause uniquely significant damage.

These “silent destroyers” undetectably infest homes, preying on the wood, and wallets, of unsuspecting homeowners. Their clandestine tactics make prevention and precaution the best defense against termites.

Know if You Have an Infestation

As mentioned above, termites don’t always make their presence known, but with a keen eye, you should be able to uncover evidence that they’ve taken up residence in your home. Common signs of termite damage include:

  • Mud tubes – which provide shelter for termites – are seen extending from the ground to infested wood. They are sometimes hidden behind baseboards and siding.
  • Winged “swarmer” termites’ shed wings are usually found along the edges of floors or on windowsills.
  • Termites feast on soft wood below the surface, which leaves the exterior wood intact. Tapping on damaged wood will reveal it to be hollow.
  • Mud-lined wood, and dark spots or blistering, are other tell-tale signs of a termite infestation.

Don’t Underestimate These Pests

A common misconception is that vinyl- or metal-sided homes and brick homes are safe from termites. Houses, regardless of the outer material, usually have wooden frames, making them termite-prone. Further, infestations of nearby wooden sheds or garages can quickly spread to nearby structures.

Subterranean termites are known for their heightened survival instincts and advanced communication system. If disturbed, the colony will stealthily relocate to other areas in the building, continuing to cause damage, while your extermination techniques turn ineffective. The best practice is to leave the infestation to the pest control experts.

Utilize Prevention Methods

As the snow thaws and the temperatures rise, our thoughts turn to fresh starts and spring cleaning. Did you know that by doing some tidying around the house and in the yard, you’ll be helping to ward off a termite infestation?

Keeping your yard clear of wood and debris and your foundation moisture-free are great prevention methods, and offer benefits beyond protection from termites. We’d also recommend using hardwood mulch instead of the soft mulch that termites love.

Regular monitoring and inspection are the best methods for preventing termite problems. Our technicians use the most-advanced technology in their fight against termites – both as preventive measures and extermination tools.

If your house shows signs of termite damage, or you want to ensure that you’ll remain a few steps ahead of a termite visit, give us a call today to schedule an inspection and discuss your options.

Talkin’ Termites: Brush Up On Your Termite 101 for Termite Awareness Week in Virginia

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