Termites are small, wood-destroying insects that can nest and cause damage around homes with few signs of activity. They can be active year round, but with the warmer and wetter weather of spring, termites multiply, and this year is expected to be worse than usual due to the more severe winter we’ve had. Over the next few months, we will see an increased number of termite swarms across the state, which is why now is the best time for you to have a professional termite inspection done for your home.
According to Termite Infestation Probability Zones (TIP Zones), New Jersey is located in TIP Zone #2 (moderate to heavy), which means the potential for termite damage is considered significant. The National Pest Management Association estimates that termite infestation causes more than $5 billion in property damage each year. Termites damage approximately 600,000 homes in the U.S. each year, and a homeowner who discovers termite damage can expect to spend an average of $3,000 for repairs.
Why is termite damage so costly?
Termites destroy wood from the inside out and very often, home owners don’t even know they have an infestation until significant damage has already been done. Because termites are always fairly active and widespread in New Jersey, it is essential to maintain an effective termite prevention and control program. If you own a home here, your best line of defense against costly termite infestations and damage is a yearly inspection.
Is there anything I can do to help prevent termite infestation?
In addition to having a yearly termite inspection, there are several things you can do to help avoid infestation by these nasty critters.
Termites eat cellulose from wood and dead plant material so having anything of that nature in contact with the soil around your home can provide them with easy access to a tasty meal.
- Keep all wooden parts of the your home’s foundation at least 6” above the soil.
- Avoid or minimize use of wood mulch next to your home’s foundation or siding
- Remove dead trees, stumps, and roots near your home.
- Never store firewood or lumber against the foundation or in the crawl space.
Moisture accumulation near your home’s foundation provides water needed for termite survival.
- Grade or slope soil away from the foundation.
- Divert rainwater away from the foundation.
- Maintain clean gutters and downspouts.
- Install downspout extenders and splash blocks.
- Divert lawn sprinklers and irrigation water away from the foundation.
- Repair leaking faucets, water pipes, and air conditioning units.
- Poor ventilation in crawl space can also provide water needed for termite survival.
When it comes to termites, it is exceptionally important to be proactive because there is an increased chance that you don’t even know they are in your house. Termites eat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which means that damage to the wood in and around your home can happen very quickly.
Have questions we didn’t’ answer or want to schedule a termite inspection of your home? Give us a call at 973-255-0369 or visit us online at www.njhomeinspector4u.com. By taking preventative measures, you can stop damage from getting worse or possibly from ever happening.