Its no secret that termites are a major structural pest in the southeast. Atlanta is one of the nations “hot-spots” for termite infestations. In fact, most Atlanta homeowners have a story to share about their first hand experience with these destructive critters. So, as we come into the spring and face yet another annual swarm season, I’d like to dispel a few common myths about termites and their control.
Myth #1: I spray for bugs myself so I won’t get termites! WRONG! Termites do not live where they can be easily detected. there are only a handful of species of termites found in Metro Atlanta. All but one, the drywood termite which is exceptionally rare and nearly non-native, require ground contact to maintain their body moisture content and survive.
This means the typical pest control application will do absolutely no good. A professional treatment utilizing liquid termiticides or baits are the only effective way to gain termite control.
Myth #2: My house was sprayed with Chlordane in ’84. That stuff lasts forever! It’s true that many of the Organophosphates are highly persistent and can last for decades. This is why, at least in part, the US EPA banned these substances. They can effectively kill termites if they are dumb enough to come into direct contact with the chemical. However, termites are survivalists. They can detect toxic substances with relative ease and avoid these areas.
And, because soil moves over time it’s a reality that the chemical barrier that once protected your home is highly fragmented and now totally non-effective. Periodic re-treatments of your home with modern products are the only way to effectively control termites. This is recommended every 8-10 years.
Myth #3: My home has a solid concrete foundation. I won’t get termites! Although some foundations are easier for termites to infest, there simply isn’t a construction style that prevents termites from gaining access. Mechanical exclusion was tested and failed in the 70’s with the inclusion of metal termite barriers built into foundations. The point here, no matter how your house was built or what material was used…termites can and will find a way inside.
These are just a few of the many common myths I hear about Termite Control in Atlanta. Trust me…there are many more. The truth is, there is simply no substitute for a professional termite treatment to protect your home from damaging termites.
Call a professional and have your home inspected. If its been more than 10 years since the last time your home was treated please consider doing so. The average cost of preventative termite treatment is around $1000. The average cost to repair your home is likely 10 times that amount! Please be proactive and protect your home.