There’s an old saying in the south: it’s not if you get termites, it’s when. That old adage got all too real for a Columbus man. Bill Lacy bought his house 21 years ago. He noticed some damage over one of his windows.
“I actually had termite damage, yes. There were actually tiny holes in the sheetrock, ”said homeowner Bill Lacy.
As a new homeowner, he was concerned.
“Actually a bit scared.”
He’s not alone, at least not here in the south. The US Forrest Service says termites cause $ 2 billion in damage annually. Michael Luten is looking for termites. He says the pesky destructive insects love moisture and wood.
“One place we seem like they are in a structure is in windows. When the rain hits the outside, it rots out the window. That’s just a food source for these termites. They love the moisture. You come in. The moisture makes the wood softer and easier for them to consume, ”said Michael Luten, Service Center Manager at Arrow Exterminators.
On panel houses, Luten says you can see termites in bathrooms and kitchens, especially if you’ve had water leaks. They can use up to a foot two by four in a year and are easy to see. However, the problem is not what you see, but what you don’t see.
“Generally they were behind the walls by the time you see or know the infestation and have already damaged the structure,” Luten said.
To minimize your risk, remove moisture from foundations, remove old stumps from yards, and avoid excessive piles of mulch.
Since dealing with termites, Bill Lacy has been given a termite bond and is inspected every year.
“I think the termite bond is calm,” said Lacy.
Some other steps homeowners can take to minimize the risk of termites:
Drain the water out of the house using suitable downspouts and gutters
Do not stack firewood or wood near your home. Termites can burrow into the pile of wood and then directly into the house.
Keep branches and bushes well cut and away from the house, which is also helpful with inspections and looking for termite infestations.
Reduce the humidity in crawl spaces with adequate ventilation.
Have a licensed pest controller who specializes in termite control inspect your home annually. When you have termite protection, it is important to maintain your cover and renew it annually.