The word "pest" isn't nearly harsh enough of a description for the minuscule wrecking machines that have the ability to bring down a house if they go undected, namely termites and carpenter ants.
"I hope you have a good friend who is a general contractor," Catseye Pest Control technical director Luis Pabon said. "That's how bad it could get."
And that's why there are laws in New York State that apply to termite inspections when it comes to buying or selling a home.
"It's required by New York State law, and of course any mortgage company is going to require it. They want to make sure they're protecting their investment as well," explained Pabon, who has been in the Albany pest control business for decades.
While the most damning evidence of termite or carpenter ant damage is usually out of sight, there are some telltale signs to look out for.
"If you have a crawl space or a basement, termites will usually run up a mud tube," Pabon said. "They'll tap into your nearest floor joist, and from there they get right into the house. With carpenter ants, you're going to find that they have a frass. It looks like sawdust. That's another sign that they're in the house."
Most people love an attractively landscaped, manicured yard. And most also appreciate some shrubs around their house for privacy. But having landscaping and mulch right up against the foundation of your house is not advisable because of the potential problems it mayeventually cause.
"That's one of the biggest issues I have," Pabon said. "Some people think I'm anti-plants or flowers. No, I'm not at all. You really should have them away from the home for a number of reasons. If you put greenery, it gives them an avenue to get into the house."
Should you discover termites or carpenter ants in your home, Pabon urges you to contact a professional pest control service provider.
"You might be able to get rid of the symptoms, but the actual problem, you really need a professional to take care of it," Pabon said. "They know what they're doing. They know what to look for and they'll be able to attack where the colony may be."
Pabon also reminds us that chemicals have come a long way. They're powerful and often require only one application. There are even organic compounds available, but, he cautions, that doesn't mean you can put it in your coffee. It simply means it's made to break down quicker and more naturally.
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