How much do you have invested in your home? You may have thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands tucked away in your equity. Your home is a nest egg. If you take care of it, it won't lose its value. In fact, many homes can increase in value over the years. So, it is important to recognize the signs of wood-eating pests and how to make your home less attractive to them.
What are the signs of termites and carpenter ants?
If you are standing in your kitchen and you see a line of large, black ants walking across your floor, you could be in major trouble. It is easy to think that those ants came from somewhere outside your home and are just passing through looking for food. However, you shouldn’t be so quick to shrug them off. If carpenter ants can get into your home to get food, they are not going to pass up the opportunity to explore every inch of your house and bore galleries through your wood. A trail of large, black ants can be a sign that you need to get professional help.
Termites and carpenter ants can also come in swarms. If you see a hundred flying insects in the air or winged insects all over your walls, that is a bad sign as well. They are very similar looking. However, termite swarmers are looking to start a new colony, meaning one already exists somewhere close, possibly even inside your home.
Preventing wood-eating pests.
You cannot naturally prevent wood eaters from devouring your home unless your home is made entirely of stone. But there are a few things you can do to prevent them from targeting it.
Keep all firewood, construction materials and other outside wood at least 20 feet from your house.
Keep mulch two feet from your exterior walls.
Make sure all gutters are working and unobstructed. Water spillage can cause wood rot.
Don't let puddles gather near your foundation. Fill those with gravel or packed dirt.
Termites and carpenter ants thrive in a home that has moisture inside. Be sure to run a dehumidifier in your basement if you have moisture problems.
If you have not seen carpenter ant trails, termite mud tubes or other evidence of swarmers you may be safe, but remember that these are silent pests that can eat away at your home for years before showing themselves. Sometimes it takes a professional to find evidence that even a certified home inspector could miss. Apply the prevention tips above and keep a watchful eye for the signs of termites and carpenter ants but do not hesitate to call a professional if you see something suspicious. It is never fun to have to get a home equity loan just to fix insect damage. Wouldn't you rather save that loan for something fun, like a hot tub or a pool?
To learn more about Rottler's termite control in St. Louis. Click Here!