Spring time in Atlanta, Georgia is truly the ideal time of the year to enjoy the many outdoor activities that the city has to offer. Warm sunshine and cool breeze invigorates the whole city and breathes new life into nature. Although this great weather can encourage homeowners to spend most of their days out of the house, it is important to remember that while you are out and about, pest problems may be lurking on the inside of your home.
While pest control should be addressed 365 days of the year, changes in the seasons means that different pests can be more active during one season and more dormant during others. In the case of termites, spring is the optimal time for them to swarm and infest new areas. Properly preparing your home to prevent termite damage is key to weathering the swarm. Truly Nolen of West Atlanta, GA outlines special concerns for Atlanta homes, paying close attention to areas in the home more susceptible to damage such as crawl spaces, attics, basements, chimneys and any wooden structure that may be attached to, or near to your home.
Why Do Termites Swarm?
Found throughout most of the United States, termites are particularly prevalent in the South East, with Atlanta claiming one of the top hot spots for termite infestations. In particular, subterranean termites are the most common type, making a name for themselves in many Atlanta homes. Drawn to moisture, subterranean termites will build their nests in wet wood, as well as underground, hence the name “subterranean.” Winding their way through tunnels in the soil, subterranean termites are on the search for wooden structures in any form, as this contains cellulose, which is the primary basis of their diet. Trees, decaying woods, branches and other wood elements don’t stand a chance against these voracious eaters. Unfortunately, many of these wooden elements can also be found near to or attached to your home, making them the perfect gateway for termites to enter.
Should termites find their way into your home and establish their colonies, there will come a time when these colonies will become overcrowded or these termites will be on the search for new areas to inhabit. When this happens, “swarmers” or winged termites will emerge and swarm, indicating the start of the termite reproductive cycle. These swarmers have the primary responsibility of taking flight in order to reproduce, in turn creating new colonies away from its current environment.
Areas of Concern in Atlanta Homes & How to Prepare
With much of Atlanta surrounded heavily by trees, combined with the wooden architecture and construction design elements of most Atlanta homes, there are many opportunities for these wood destroying insects to enter the home and wreak havoc. Termite infestations can be a tremendous financial drainage for homeowners who are not aware of a problem until it is too late. This is also a consideration for those wishing to buy or sell their properties, as undiscovered termite problems can damage property values and affect pending transactions.
Residents in Atlanta are advised to be particularly aware of certain areas in the home that are more prone to termite infestations. By being cognizant of these areas, homeowners can be proactive in scheduling regular inspections from a trained Truly Nolen pest control expert. In addition, homeowners can also take steps to help deter termites from wreaking havoc in their home.
Areas that are susceptible to termite damage include:
- Crawl Spaces – Construction elements that are found in crawl spaces can be cellulose in nature, thus providing ample bait for termites to forage. Also, crawl spaces are prone to excessive moisture if not properly ventilated, making them an ideal environment for termites to flourish.
How to Prepare: Ensure that all crawl spaces are inspected for insufficient ventilation, being sure to address this sooner than later. Proper ventilation decreases the humidity factor, where termites tend to thrive.
- Basements – Close to the ground, basements can serve as an entry point for termites due to issues with moisture and its proximity to the soil.
How to prepare: Ensure that all window frames or doorways in the basement are properly sealed and caulked. Proper insulation, as well as maintaining adequate temperatures allow for less moisture in the air and can also deter termites.
- Chimneys – With chimneys having a direct route to the exterior of the home, as well as the presence of chopped firewood, termites can find their way inside.
How to prepare: Routinely check firewood for signs of termites and store at least 20 feet away from the house if possible.
- Attics – Old, wooden exposed beams in the attic can provide the perfect place for termites to get their fill.
How to prepare: For older homes in particular, a professional attic inspection can reveal any signs of damaged or rotting beams that may be in need of repair.
- Porches/Decks – Generally constructed of wood, termites are notorious for doing damage as exposed porches and decks are prone to weathering from natural elements such as rain or snow.
How to prepare: Regularly apply protecting sealants to help keep moisture from infiltrating the wood. This will ensure that your deck lasts longer, as well as provide a barrier between the wood and water, keeping termites at bay.
- Wooden sheds –Outdoor wooden sheds can find themselves under attack since they are prone to getting wet.
How to prepare: At the first sign of rotting wood, replace or repair the damaged area to avoid giving termites an easy meal. Applying insecticide, or painting the exterior of the shed can also help discourage termites.
- Wooden siding- With cracks and creases to hide in, wooden siding is often a source of termite infestation in most Atlanta homes.
How to prepare: Ideally, siding should start at a minimum of 6 inches from the ground to avoid wood to soil contact.
- Wooden fencing – In direct contact with the soil, untreated wooden fencing makes it easy for termites to crawl up and do damage to the fence itself, as well as to adjoining structures.
How to prepare: Addressing any signs of decaying wood is the first step in keeping your wooden fence termite free. It can also be helpful to paint the fence, as this will create an additional barrier to the wood.
Since termite infestations can often go unnoticed for a period of time, it is important for residents in Atlanta to schedule home inspections on a regular basis. Consistently monitoring and treating your home will ensure that termites do not have a chance to enter, and any existing problems are dealt with safely and efficiently by your trained service professional.
Your Truly Nolen West Atlanta professional can provide a free home inspection and customized treatment options that are just right for you. Through Truly’s Total Termite Protection Plan℠, homeowners are covered for protection from all types of termites. Call Truly Nolen today at 404-939-7277 to schedule your free inspection and discuss how we can help you keep your home termite free this spring!