PARSIPPANY, N.J., April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Western Pest Services, a New Jersey-based pest control company with branches throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, has noticed an increase in residents reporting termite activity throughout its service area during the first quarter of 2012. Rollins, Inc. (NYSE: ROL), parent company for Western Pest Services, has seen a 15 percent increase in termite treatment sales across all brands.
"Early spring-like temperatures have brought pests out sooner than usual – including flying insects, ants and termites," said Phil Pierce, entomologist and technical services manager for Western Pest Services. "While it is easy to spot flying insects and ants, termite activity can go unnoticed by homeowners until they start seeing swarmers, which can resemble flying ants. Although termite swarms typically occur in April for much of the northern part of the U.S., we began seeing termite swarms as early as January, which is extremely unusual."
The following cities are ranked in order by the number of termite inquiries received, as identified by Western Pest Services, between January and March of 2012 compared to January through March of 2011:
- Mountainside, N.J.
- Monmouth County, N.J.
- Philadelphia, Pa.
- Ocean County, N.J.
- Washington, D.C.
- Paramus, N.J.
- Baltimore, Md.
- Richmond, Va.
- Atlantic City, N.J.
- Virginia Beach, Va.
"While termites are most active when temperatures are above 60 degrees, it is important to note that they pose a year-round threat and not all colonies produce swarmers," added Pierce. "An average yard surrounding a home can support three, four or even more colonies, which can vary in size from thousands to tens of thousands of termites."
Known as the silent destroyers, termites can be very difficult to detect. They usually live entirely out of sight, silently feeding on cellulose from wood or wood products. Often, the only sign of termites is when swarmers, or winged adults, emerge from an existing colony that has reached a certain size to reproduce and start new colonies. While spotting swarmers or their discarded wings signals the presence of termites, it may also indicate that the colony has been active for several years.
In addition to being a difficult pest to spot, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reports that termites are the most destructive pest to the home in the U.S.
"Property damage from termites costs homeowners approximately $5 billion every year," said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "When termite activity is not detected early, an infestation can spiral out of control very quickly. As a result, homeowners should be on full alert this spring."
While homeowners should be aware of any termite activity around the home, they can work to limit risks of future termite infestations.
"Termites, like all pests, seek out three key elements for survival – food, water and shelter," said Pierce. "While restricting access to water and cellulose-based materials can help deter termites, these resilient pests have been around for 250 million years. Therefore, it is important that homeowners schedule yearly termite inspections with a pest management professional to help manage any issues that may be present."
Pierce also recommends that homeowners take several proactive steps to help decrease the chances of termite problems:
- Remove all wood debris that is in contact with the soil, storing any firewood away from the house and off the ground.
- Fix any leaks in pipes and drains. Damp wood creates ideal conditions for a healthy, large and robust termite colony.
- Make sure the soil around the structure is sloped away from the home and drainage from the roof doesn't collect near the property.
- Dense vegetation should never grow against siding or the foundation of a home.
- High humidity in the crawl space can lead to termite problems. Insulate or put down a vapor barrier to help reduce humidity and condensation from temperature gradients.
- Replace mulch that is close to the home with gravel. If mulch is used around the home, make certain to keep the mulch layer as shallow as possible. Thick mulch beds create soil moisture conditions that encourage termite activity.
About Western Pest Services
Founded in 1928, New Jersey-based Western Pest Services provides quality pest control to residential and commercial customers with services including: termite control, bed bug detection and extermination, stink bug control, mosquito control and home protection plans. Serving the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic United States, Western is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rollins, Inc. (NYSE: ROL). Learn more about Western by visiting www.westernpest.com. Connect with Western Pest Services on Facebook and YouTube, or on Twitter @WesternPestSrvc. Learn more about Rollins by visiting www.rollins.com.
SOURCE Western Pest Services