........The Cajun Contractor, Michael King.........
..................Michael King
...........The Cajun Contractor

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Michael King Tip: TERMITE TIPS

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Ed Martin, Entomologist with Terminix, offers the following tips to prevent termite infestation in your structure:

Control Moisture

1. Termites need moisture to live. Keep your structure well ventilated and dry. Maintain and repair any leaks in your roof, gutters, windows and siding at once.

2. Fix all plumbing leaks. This includes showers, baths and any water pipes that may be leaking in or under the structure.

3. Clean all gutters and downspouts. Direct water well away from the foundation. Downspouts and air conditioning drains should not splash against the foundation or the structure.

4. All pavements should be sloped to drain surface water away from the building.

Don't Create Entry For Termites

1. Lattice, wooden fences, posts and decks, should not be touching the house. These can provide a "bridge" over the liquid chemical barrier and hamper good inspections.

2. Remove wood and cellulose materials stored under or around the structure. This includes boxes, newspapers, scrap and stored lumber.

3. Don't store firewood or other material on the ground against the building walls. Firewood should be stacked off the ground and all materials should be stored well away from the building. This eliminates "bridging" and allows for better inspections.

4. Avoid stucco and siding that extend below soil or cement. Also avoid building planters where soil extends above the slab (six to eight inches clearance above soil is best.)

Create A Barrier

1. Engage a professional and reputable termite control company to create a barrier against termites by treating the ground surrounding the building with a proven liquid termiticide. Keep in mind, termiticides last about five years in the New Orleans area.

2. Once a barrier has been established around your home, protect it. Do not disturb the earth within six inches of the structure when gardening. If major landscaping or construction changes are involved, it's an open invitation for termite reinfestation. Have the termite company retreat the ground surrounding your home.

Signs Of Termite Infestation

1. May through June is the Formosan termite swarming season. At this time, certain termites develop wings and fly away to start a new colony. Starting in the early evening they leave their nest in droves and you often see them swarming around light fixtures.

2. If you see a few termites flying inside your home, do not be alarmed. They may have entered any of the several wall and roof openings such as windows, doors, fireplaces and roof vents. If you see a hundred or more or discarded termite wings on window sills, door frames and light fixtures, termites may have infested your home.

Additional signs include:
-Mud tunnels on foundation walls and plumbing
-Weak spots in walls
-Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
-Doors and windows that sag
-Blistered or crumbling drywall

At this point, contact your termite control company immediately. After locating the termite entry point, the termite company will plan the most effective means to rid you of them. Depending upon your situation, the company may recommend a comprehensive plan which may include one or more steps such as baiting systems, tenting the structure, and ground treatment with a termiticide barrier.




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