The North Carolina Termite Checklist: Prepare for Termites in Any Season
The termite swarmers may be gone by the end of spring, but here in North Carolina, the eastern subterranean termite does its greatest damage quietly and invisibly. Those swarmers of spring have set up new colonies, each one supporting 1 to 2 million hungry termites looking for food. Large colonies, an underground habitat, stealthy behavior and ravenous appetites—is there any wonder why termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage nationwide every year? Don't let this happen to your home - Triangle Pest Control offers preventative termite control in Durham, NC.
What’s a homeowner to do?
North Carolina is considered a moderate to heavy termite activity area according to the Termite Infestation Probability Zone Map. Statistically, one in five homes has been or will be infested. Here is a checklist to help you prepare for termites and reduce your home’s chances of becoming part of this statistic:
- If you are building a home, have the soil treated for termites prior to laying the foundation. Proactive measures such as pretreatment prepares your property for termites and reduces the potential for a problem.
- Schedule an annual home termite inspection with a termite control professional. This is the most effective and most affordable way of protecting your home and property.
- Have in place a termite control plan prepared by a knowledgeable professional. An effective plan will help you prepare for termites and quickly eliminate problems before you have major structural damage. An effective plan will help prevent your home from being re-infested.
Make your home less attractive to termites
Make your property an unfriendly environment for termites. Subterranean termites require four things for survival: sources of food, moisture, shelter and proper temperatures.
- Eliminate all possible food sources. Remove all damp, decaying wood such as wood logs, dead trees, stumps and roots. Don’t store firewood against your home. Leave a one-inch gap between mulch or other woody groundcover and your foundation. Do not use a lot of mulch around your house. Consider using rubber mulch in the immediate area surrounding your home.
- Termites need moisture to survive. Fix leaking pipes and reduce the humidity in crawl spaces. Avoid water accumulation near your home’s foundation. Make sure drain pipes are clean and clear of debris, divert moisture from rainfall and air conditioners with downspouts, drains and splash blocks.
- Heavy brush or growth around your house provides shelter to termites. Prune bushes and shrubs to allow clearance between your home and your landscaping. Remove dead or dying branches.
- Spring and summer weather provide optimum temperatures for termite activity. However, when the weather gets cooler, the termites simply move deeper underground to maintain the ideal temperature for the colony. Because of the colder temperatures termites may rely on dead and dying debris closer to the colony. Removing this makes it more difficult for the termite to get to adequate food. Keep in mind however that once the termites have found a way into your house, living conditions are ideal and there is no distinct season for termite activity.
It’s commonly said in North Carolina that there are only two types of homes: those that are infested with termites and those that will be. You can beat the odds by being proactive and prepared. A termite control professional will help you prepare for termites by providing an annual home inspection, treating any infestation with safe and effective control measures and developing and maintaining a program to reduce the potential for future infestation. Proactive, prepared and professional – these are the keys to preparing for next season and making sure you and your home do not become a Durham termite infestation statistic. Learn more about preparing for termite infestation in our complete guide for homeowners, “Termite Prevention Plan.”