Washington D.C.'s Secret To Effective Do-It-Yourself Termite Control
Nations and armies have been trying to invade Washington D.C. for hundreds of years, and unfortunately, so have termites. You’d think that termites would have a little more respect than to be such a scourge to Washington D.C. homeowners, but they don’t seem to care. Termites can cost you thousands of dollars, especially if you don’t know how to prevent them.
Many people know that termites are an issue, but they don’t quite understand the reach of termite impact on Americans. Costing homeowners billions of dollars in damage each year, termites are one of the most destructive forces that threaten American homes. And, unfortunately, most of this damage could be avoided.
On average, homeowners who notice signs of termite damage before a year has passed can avoid the costliest damage. Things to be on the lookout for are:
Swarmers: large, grey clouds of winged-termites who are in charge of recolonization and reproduction. If you see these on a muggy day following a few days of rain, you either already have a termite problem, or you will soon.
Frass: a collection of wood dust and termite droppings that will pile up on the floor. You’ll notice frass building up along baseboards or on top of door/window frames in the event of a severe infestation.
Tight-fitting doors and windows: this indicates internal damage caused by termites. If you notice your doors and windows are not opening/shutting properly, don’t write it off as normal wear and tear.
Soft clicking noises in the walls: termites do not eat and work in silence. Instead, they make a faint noise that you may notice if you’re listening for it.
Homeowners who recognize these signs may be able to avoid extreme damage, but they’ll still have to deal with the problem.
Proper Prevention Strategies
On the other hand, homeowners who take a more proactive approach in their prevention practices might be able to avoid an infestation altogether. Now, we aren’t talking about home remedies that the internet claims can ward off termites: things like orange oil, vinegar, or store-bought sprays. Those are largely ineffective and, ultimately, a waste of money. However, homeowners can effectively reduce their chances of infestation by adhering to the following guidelines:
Replace any rotted wood or wood damaged by moisture: this will attract termites quickly as they prefer to feed on already-damaged wood.
Manage your moisture issues: prevent further wood damage by preventing moisture buildup in and around the home. You can prevent rainwater from pooling up near your home’s foundation by utilizing an effective gutter and downspout system, and you should also use a dehumidifier in your basement and crawl spaces. Remember, any leaking pipe could lead to wood rot, so monitor your pipes closely.
Store firewood away from your house: firewood can attract termites quickly and lead them into the house. Firewood should be stored away from the house, off the ground, and under some sort of structure that is not at risk for termite damage.
Limit soil-to-wood contact: if there is soil that extends onto the wooden parts of your home’s foundation, termites who are searching for a food source in the soil will run straight into your house. You can avoid this by creating a buffer about 12-18” long separating the wood from the soil.
Now, this list can help reduce your risk, but there’s no such thing as guaranteed results from DIY pest control. And there is nothing you can do on your own to get rid of any termites that may already be working within your walls. The only way to truly prevent or eradicate termite activity is with professional assistance. Contact Capitol Pest today to find out how to protect the investment you’ve made in your home.