Warmer weather has arrived in Atlanta and across the southeast. The grass is turning green. The birds are chirping. Spring cleaning and household projects are underway. Spring is also the most common season for termite swarms. These swarmers will scour the area in search of a home for their new colony. Every year, many homeowners unknowingly invite termites into their homes. Here are a few of the most common mistakes that open the door to wood destroying insects.
10. Sprinklers that are located too close to your home
If your sprinklers are close enough to wet the side of your home, consider relocating them. Excessive moisture on wood siding and in landscaping next to your home will attract wood-destroying insects.
9. Wood mulch near your home's foundation
When wood mulch is piled too high, it can trap in moisture. Warm, wet wood equals lunchtime for termites. Experts recommend leaving a 15-inch gap between mulch and your home's foundation.
8. Clogged Gutters
Clogged gutters can result in pools of water which will attract insects. They can then enter around the roofline, make their way through the insulation and into your home.
7. Firewood Stacks, Woodpiles, and Tree Stumps
Stacks of wood are an attractant for termites. While having your firewood located on the porch may be convenient for you, it's also convenient for them. It is recommended that any woodpiles be at least 20 feet away from your home and at least 5 inches from the ground. Any decaying wood, such as stumps or dead trees, should always be removed from your yard.
6. Digging around your home's perimeter
If your home has been treated with a liquid termiticide, be especially careful when digging near your home's foundation as soil displacement can disturb your treatment. If your home is protected by termite bait stations, like the Sentricon system, make sure that the stations are not moved to another location or removed altogether.
5. Earth to Wood Contact & Untreated Wood
Porches and untreated fences are the most common culprits in this area. When building a new fence, be sure to use treated wood or vinyl and leave a gap between the fence and your home. Remember, if any wooden structure is attached to your home (i.e. a porch or deck) and there is wood in direct contact with the ground, you are exposing your home to termites.
4. Ignoring the Warning Signs
Listen to your home when it's telling you there's a problem. Termites are drawn to moisture. Any areas in your house that indicate possible water damage should be quickly addressed. Look for buckling wood, swollen floors or ceilings, and siding damage.
3. Using Do-it-Yourself or DIY Products
If you find active termites in your home, call a professional. Let someone who is trained in identifying infestations guide you to the appropriate treatment for your home.
2. Expanding your home without expanding your termite protection.
When it's time to add on the bonus room you've been saving for, remember to properly treat the new area for termites before building. If your home is protected by bait stations, your pest control company will need to install stations around your new addition.
1. Not getting a professional inspection
Homeowners lack the experience needed to properly inspect their own homes, so your home should be inspected by a trained professional. This is particularly important before buying a new home. In Georgia that inspection is typically called a WIIR or Wood Infestation Inspection Report, and in South Carolina you may hear it referred to as a CL 100. Either way, it means termite inspection from a pest expert. Missed signs of termite activity can lead to expensive damage.
Don't let termites ruin your spring fling. Entrust your home to Cingo to ensure your home is pest-free year round. Better yet, consider a pest control plan to protect your home and family from every single pest.
About Cingo: The name Cingo means to surround and secure, conveying the company's commitment to home protection. The company has been protecting families in the Southeast since 1974. It provides home protection services throughout Georgia and South Carolina, including Atlanta, Augusta, Charleston, Douglas, Dublin, Milledgeville, Savannah, Vidalia, Waycross and all points in between. Cingo was named a Best Place to Work in Georgia by Georgia Trend Magazine and listed as a National Best & Brightest Company to Work For. Learn more at www.cingohome.com.