It’s Termite Awareness Week!

You Might Be Thinking, What Does That Mean Exactly?

As you gear up for spring by dusting off outdoor furniture and prepping to clean, we’re focused on termite season. Since this past winter has been milder than most, the National Pest Management Association is predicting increased termite activity this spring and summer. Today we are going to talk about some tips for protecting your home from termites.

Beware Of Termite Inspection Scams

Termite Awareness Week was initiated by the National Pest Management Association as a way to annually encourage homeowners across the country to actively monitor for signs of termites, emphasizing the critical need for routine inspections.

“Pest control professionals know exactly how destructive termites are, but homeowners are often caught completely by surprise. First, to find out they have termites, and second, at the expense to correct more severe structural damage—it can be quite a one-two punch,” said Jim Fredericks, NPMA executive director.

Did you know? Termites reportedly cause an estimated 6.8 billion dollars in damage the U.S. every year.

Here’s A Helpful List Of Tips For Protecting Your Home From Termites In The Kansas City, Area

1. Research Your Home’s Termite History

We’ve been a resource for homeowners and realtors for termite inspections and treatments since 1950. Our computer records only go back to about the 1990s. Still, since we’ve been to the majority of homes built before 2000, that’s usually enough of a historic log to tell you if we’ve been to your home for termite treatment or a termite inspection.

Our records will show if we treated your home for termites anytime between 1990-2023. If we don’t have a record of treating your home, you may want to try calling other termite companies in the Kansas City area to check their records, too. Most local Kansas City pest control companies have only been in business for less than 10-15 years, so they may not have an old termite record for your home.

If your home has received any kind of termite treatment, we recommend signing up for our preventative Sentricon system, because termites can (and often do) come back at any time. At a minimum, we recommend hiring a licensed (and experienced) termite inspector to perform a peace of mind inspection at your home annually.

2. Don’t Sign Up For A Termite Treatment With A Door-To-Door Sales Person

There are pest control companies going door to door offering free termite inspections.

Often, they misdiagnose a non-existent termite issue and suggest treatment when treatment is unneccesary.

ALWAYS seek a 2nd opinion from a licensed, experienced pest and termite control company before signing up for termite treatment.

3. Sign Up For Preventative Termite Control If Your Home Inspection Required Treatment

We don’t always recommend preventative termite treatment for every home, it’s situational of course. However, if you’ve just purchased a new home, and the termite inspector or home inspector found termites and suggested treatment, then you should continue preventative termite treatments for as long as you own the home.

As mentioned above, termites can and often do come back to homes where they’ve been before. So, the best practice would be to continue ongoing termite prevention with Sentricon bait stations, and work it into your budget from the start like you would any other utility bill! Think of it like home insurance or changing the filter in your HVAC system quarterly. If you don’t, future damage might set in, which might be costly.

Often, during the sale of the home you purchased, the seller will pay for Gunter to treat the home for termites, and we then install our Sentricon bait station system around your home. When you move in, you may not know what those little green stations are all around your yard. Those are termite stations! One year after they were installed, we will come back to check them, monitor them, and re-bait them as needed. Assuming you want to continue with our preventative treatments, we will mail you an invoice for our annual service fee. If we don’t have your email – call us to update your name and email in our account so that we can remove the seller’s info from your property info.

If you have any questions about termite inspections or treatments for your Kansas City home, please email us at info@gunterpest.com or call us at 816-444-2847.

Termite Prevention: Frequently asked questions

How to Tell Old Termite Damage from New

Differentiating between old and new termite damage can be crucial for effective pest management. When assessing termite damage, consider factors such as moisture levels and freshness. New termite damage often appears more moist and fresh compared to older damage, which may look drier and more weathered over time. Additionally, observe the color and texture of the damaged area. Fresh termite damage typically retains its natural wood color and may have a softer texture, whereas older damage can appear darker and more brittle. Another indicator is the presence of live termites around damaged areas. If you observe live termites, it's likely recent activity, as termites continuously forage for food. Additionally, tapping on the damaged wood can provide clues. Fresh termite damage may produce a hollow sound, indicating recent activity, while older damage might sound denser due to decay. Lastly, consider the surface integrity of the damaged wood. New termite damage often retains the wood's surface integrity, while older damage may show signs of deterioration, such as crumbling or peeling.

When Are Termites Most Active?

Termites are most active during warmer months, typically in spring and summer, when temperatures rise and humidity levels increase. However, in regions with milder climates, termite activity can persist year-round. Swarmers, the reproductive members of termite colonies, typically emerge during the spring when conditions are favorable for establishing new colonies.

Does Raid Kill Termites?

While Raid is effective against various household pests like ants and cockroaches, it is not specifically formulated to target termites. Termites live within the wood and soil, making it challenging for surface sprays like Raid to reach and eliminate them effectively. To eradicate termites, it's best to use specialized termite control methods such as bait stations, liquid termiticides, or seeking assistance from professional pest control services.

Does Pressure-Treated Wood Deter Termites?

Pressure-treated wood is infused with chemical preservatives to resist decay and deter pests, including termites. While pressure-treated wood is less susceptible to termite damage compared to untreated wood, it is not entirely termite-proof. Termites may still infest pressure-treated wood, especially if the chemical treatment diminishes over time or if there are untreated areas, such as cut ends or drill holes.

Do Termites Eat Cardboard?

Yes, termites can feed on cardboard. Cardboard, being made from cellulose-rich materials, serves as a potential food source for termites. Whether it's cardboard boxes, paper products, or other cellulose-based materials, termites can consume them if they find their way into the termites' foraging path. It's essential to store cardboard and similar materials away from potential termite entry points to minimize the risk of infestation.

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