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Protecting your investment: how to keep your home termite free

Posted January 13, 2020 5:00 a.m. EST

Termites are drawn to our homes and wood piles, and can cause immense amounts of damage if unchecked. (cgdeaw/Big Stock Photo)

This article was written for our sponsor, Moxie Pest Control.

We dislike bugs and pests for a variety of reasons. Some are dangerous to our health, some are venomous and some are just plain creepy. But one of the most financially crippling pests out there is the termite.

These wood-eaters are drawn to our homes and wood piles, and can cause immense amounts of damage if unchecked. Not only can this damage be costly to repair, it could potentially damage the physical infrastructure of your home, making it unsafe to live in.

North Carolina, in particular, is home to the subterranean termite. These pests live in the ground and are not always noticeable right away. They can easily sneak into a home and begin devouring essential wood structures.

However, there are a few telltale signs that a termite has made your house its next meal:

Look for Mud Tubes - Subterranean termites do not like to be out in the open. If they find an accessible location that isn't directly resting on the ground, they will construct these thin tubes of soil and mud to crawl through. These are commonly located on foundation walls and joists.

Piles of Wings - The termites that scout around for places to live and eat have wings so they can cover a large distance. Once they've located a new home, they shed their wings. A pile of wings is a potential sign your home has been infested.

If you see either of these telltale signs, it might be time to call an exterminator.

If you're concerned about potential termite infection, there are preventative steps you can take to make your home less enticing to these pests.

Remove Dried Wood - There are a variety of sources of dried wood you may have near your home that can attract termites. If you store wood for burning during the winter months, ensure the pile is kept as far away from the house as possible and is ideally elevated off of the ground. Remove old or rotten fences and stumps, both of which are huge draws for termites. And ensure any landscaping you have in your yard is well maintained and isn't brushing up against your home.

Check for Leaks - Termites require moist spaces to thrive, so check for any leaks on your property. Outdoor water spouts, crawl space pipes and faulty gutters should all be repaired or removed to prevent water accumulation. Poor drainage on your property can also lead to water buildup and could attract termites.

Schedule Yearly Inspections - It's much easier to notice termite warning signs when you're specifically looking for them. When you're just out mowing the yard or moving boxes in the attic, chances are you won't be thinking about what termite infestation looks like. Instead, schedule a yearly appointment with your local pest control company to come out and take a look. These trained professionals will find any potential damages and can recommend preventative treatment.

"I do use Moxie [Pest Control] for termite prevention," John Wipper said. "I live in a new house that was built in 2018, so I have never had any issues with termites [or termite] damage or experience in that regard. For me it's just a prevention thing."

The Moxie team uses the Sentricon prevention system to kill termites and draw them away from your home. This system utilizes small plastic stations that are implanted in the ground and filled with bait. The bait attracts termites, who bring it back to the colony. This bait is specially formulated to prevent the termites from molting and maturing, ensuring the death of the colony. The Sentricon system only needs yearly checkups and the bait is safe to be around children and pets.

"Overall, my experience has been very positive," Wipper said. "They do a good job of explaining what they are treating and why, and always answer questions."

This article was written for our sponsor, Moxie Pest Control.

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