Preventing termite troubles in your home

Mark Packard has been tracking termites for more than 40 years.
 
"Termites are serious. They eat the structure. They consume wood," she said.  
 
"Termites can cause significant damage to your home, so if you suspect you have termites, you want to call a professional right away," said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.
 
Termites do $5 billion in damage to American homes each year. They thrive in damp environments and dead wood.
 
"There's no surefire way to prevent termites, but a couple things you can do are to reduce any moisture you find around your home as well as don't stack firewood up near your house," Hicks said. 
 
Termites are most noticeable during springtime when they use their clear wings to fly around their colonies in the soil. One way to treat a home infestation is to inject a liquid insecticide through specially drilled holes all around the house.
 
"Basically, we're trying to set the foundation on a chemical barrier so there's no way the termites can get into the structure without going through our chemical and then it's a transfer effect. They get the chemical on 'em. They take it back to the colony and wipe the colony out," Packard said.  
 
Another treatment method is to place bait stations around the property, but that requires more patience.
 
"It's not 100 percent. Usually, what I do is 100 percent - the conventional method. The baiting method - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't work and sometimes it takes a period of time to work," Packard said. 
 
Because it's hard to tell when you have termites and treating an infestation can cost you thousands of dollars, Hicks suggests having a pro out every year or two to do an inspection, which should cost around $100.
 

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