Dec 30, 2013

Termites are Eating the Walls! Now What?

It can be quite a shock to discover that while you are watching TV, having a nice dinner or asleep in your bed, there are little creatures chewing up your home. You may, one day, see mud tubes running up a wall or small piles of dirt in the corners you just swept. You may also see bubbling paint, soft spots in the walls or door frames, problems with electrical connections or even swollen timbers. These are all signs that termites are busy in your home.

If you see any of the above symptoms along with white-looking ants, you have found termites. Your next question may be what do I do now? Don’t panic. Professional termite control is very effective.

You may think about spraying some poison and sweeping up the dirt and wood chips, but this is not your best option. Remember, termites take time to do significant damage, and if you have just found them, they have probably been there for a while. A few more days won’t make much difference. If you try to deal with them, they may run and hide, blocking off their retreat and sealing off their nest. This will make it more difficult for professional treatment to be successful.

The first thing you should do is get a qualified technician to inspect the infestation. An experienced termite control professional will be able to find the central nest and the extent of the damage. If you have already disturbed them, call the professional anyway. There are things they can do even if the termites are on the run.

It’s a good idea to call a professional even if you just suspect termites but are not sure. The longer you wait the more of your house they will eat. When looking for a termite control company there are a few guidelines you can use to get the best service:

        Get several estimates for the same job
        When you have selected a few companies, contact the Better Business Bureau for information
        Get a signed contract before the work begins
        The company should be licensed and insured, the employees bonded and they follow federal and/or state government rules regarding pesticides
        Ask about an annual inspection fee
        Ask for the names of previous customers
        Ask if the work is guaranteed

As with any other professional service, pest control should be done right the first time. The company should be willing to give you an outline for recommended treatment that includes:

        Name of the pest
        Extent of the infestation
        The active ingredient in the chosen pesticide
        Possible adverse health effects and symptoms
        Application techniques
        Non-chemical alternatives if any
        Instructions to reduce your exposure to the pesticide
        Preventative action you can take

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