Thursday, March 10, 2011

Don't Let Termites Eat You Out Of House And Home

According to the National Pest Management Association, termites destroy more homes each year than fires or floods. Annual damage estimates: $2.5 billion. "Unless you live in Alaska, where it gets very cold, your home is at risk," says Bayer Advanced™ entomologist and Head of Product Innovation Dr. Ken Kukorowski. Termites are attracted to houses because houses often contain two major food ingredients for termites-wood and water. They digest cellulose in wood for energy and require moisture to keep from drying up. It's possible to have a very serious termite problem without even knowing it since evidence of termites is often hidden, such as mud tunnels or other signs that may be out of view. "Think about where the wood in your house is located," says Kukorowski. "It's behind your walls and mostly 'out of view.'" Subterranean termites, including Formosan termites, can enter a house from the ground or from aerial infestations but the termites attacking your home will be connected eventually to the ground or another source of moisture in the house (water leak, condensation). Preventing easy access to your home is a key defense against termites: • Fix plumbing and roof leaks. • Divert water at least 18 inches away from your house with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. • Keep firewood at least 10 feet away from the foundation of your home. • Do not let mulch or soil touch siding on your home. Better yet, keep it about a foot away. • Eliminate all "wood/ground" contact near your home, except if the wood is pressure treated, permitted for soil contact. • Seal foundation cracks (to help prevent moisture from entering). • Hire a professional to conduct an annual inspection. • Another solution is to apply a new generation of termite and carpenter ant killers made specifically for do-it-yourselfers. Bayer Advanced™ PowerForce® Carpenter Ant & Termite Killer Plus kills termites and carpenter ants on contact, plus keeps killing up to four months. Follow the label instructions and apply around the outside perimeter of your home. It's one important step to make sure your dream home doesn't become a nightmare.

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