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Work done now can prevent a spring termite invasion

Spring is known as the problem season for termites, but did you know that what you do – or leave undone – before winter comes could mean the difference between protecting your home from termites and having an infestation?

Fall is the perfect time to survey your home and yard for any conditions that will provide an inviting home for termites once spring rolls around and they begin to multiply. If you live in an area that’s susceptible to termite invasions, fall is also a great time to schedule an annual home inspection with a certified pest management professional (PMP) who can tell you exactly what you should do to avoid an infestation.

BASF, manufacturer of the termite defense product Termidor termiticide/insecticide, used by many PMPs, offers these termite prevention tips compiled by their staff of professionals:

* Remove any wooden trellises that are attached to exterior walls.

* Don’t store any type of wood product next to your home, as it provides the ideal habitat for termites. Keep any firewood you store outside your home raised off the ground.

* If you use mulch in your garden, keep it away from the foundation of your home.

* Trim trees, brushes and shrubs so they aren’t near the foundation of your home.

* Remove dying trees or tree stumps in your yard, as both can attract termites.

* Water leaks can cause the wood in your home to become more hospitable for termites, so fix any leaky faucets and water lines – both inside and outside – as well as leaky roofs and gutters. Remove leaves and other debris from gutters and drains.

* Check the grade of your soil and landscaping around the foundation of your home to make sure it’s designed to make water run away from your home, rather than to it.

* Crawl spaces and attics should be properly ventilated to prevent high humidity levels that attract termites. If you have a crawl space with a dirt floor, it should be at least 90 percent covered with plastic sheeting.

* Survey your foundation to make sure stucco, wood siding and foam board is at least six inches from the ground. While you’re there, check for cracks and holes that need to be sealed, which could provide easy access for termites and other critters.

In addition to offering expert advice on termite prevention, PMPs are the only ones licensed to use effective termite control products such as Termidor. To find a pest professional near you, visit www.termidorhome.com.

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