A termite inspection is your home’s first line of defense
Termites would be good candidates for the witness protection program. They don’t seek attention, they tend to live in out-of-the-way locations, and they prefer to remain anonymous. The problem? Termites’ behavior while “on the lam” can lead to serious structural damage to your home.
So how can you stay one step ahead of termites? Reggie Becerra, WDO Service Manager at Clark Pest Control in Santa Maria, CA, says the first thing you can do is schedule an annual termite inspection of your home.
“Inspections are an often overlooked first step in the battle to prevent termites from infesting and damaging a home,” says Becerra. “Many times, homeowners wait until it’s too late to do anything. That’s why it is important to have an annual inspection performed by a trained professional.”
Why might a homeowner overlook getting a termite inspection? Becerra says the cryptic nature of termites often can lead to an out of sight, out of mind approach, which can be a costly mistake in the long run.
What does a termite inspector look for?
Subterranean termites typically swarm on warm spring-like days following rain. This season is rapidly approaching, so it’s important to have a trained professional who knows where and what to look for to find termites.
Clark Pest Control’s termite inspectors focus their efforts on the most vulnerable areas of a home. This includes inspecting all accessible areas, including basements, crawlspaces, windows, door frames, around utility access points in walls and slabs, and in settlement and expansion cracks in the slab.
Clark’s inspectors will start at the foundation and work their way up, examining every crack, crevice, and potential termite entry point for signs of termites and damage, both past and present. They will look for visible signs of termite activity. These include:
- Damage and exit holes in wood
- Mud tubes on cinderblock walls in basements or crawlspaces
- Discarded wings from swarmers (termite reproductives)
- Termite droppings
Becerra says that in the central coast region of California, where both subterranean and drywood termite pressure is high, homes are typically divided into two categories – a house that has termites, and a house that is going to be infested.
“Many homes in the region are built on former agricultural land, and trees and plants were simply plowed under and left in the soil,” says Becerra. “That wood is a natural attractant and nesting location for termites. And since they are constantly foraging for food, they will eventually come into contact with the wood in a home, accessing it through the slab and into wall voids, subflooring, and attics.”
Termite prevention tips from the experts
In addition to scheduling an annual termite inspection, Becerra says that you can help protect your home against destructive termites and other wood-destroying pests by taking these preventive actions:
- Fill in cracks in your masonry or concrete and repair or replace damaged exterior wood.
- Divert moisture away from your home’s foundation by installing properly functioning downspouts, gutters, and splash blocks.
- Adjust irrigation systems to prevent them from watering stucco or wood siding.
- Reduce humidity in crawlspaces and attics with proper ventilation.
- Remove old form boards, grade stakes, tree trunks, and roots near your home, as they can attract subterranean termites.
- Do not use mulch against a home’s foundation, as it retains moisture and is an attractant to termites. Use a stone or gravel barrier around the foundation.
- Maintain an 18-inch gap between soil and any wood portions of your home.
If Clark Pest Control inspectors identify the presence of termites or wood-destroying pests and organisms in your home, they will determine the source of the infestation. Then, they will provide you with treatment recommendations. They also will make recommendations for any necessary repair work for damage caused by the infestation.
For maximum protection against termites, you should ask about Clark Pest Control’s exclusive Termite Infestation Protection (TIP) program, which is designed to cover your home from future infestations and damages caused by all species of termites.
Clark, your friendly pest, rodent, termite, and grounds care expert, is committed to safeguarding your home from pests during these challenging times. Our service technicians use such personal protective equipment as gloves, masks, and respirators, they practice social distancing, they call ahead to notify you before a service, and they adhere strictly to all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when servicing inside or outside your home.
If you suspect that termites are threatening your home, call Clark at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free termite inspection.
Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home and yard.