Photo Gallery | Memphis makes list for 'Top Termite Town'
Memphis has made the list for being a "Top Termite Town" this spring following the Mid-South's quick warm-up which is an ideal wake-up call for the bugs.
Their swarms are weather-driven events that typically occur on sunny, warm, calm days following a spring rain. During a swarm, winged termites leave their existing colony to find a mate and establish new colonies. While termite swarming can occur as early as February, due to unseasonably cool weather this year, activity has been delayed throughout much of the country.
“When a homeowner detects a termite swarm, it could mean the house is infested and may have already suffered damage,” said Terminix entomologist Paul Curtis. “However, identifying a swarm allows the homeowner to take action and alleviate a problem that may have otherwise remained hidden.”
Using termite service call data from 2011 and 2012 and population density statistics, Terminix identified the metro areas with the highest probability of upcoming swarms with Atlant, GA in the top spot. Memphis falls at number 15.
Annually across the U.S. termites cause more than $5 billion in damages, and one in 30 homes will be attacked.
Eliminating termites requires the help of a trained professional, but homeowners can take the following simple steps to help make their home less inviting to these wood-destroying pests:
- Fix roof and plumbing leaks. The moisture from these allows termites to survive above ground.
- Clean and repair gutters. Gutters that do not drain properly can allow water to accumulate near the foundation.
- Eliminate wood-to-soil contact. Any wood that simultaneously touches the soil and the home can provide termites with direct access to the structure. This includes keeping firewood or other wood debris from being stacked against the side of the home.
- Keep mulch or soil from piling up directly against the home. Soil or mulch can hide termite activity and allow for easy access into the home.
- Schedule an annual inspection with a trained professional. Prompt treatment and regular inspections can save thousands of dollars in damage repair.