There is no doubt that termites are a serious threat for Nassau County property owners. These insects live in the ground and enter properties from the ground in secret places. As they feed, the sounds they make are most often completely undetectable. This allows termites to damage the wood of a home or business for years. Damage done by termites can be difficult or impossible to repair, and the cost of termite damage can eat into retirement savings. If you own property in Nassau County, the following tips can help you protect your investment from serious damage.
1. Learn To Recognize Termite Swarmers
While not the best way to find out you have a termite infestation, swarmers are one of the most obvious signs of an infestation. Swarmers don't appear in large numbers before an infestation. If you find lots of swarmers on your Nassau County property, it is a warning sign of a current infestation. It is also a sign that your property has been actively damaged by termites for several years. It takes more than three years for a termite nest to mature and begin producing swarmers. But, when they do, it is important that you recognize the warning sign. Termite swarmers are only about ⅜ of an inch long. They are dark colored and usually black. They have four wings that are rounded at the tips and stack on top of each other. Swarms usually occur in the spring.
2. Learn To Recognize Shelter Tubes
When termites attack the wood of your property, they create shelter tubes in order to do it—this is assuming you don't have any wood-to-soil contact. Termite workers create these tubes to keep themselves from drying out. You'll find shelter tubes going from the soil to the wood of a structure. You're most likely to find these tubes in dark, damp locations. They can be as thin as a pencil and they typically have an upside-down chain lightning shape. If you see a shelter tube, break a portion off and see if it "grows" back in a few days. This will let you know if you have an active infestation.
3. Do Routine Inspections Of Your Exterior
Take the time to walk around the outside of your property and inspect the wood, particularly door and window frames. Look for any changes, gaps, cracks, etc. These can be warning signs of termite activity within. But, most importantly, look for any damage or deterioration of wood members.
4. Control Moisture
Termites are attracted to moist soil and moist conditions. If you have a damp perimeter around your property, you'll invite termite activity. Here are a few tips for reducing moisture.
Invest in having your gutters cleaned.
Repair any damaged gutters, splash blocks, or downspouts.
Water your landscaping in the morning and give the sun the opportunity to dry the moisture.
Keep your landscaping trimmed and weeds plucked up.
5. Control Humidity
If termites get into your property, they'll be drawn to high humidity or moisture. Reducing humidity can have an impact on many pests, but particularly wood-destroying pests.
ake sure your foundation vents are not blocked
Repair faucets that leak
Repair pipes and plumbing seals that leak
6. Remove Wood-To-Soil Contact
If any portion of your property has wood that makes contact with the soil, this should be addressed. Direct contact will give termites direct access. It is also important to make sure that you don't have any other sources of wood in your yard that are buried in the soil.
Remove tree stumps and root systems.
Remove old form boards, grade stakes, and other wood that may be in the soil.
Refrain from burying scrap wood in your yard.
Keep any firewood at least 20 feet from your exterior and raise your wood stacks off the ground.
Consider replacing wood fencing with vinyl or inspect your fencing routinely for evidence of termite activity.
7. Create A Dry Barrier
If you have mulch in your landscaping, be sure to keep it from touching your foundation wall. It is a good idea to keep an eighteen-inch dry patch of soil next to your foundation. Trim bushes, shrubs and other vegetation to reduce shaded areas, and to make it easier for you to inspect your foundation wall for shelter tubes.
If you live in Nassau County, contact Parkway Pest Services for termite extermination or ongoing, always active termite protection. There is no better way to protect your property from termite damage.