Dealing with a pest infestation can be a real pain in the neck (and the wallet), but putting off the job could cost you big in the long run. While some pests are just a nuisance and potential health concern, other pests can do serious damage to your home. If an infestation is allowed to flourish, you could be looking at thousands of dollars in repairs. Here are some pests you can’t ignore:
Leaving a termite problem untreated is a recipe for disaster. According to the National Pest Management Association, termites have been estimated to cause over $5 billion in damage each year in this country. These tireless munchers eat wood from the inside out around the clock. Termites only need a crack that is 1/32 of an inch wide to enter your home. Once a colony establishes in your home, you could be dealing with up to a million termites. The extent of damage a termite colony can do varies. If the termites attack a structural beam in your home, the costs could skyrocket. Additionally, signs of past or active termites in your home immediately drop your home’s resale value.
Getting rid of a serious termite infestation is almost impossible on your own. Termites can burrow into the deep recesses of your home. A professional pest control specialist is needed to thoroughly address a serious termite infestation. Once you get rid of the termites, you have to take steps to prevent them from returning. A professional inspection can identify vulnerable areas of your home where termites might get in and how to address those areas. The most important thing to do is prevent moisture from accumulating near your home’s foundation. Termites thrive in moist environments. Divert water away from your home, seal any cracks in the foundation and cut back vegetation. Any untreated wood sources near the home should also be removed. You can also use a chemical barrier around your house. Liquid termiticide is sprayed around the foundation and must be redone every year or two.
Depending on where you live, carpenter ants might be a bigger threat than termites. Carpenter ants are mainly found in the Northeast, Pacific Northwest and Midwest. While termites eat wood, carpenter ants nest in wood. These big black ants (some of whom fly) can do a lot of damage in a relatively short time. They focus most of their attention on damp wood in the beginning, but can move unto dry wood as well. Ant baits and insecticides can be used to treat infestations. For large infestations, you’ll probably need to call in a pro. Once an infestation is taken care of, you’ll need to inspect for structural damage to your home and make repairs. Preventing a carpenter ant infestation is like preventing termites. You want to remove water and wood sources from around your home.