It is termite season in Middle Tennessee, are you ready?
Every Spring, as the temperatures warm and the rains fall, a tiny insect wakens. This tiny insect, know as the subterranean termite, emerges from inside walls, floors, trees, and the ground to make a mating flight and begin a new life as the king and queen of a newly established colony. In the pest business, we call this termite swarm season! When this occurs inside a home, thousands of winged ant-like insects begin to fly from out of the wall and towards the windows and other light sources. Fortunately, all of these will die if they are unable to reach soil quickly. But what they leave behind are the worker and soldier termites inside the walls of your house. These are the termites that do the damage, eating the wood that your home is built with. These are the termites that the homeowners in Tennessee must be concerned with. But what can you do?
There are signs to look for around your house that may indicate a termite issue during swarm season. A few of them are:
- Termite shelter tubes or mud tunnels on the foundation of you house. These may be found in the crawl space, on exterior foundations, and in the garage walls. In Middle Tennessee they are usually orange in color, due to our clay soil.
- Crumbling baseboards or drywall on the interior of the house. The termites will eat the wood and paper behind the paint, and then the paint will crack or sink in, making it brittle.
- Swarm castles and pinholes are usually found in the drywall; termites will penetrate through the paint layer in preparation for the swarm.
- Dead insects that are usually black in color and look similar to ants and or wings. The termite swarmers will break off their wings after fight before returning to the earth. They can usually be found near windows and under light sources.
Prevention is the key, and here are a few tips on what you can do:
- Termites eat the cellulose in wood, so it is recommended to remove all wood debris from around and under your house. This includes the fire wood. It is best to move it 10′ from your house and off the ground.
- Termites need water, and we recommend that all gutters and downspouts are in working order and directing water away from the house. Make sure you don’t have water puddling under your home. Keep it dry.
- Ensure all windows and doors are sealed properly to keep rain and moisture out. Wet and rotting wood is a favorite of termites.
If you discover signs of termites in Middle Tennessee, what should you do?
Termite Season is here in Middle Tennessee, but don’t panic… Really! Termites damage homes, but not overnight. Take a deep breath and relax. Contact a professional and ask for a Free inspection. Everyone does these, as it is an opportunity to educate the homeowner and earn your business. A few questions you will want to have answered:
- How long has your company been in business and are you a member of the BBB, Pest Control Association, Chamber of Commerce, and a Quality Pro Company?
- What product are you planning to use to protect my home? We use Termidor HE, as it has the best proven track record of success.
- Has the termite technician attended the 3 day Termite Master Apprentice training program hosted by Tennessee Department of Agricuture that regulates all pest control companies, along with company training?
- Does the termite service offer a damage repair warranty or just a treatment warranty?
At the end of the day, you must feel confident that the company you hire to eliminate the termites will do the job right, and be there to stand behind their work in 5, 10, or 20 years if an issue ever arrises.