It's termite time again

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) --Spring has sprung in Region Eight.

But this beautiful weather carries a double-edged sword: nice days mean **bugs**

You may have seen swarms of termites recently and if you have, you might have a problem.

I was painting this past weekend and noticed some rotten wood that had been stuck on with sealant.

After poking around I realized that it might be carpenter ants or termites doing the damage.

Dennis Smith from Pro Tech was kind enough to stop by my house and lay the bad news on me.

I asked him about the swarms of termites seen this time of year. What that could mean to homeowners?

Smith, "When they swarm you've actually had a termite infestation for at least 3 to 5 years. Because they won't swarm in the beginning it's just when they get over-populated is when they swarm."

Well the eaten up wood on my house has been caused by something. What about carpenter ants?

Smith, "Carpenter ants will get into wood but they don't consume the wood. They will channel out places primarily to have a place to breed and nest."

However termite damage looks a bit different.

Smith, "You would find strips of softwood that were gone and then the little fine strips of hardwood would be remaining there."

Smith says that one of the things you want to avoid is if you're building a house or living in a house that is already built  is having wood siding  that runs all the way next to the ground . When the moisture collects in the dirt the termites like to climb up in there and really go to town.

Also think about getting rid of the wood mulch around your house.

Smith, "Any time you have subterranean termites,underground and you have their favorite food source on the ground. It makes it real easy for the termite. "

So what has been chewing on my house?

Smith, "This is primarily due to moisture damage in this piece of wood. Termites would have channeled out all this softwood and left the hard ridges."

That I can fix. Smith says new treatments for termites are still under testing but some have lasted for over 10 years with out a re infestation.

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