Spring brings possibly termite troubles for homeowners

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TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – A wet winter and spring mean better conditions for an unseen enemy that can destroy homes if not detected in time.

Warmer temperatures and wet weather mean things get busier for Gene Welsh and the local Terminix office.

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“Perfect conditions will be a 70-degree day such as it is now, you get a rain shower and get some of that mugginess that comes after the rain and that’s when the termites like to swarm,” explained Welsh.

He is branch manager for the Tupelo Terminix Office and wanted homeowners to know how they can prevent termites, which form colonies underground and find food sources in wood and sheetrocK.

Welsh encouraged homeowners to avoid stacking firewood in grassy areas against a house, and anytime water collects near a home’s foundation is an invitation for termites.

There are certain things homeowners can look for to spot possible termite infestation.

“If they have a wooden floor, look for dark spaces or bubbling in the floor, also wavy sheetrock or any kind of soft spots in sheetrock, we look for swarmers naturally, mud tubes, look like straws, termites travel in those, and any objects in house that would be eaten by termites as well, anything with cellulose,” said Welsh.

To defend a home against termites, Terminix has a bait defense system, the stations are placed in the ground every 15 feet. Termites eat the poison and take it back to their colony. It kills the other termites and protects your home.

“Termites are not going away, they are still in the yard, still around property, but now we have a means to control them,” said Welsh.

If termite damage is found, it can be treated, but the homeowner will have to pay for repairs, and those repairs are not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Welsh encouraged homeowners to get a termite inspection to help protect the biggest single investment for most people.

It is estimated that termites cause about $5 billion in damage every year in the United States.

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