Termite Damage Can Be Prevented
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Termites, as small as they are, will damage more than three times as many homes in the United States as will be damaged by fire this year, costing $1.2 billion in repairs and treatments and affecting more than 1.5 million homes. In the spring, termite swarms are more common, increasing the evidence of infestation. "Researchers have found that a large colony of termites can eat a pound or more of wood in a day," said John Chapman, a Terminix entomologist. "And because most wood in a home is hidden, termites are often hard at work without the homeowner's knowledge." Homeowners can now monitor swarm activity with a new internet tool -- the swarm map. Updated weekly on the Terminix website ( www.terminix.com ), the map shows areas where swarms of termites have been reported by state and region, down to zip code level. To make homes less attractive to termite attack, Chapman has the following suggestions: -- Make sure firewood and other wood debris are not stacked against the home. -- Grade the soil around the foundation so it carries water away from the house, because termites need moisture to survive. Keep gutters and downspouts in good repair. -- Set any wooden posts, such as deck supports, on concrete pads, so they don't have direct contact with the ground. -- Use pressure-treated wood if wood will contact or come close to the ground. -- Avoid having veneers and stucco extend below grade level. Eight inches of clearance should be obtained. -- Contract with a termite control company for professional services when building a new home or addition to protect this significant investment. Homeowners can help prevent termite damage through annual inspections and timely professional treatment of possible infestation. Advances in professional termite control now make it possible to eliminate entire colonies through a revolutionary bating technology -- the Sentricon(1) Termite Colony Elimination System. Terminix offers Sentricon as a three-step process to monitor homes and rid them of subterranean termites. First, it monitors for evidence of termites in the soil around a structure. If termites are discovered, the system uses the biology and natural behavior of termites along with a unique bait to eliminate the colony. Bait is then removed and the system continues to monitor for new colonies that may invade the area. Sentricon stations are installed in the ground around the outside of a home. Because Sentricon does not require drilling holes in interior floors or foundations or exterior patios and walkways, it is much less intrusive than traditional methods of termite control. In addition, the active ingredient contained in the bait is used only when termites are present in the area, making it a targeted, low impact method of termite control. "With Sentricon, homeowners find real peace of mind knowing termite colonies have been eliminated and that ongoing inspections will protect their homes from new colonies which may attack the structure," said Chapman. Terminix, founded in 1927, operates 502 service centers in 44 states with locations in 12 foreign countries, as well. The company offers one of the best termite guarantees in the industry. For more information, call 800-TERMINIX. (1) Trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC
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