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Termites Cause Over $5 Billion In Property Damage

Termites Cause Over $5 Billion In Property Damage

termite-soldierFor More Information on our Termite Control Services CLICK HERE

Homeowners across the country are out enjoying sunshine and fresh air while prepping their homes for the warmer seasons. While home improvements on the honey-do list may seem endless, one important task that shouldn’t be ignored is checking for termite activity. Moisture-damaged homes, regardless of make, model or age, are susceptible to termite infestations. Termites are capable of chewing through wood, flooring and wallpaper undetected. These “silent destroyers” can’t be eradicated with do-it-yourself measures, and cause more than $5 billion in property damage annually, costs not typically covered by homeowners insurance.

How to Identify Termites

Termite-spotting likely occurs in spring as they build new colonies for mating and nourishment. As colonies mature, winged termites appear around lights of windows and doors. After mating, termites create nearby colonies, spreading the infestation and disappearing into structures. While homeowners may see termites, they can mistake them for flying ants. Termites have distinct body types characterized by straight waists, straight antennae and two sets of wings equal in size. Misidentifying termites could delay treatment and cause structural property damage. Homeowners should be on the lookout for mud tubes on the base of their house, soft wood that sounds hollow when tapped, darkening or blistering of wood structures, small feces piles resembling sawdust near a termite nest and discarded wings near doors or on windowsills.

Prevention Tips

If your home is currently termite-free, you should still take preventative steps to avoid becoming a termite magnet in the future. Most importantly, eliminate or reduce moisture in and around the home, which termites need to thrive. Below are things you can do to help prevent infestations in your home: * Divert water away from the foundation by installing properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. * Reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation. * Trim vines, hedges and other vegetation so they don’t block vents. * Remove old form boards, grade stakes, tree trunks and roots nearby. * Maintain 18 inches between soil and any wood portions of your home. * Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and 5 inches off the ground. * Routinely inspect your home’s foundation for signs of termite damage.

If You Think You Have a Problem to rid your home of termites, contact Pro-Tec as soon as possible for an inspection or to schedule your service.

For More Information on our Termite Control Services CLICK HERE

How To Spot Bed Bugs

How To Spot Bed Bugs

bed bugIf you have an infestation, it is best to find it early, before the infestation becomes established or spreads. Treating a minor infestation, while an inconvenience, is far less costly and easier than treating the same infestation after it becomes more widespread.

However, low-level infestations are also much more challenging to find and correctly identify. Other insects, such as carpet beetles, can be easily mistaken for bed bugs. If you misidentify a bed bug infestation, it gives the bugs more time to spread to other areas of the house or hitchhike a ride to someone else’s house to start a new infestation. Learn about identifying bed bugs.

Bites on the skin are a poor indicator of a bed bug infestation. Bed bug bites can look like bites from other insects (such as mosquitoes or chiggers), rashes (such as eczema or fungal infections), or even hives. Some people do not react to bed bug bites at all.

Here a few quick tips:

MORE INFO
https://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/how-find-bed-bugs

5 Most Common Health Risks From Pest Infestations

Pest infestations can be very annoying. They can make your house feel dirty and uncomfortable. Unfortunately, pest infestations can also cause a number of health problems in children and adults. A pest infestation could pose at least five different health hazards.

Dysentery, Salmonella and Gastroenteritis

One of the main health hazards from pests comes in the form of contaminated food. Pests like cockroaches, mice and flies all carry bacteria. They can spread bacteria to food in your home through direct contact or by delayed contact with droppings. The result could be serious illnesses like dysentery, salmonella and gastroenteritis that cause pain, dehydration and other intestinal issues.

Hantavirus

Mice can carry a disease known as hantavirus. Hantavirus can cause serious problems in humans from respiratory issues and hemorrhagic fever to death. Humans can contract hantavirus through droppings. It is even possible to get it by breathing in the dust from the feces or urine left by the mice. This is why dealing with any rodent problem in your home is important.

Asthma and Respiratory Issues

Roaches, mice and many other insects can all lead to respiratory issues. The droppings and carcasses of cockroaches release a protein that triggers allergic reactions. This can cause severe asthma attacks. Long-term exposure can harm the lungs even if you do not have pre-existing respiratory issues. The problems will persist and grow worse as long as the infestation continues.

Leptospirosis

Rodents can spread leptospirosis to human beings. The bacterial disease can be spread when humans come into contact with rodent urine or feces. It can be spread by eating or drinking anything that has been exposed to fluids from a mouse or rat. Leptospirosis causes fever and can lead to kidney failure, liver failure, brain swelling and potentially death. Avoiding leptospirosis means keeping rodents out of the home.

West Nile Virus

West Nile virus is a serious health hazard when your home has been infested with mosquitoes. Mosquitoes transmit this virus when they bite. West Nile can lead to a life-threatening illness in some people. It can be fatal. You can protect against West Nile virus by treating an infested house with mosquito control products. This will stop the infestation and make your home safer.

It is important to respond to signs of pests in your home immediately. Do not wait since this provides the pests time to start reproducing and making the problem worse. You should immediately start taking steps to eliminate the pests as soon as signs of a problem appear.

TIP: Keep Pet Food Away From Mice

dog-food

Dog food is something you want to feed to Fido and Fido alone. Unfortunately, hungry pest mice who infiltrate a bag of dog food can contaminate it with a variety of diseases. Sanitary feeding practices and proper storage should prevent mouse infestation of your pooch’s food.

Disease
Wild mice carry a variety of diseases and bacteria, including hantavirus, leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, rat-bite fever, salmonellosis and tularemia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These conditions spread through contact with mouse droppings, saliva or urine. Mice, who tend to urinate and defecate where they eat, may leave urine and droppings in the kibble simply by sampling or creeping through any of your dog’s food — making the food dangerous for your pooch to eat. Just one mouse contaminates up to 10 times the amount of food it eats, according to the Indiana University School of Public Environmental Affairs.

Signs of Contamination
Contamination of your pooch’s food can occur in your home but may also occur in pet supply stores or in a pet food manufacturer’s facilities. Inspect the food and its packaging for signs of mouse contamination before giving any of it to your pup. Signs of contamination include dark ricelike droppings in the food, a musky odor and small holes in the dog food bag itself. In your home, you might find a small pile of dog kibble gathered by mice in places like closets and seldom-used drawers, according to the Humane Society of the United States. If you suspect your pooch’s food is contaminated, don’t feed it to him; throw it away.

Proper Storage
Dog food, namely dry dog kibble, attracts mice because the little guys can smell it and can access it by chewing through its packaging. Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime, according to the Indiana Vector Control Association. Discourage mice and protect your pup’s food by transferring it to an airtight plastic, glass or metal pet food container that mice can’t access or gnaw through. Don’t leave dog food sitting around. Remove your pooch’s food dish 15 minutes after setting it down, storing dry food leftovers in an air-tight container and canned food in the refrigerator.

Discouraging Mice
Wash your pup’s bowl after every meal and wipe down his eating area to remove stray particles of food. Seal up holes around your home that mice can use as entryways with caulk, metal or steel wool, the CDC recommends. Feed your pup only inside your home, not outside or in the garage where rodents can get wind of it. Never leave his food out overnight; this is when mice are most active. Mice are also attracted to feces, so remember to pick up after Fido when outdoors.