Spring’s Worst Kept Secret
March 23, 2015
Spring is a time for laughter and joy, a time of festivities to celebrate the end of yet another cold winter. For most states, the snow is almost gone, and grass can be seen sprouting from the fresh soil. It feels like nothing can go wrong. However, we all know that is not the case. Springtime is prime time for pests. The cold that has kept them at bay and in hibernation over the long winter, no longer threatens them. They are free to leave their beds in search of a new home, a place that will provide them with safety, food and water.
The Termite--a small vile creature with an innate hunger for wood--searches for a new feeding ground. Carpenter ants--bred for hard work and loyal to their queen--set out in a quest for food, wired with a need to feed their kingdoms. Although mortal enemies, these two armies settle on a common feeding ground: your home.
Pest Signs and Prevention Tips
First, do a thorough self-inspection of your home for signs of ant and termite infestation. Termites and carpenter ants are both attracted to wood and moisture. Termites prefer stealth, building for themselves mud tubes, sometimes as small and thin as a common pencil. Carpenter ants will enter your home through any hole, crack, or open door they find. If not given a clear entry point they will chew in through wet wood, usually in the corners of doors where water has collected and rotted away at the wood. These are all clear signs of a pest problem in your home. Your goal should be to remove all attractants that lure these pests to your home.
Keep any and all dead wood at least 25 feet away from your home. This will deter both ants and termites.
Keep mulch two feet away from your basement walls. Mulch contains wood and provides a nice cover for termites to hide beneath.
Ants feed off plants as well as sugary substances. Things such as cane sugar, sweet drinks, and fruit baskets attract ants to your home and should be stored and sealed properly.
Keep all food off your floors and counters. If an ant scout finds no food to scavenge from your home, he will return less often. But if he finds even one grain of sugar or a dropped grape, he will have your home swarming with ants in a matter of hours.
Keep all soil at least 6 inches below your siding. At no place should soil be touching the wood of your exterior walls.
Make sure gutters channel water away from your exterior walls. If they are obstructed, they can make your perimeter soil moist and wood soft, for quick termite penetration.
Rotting wood is attractive to both of these wood eaters. Try to stay on top of repairs.
Repair cracks in your foundation. Ants use these as highways to your home.
Home remedies only work so well. The best way to protect your home from these pesky spring pests is to have a professional do it for you. Have a local pest expert do a full and detailed inspection. These professionals can protect your house with the most recent technologies in pest control. Your home is your domain. Keep it safe from spring pests.