NPMA experts propose several tips to avoid termite infestation:
-- As most termites are attracted to moisture, avoid water accumulation near your home's foundation. Divert water away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
-- Quickly repair house damage from a leaky roof or window as termites can thrive in this moisture.
-- Never bury wood scraps or waste lumber in the yard, especially near the building. Remove old tree stumps and roots around and beneath the building.
-- Most importantly, eliminate any wood contact with the soil. Maintaining a 1-inch gap between the soil and wood portions of the building is ideal.
Recognizing the destruction termites can cause, it is important to be aware of infestation warning signs:
-- Swarming of winged forms in the fall and spring - termites can easily be confused with flying ants.
-- Evidence of mud tunneling in, over and under wood structures
-- Wooden structures exhibit darkening or blistering
-- Damaged wood becomes extremely thin and can be easily punctured by a knife or a screwdriver
"According to the latest professional pest control industry calculations, termites cause over $5 billion dollars in damage each year," said NPMA Public Affairs Director Cindy Mannes. "Virtually all experts recommend calling a pest control professional to protect one of your most important investments, your home, from termite infestation."
Professionals offer the specialized skills necessary to rid a home of termite infestation: knowledge of building construction, an ability to identify termite species and the knowledge of applicable methods of termite control.
The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 5,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property, reflected both in the continuing education of the pest control professional and the dissemination of timely information to homeowners and businesses.
For further information, visit pestworld.org.