Embassy Shares What You Need to Know About Termites

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Here's what you need to know about Alabama termite season before the swarms

Cassie Fambro | cfambro@al.comBy Cassie Fambro | cfambro@al.com 
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on April 23, 2015 at 2:33 PM, updated April 23, 2015 at 3:03 PM
 
 
 
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The south is a hotspot for pests of different kinds, termites being one of them this time of year. Typically, the season for termites is from March through May.

After the torrential rain in mid-April, pest-control experts are on high-alert for the wood-eating critters.

Jack Brewer, certified entomologist with Lewis Pest Control said that homeowners need to be aware of certain signs and know what they're up against.

"They will swarm usually after days of heavy rainfall in the spring," said Brewer.

Residents often describe the occurrence as "raining bugs."

There are two types of termites to be on the lookout for: subterranean and Formosan. Subterranean termites are the ones to worry about during the day and Formosan termites come out at night.

There have already been several swarms this year, according to Brewer, but the large Formosan termite swarms have no occurred yet this year.

So what's the harm?

"All termites eat wood," said Brewer. "The problem with Formosan is that there are more of them, a colony may have up to 15,000,000 termites."

With that number of termites, Brewer said that can cause a lot of damage: in the millions-of-dollars.

He said that a swarm itself doesn't necessarily mean your home is infested with termites.

"They can crawl in the house because they came from the outside," he said.

It's when the bugs are coming out of a fixture or exposed wood that there's an issue.

Brewer said that it isn't an immediate sign to grab a can of Raid and soak your walls down. Raid can pose health threats to people.

"Get out the vacuum," said Brewer. "Then, call a professional."

Brewer said that it's important to remember that no inspector has x-ray vision to see through walls.

They do, however, have the experience, equipment and methodology to identify tell-tale signs of termite issues and treat them at their root cause.

Some of the signs could be a little damage to a baseboard, or a bit of mud through a small hole.

Brewer said there are steps homeowners can take themselves to prevent termites, particularly eliminating moisture.

"A homeowner can help out tremendously by eliminating moisture in, out and under their house. Termites need moisture. Rain falling off the house and landing around the house, creates good drainage. We live in the south so everyone has an AC, those ACs have drain lines; it's very common to have drain lines right next to the house and that's constant moisture," said Brewer.

Fixing roofing and plumbing leaks is also recommended, since Formosa termites are especially prone to taking advantage of roof damage.

Eliminating wood-to-house contact is also a good step to take. There are things such as termite shields, which Brewer said have their cons, and other steps to block access for a termite to the house.

It also can't hurt to turn the lights off, as swarming termites can be attracted to lights at night.

Brewer can be contacted at jbrewer@lewispestcontrol.net.

 

Source: http://www.al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2015/04/heres_what_you_need_to_know_ab.html#incart_river