Contributed by the NPMA
Termites are one of the most destructive pests on the planet, eating through wood at an alarming rate. If you thought termites were just a household pest, think again. These non-discriminatory pests pose a major threat to the fabric of commercial facilities. This Termite Awareness Week – March 6-12, 2022 – The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is equipping farm managers with the information they need to manage their protect facility from a termite problem.
“Each year, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage, which is closer to $6.8 billion when you factor in current inflation. These high costs can put a significant strain on your facilities management budget and even adversely affect your bottom line,” said Cindy Mannes, senior vice president of public affairs at NPMA. “Termites are also known as silent destroyers because of their ability to penetrate wood, floors and even wallpaper. This makes a regular inspection by your pest control partner during termite season an essential step.”
To combat the damage these pests can do, it’s important for facility managers and employees to be aware of the top five signs of a termite infestation:
Sign #1: Swarmers
Hawk-moths are young female and winged termites that often enter structures in spring. They particularly look for buildings that have been damaged by severe winter weather. Once hawk moths have determined that your setup is a good fit, it is likely that the rest of the termite colony will follow.
Sign #2: Discarded Wings
The shed wings of hawk moths are often found near windows and doors and are often the first and only visible sign of a termite problem
Sign #3: Wood damage
Termites tend to eat wood from the inside out, so wood that sounds hollow when tapped often indicates a termite infestation. Facility managers should also keep an eye out for rotting wood.
Character #4: Frass
Drywood termites produce wood-colored droppings when they eat through infested wood. If a facility manager or employee finds a small pile of pellets inside or outside the building, it could be a sign of a drywood termite infestation.
Character #5: Mud Pipes
Subterranean termites construct mud tubes to provide moisture when traveling between their colony and a food source. Mud tubes are most commonly found near the foundation of the building.
To prevent termite infestations and costly damage, the NPMA recommends facility managers eliminate or correct any moisture issues, since termites need water for their populations to thrive. Also, be sure to schedule an annual termite inspection with your licensed pest control partner who specializes in termite control work, as they can properly identify the species and treat the problem before it gets out of control.
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