Arlington, VA – A single termite doesn’t look dangerous or menacing, but a whole colony can inflict serious structural damage on a home in a fairly short period of time. Each year, termites cause about $5 billion in property damage, according to the National Pest Management Association, a BBB National Partner.
Termites are known as “silent destroyers” because of their ability to chew undetected through wood, flooring and even wallpaper. As the ground warms, termite populations emerge in search of mates and new structures to invade.
Better Business Bureau offers these tips from NPMA for preventing termites from wreaking havoc on your home. Here are four ways to avoid a termite infestation:
Repair and replace when necessary. Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and AC units on the outside of the home. Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles. Replace weather stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
Keep it clear. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off the ground. Direct water away from your house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. Keep mulch at least 15 inches from the foundation.
Inspect, inspect, inspect. Routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), cracked or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped. Monitor all exterior areas of wood, including windows, doorframes and skirting boards for any noticeable changes.
Protect your investment. Not sure if you have termites? Consider a termite inspection from a qualified pest management company. NPMA recommends a termite inspection every 1-3 years, but half of homeowners they surveyed have never had their homes inspected.
BBB has Business Reviews on nearly 20,000 pest management companies available for free at bbb.org. Over 3,300 of these are BBB Accredited.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation. BBB of South Central Louisiana, Inc. has been serving the local community since 1950 and services the parishes of Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. James, Tangipahoa, West Baton Rouge & West Feliciana.