Friday, April 8, 2011
Springtime is in full swing and with it comes many insects we have not seen since last year. This month, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black would like to remind residents of the importance of protecting their homes and businesses against termite infestation.
“Every year, termites invade homes and cause billions of dollars worth of damage while compromising the structural integrity of the residences they infest. The Southeast has a very high termite presence due to our climate and soil conditions,” said Commissioner Black. “It is important for Georgians to prepare a plan of action to help prevent damage from occurring.”
Properties are generally protected by either liquid termiticide barrier treatments or termite monitoring and baiting programs, which help protect a building’s structure. Additionally, disturbance to the foundation soil or flooding can affect the protective measures and a licensed pest management professional can confirm whether a home or business is still protected against termites.
“Now is a great time to have your home or business checked out to determine if it’s necessary to re-establish termite control measures,” said Commissioner Black. “And termite inspection and control is one homeowner project that is best left to the professionals.”
For an average-sized home, a termite inspection from a licensed professional should take about one hour. To ensure Georgia’s consumers receive proper termite treatments, the Georgia Department of Agriculture provides free inspections of treated structures to confirm the treatment meets established standards and is safe and effective. If residents have a termite control contract that is active, or no more than two-years expired, they can set up this free service. State field agents can also inspect structures that have a Georgia Wood Infestation Inspection Report, or termite letter, as long as the letter is no more than 90 days old.
Homeowners can also take simple, preventative actions by keeping damp areas away from the home, because termites prefer damp wood. Wood debris and piles of wood (including firewood) are feeding grounds and should not be left near the home. Most professional liquid termite treatments are effective for five years, and a quick follow-up plan with your service provider will ensure steady protection for the life of your home.
Property owners should review their termite control contract to determine who is responsible for the reestablishment of the termite protection, which should be listed under the ‘terms and conditions’ within the contract.
Consumers are urged to only seek advice and use licensed professional pest control companies. If a company is not licensed by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, it is illegal for them to practice termite control work. Residents can find a list of all licensed professional pest management companies by visiting www.kellysolutions.com/ga/structural or by contacting the Structural Pest Control Division at (404) 656-3641.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture is responsible for licensing the professional pest management companies who perform termite control. There are approximately 1,200 of these companies operating in Georgia. Consumers can learn more about the Department’s Structural Pest Control Division by visiting www.agr.georgia.gov.