When it comes to termites, Missouri is known to be a heavily infested area of the country. Because termites work their way into your home from the ground up, it’s almost impossible to tell that termites are present until their attack is well underway. Sadly, termites cause more than five billion dollars in property damage a year in the U.S. Even worse, much of this damage is not covered by traditional insurance plans. So how do you know if termites are eating away on your home? A massive amount of swarming winged termites in the springtime is probably the sign that’s easiest to spot (see our last blog for more information on swarmers, and how you can tell them apart from winged ants). But other signs of termite invasion are harder to spot because you’ve got to get into the spaces where the damage is being done. Look for pinholes in sheet rock (also called drywall – this is the material that makes up the walls in most homes) and damaged wood inside your home. Also check outdoors and in crawl spaces for wood damage and/or termite mud trails (small tubes of mud that you can spot on non-wood areas like foundation walls; they run from the soil up into floor supports and other wooden structures). The good news is that termites can be prevented and treated. Homeowners can take action by making sure there is good draining around the home’s foundation. It’s a good idea to make it harder for termites to get to your home by removing any soil or mulch that comes all the way up to – or covers – your home’s siding or brick facing. Soil and mulch make it too easy for termites to get right up to your home, plus cover up some signs that an invasion is taking place. Also be sure to store piles of wood off the ground and away from the home’s foundation. Because termites can be so hard to spot, we recommend having a professional inspect your property once a year. Professionals know the small signs to look out for, and we can help you head off damage before your home’s structure is compromised or repairs get too expensive. If an invasion is found, there are two ways to deal with the termites: a permanent solution or a temporary fix. The temporary solution is to apply a liquid barrier treatment. This barrier will only kill termites that come into contact or very near the treatment area, but does not eliminate the colony. To truly kill off the colony, we recommend a permanent solution with the Sentricon termite elimination system. By keeping an eye out for termite invasion and taking action early, you can keep these little invaders from becoming a very big problem.