(NAPSI)-Could termites have your home by the walls, the floors and the ceilings? These saw-toothed, wood-eating insects eat 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making infestations much more common than you may think. This incessant gnawing can severely compromise the structural stability of your home as they chew their way through important support beams.
In fact, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year across the U.S.-and damage from wood-boring insects is typically not covered by homeowners' insurance policies.
What To Do
The best way to effectively treat an existing termite infestation is through professional pest control, but there are steps homeowners can take to help keep the pests from invading in the first place.
For instance, simple things, such as keeping tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house, can help.
The experts at the NPMA also recommend these tips for controlling termites:
• Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including entry points for utilities and pipes.
• Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
• Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and AC units.
• Repair fasciae, soffits and rotted roof shingles. Some termites are drawn to deteriorating wood.
• Replace weather stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
• Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and 5 inches off the ground.
• Routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), cracked or bubbling paint, and wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
• Direct water away from your house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
"Wood"n't you know it: Termites munch 24 hours a day, seven days a week, causing more than $5 billion in property damage a year. Luckily, there are simple ways by which you can protect your home.