When people think of home improvement, things like new flooring and paint often come to mind. Aesthetic changes, appliance replacement, wiring, plumbing, and HVAC dominate the field, but it is important not to take the actual structure of your home for granted. Houses withstand all sorts of environmental hazards, but the smallest hazards, and often undetected, may prove the most destructive over time. Rodents and termites create several small holes and burrows, growing and compromising the integrity of your structural support. A solid pest control strategy may be the most important home improvement you didn’t even realize you need.
The eastern subterranean termite is responsible for 80% of the 2.2 billion dollars spent on termite control in the US every year, and for good reason. These pests burrow into wood, consuming the cellulose and creating a compromising honeycomb of structural weakness. From the outside, it is impossible to tell that there is even an infestation. Termites are social insects with colonies that can grow into the millions in the right conditions. They consume mostly cellulose contained in wood, but they will chew through other substances to get to their food. They thrive in warm, moist areas, which makes homes in humid climates perfect hosts.
Repairing termite damage is expensive and disruptive. Workers must have access to the home as well as any affected areas, which may be located in attics, basements, or behind drywall. Preventing termite infestations with a pest maintenance program is the least disruptive method and likely far more cost-effective.
Rodent control and termite control often go hand in hand. Both animals burrow into spaces in the home, however, rodents are also carriers of disease and other pests like mites, ticks, and lice. A mouse can enter into the house through a hole as small as ¼ inch, and one or two mice quickly multiply into dozens. Gaps of this size are easily overlooked as possible entryways for mice, and infestations could go unnoticed for a while as mice are nocturnal. At home extermination methods are sometimes effective, but preventative treatments and ongoing pest control maintenance programs will yield the best results with the least amount of damage.
Professional pest control comes with many bonuses, first being peace of mind. Professionals use the best treatment options and conduct regular site inspections to make sure that pests haven’t found a foothold in the home. Homeowners could easily overlook warning signs that a professional would detect. Combining treatments for different pests may also benefit from bundled pricing options from pest control companies, and since they only need to visit once to treat for several pests, fewer visits have to be coordinated with homeowners.
Businesses, homeowners, and landlords should all consider scheduled pest control a vital expenditure for the maintenance of their buildings, especially buildings located in climates that favor subversive pests like mice and termites. Once a problem is detected, extermination is more complicated and more intrusive. Infestation prevention results in cost savings in repairs, a healthier environment for building inhabitants, and the comfort of knowing that your structure is protected.