It's summer, and that means that you and your family will be heading down the steps and into the backyard to spend some time outside. But if your outdoor space features a wooden staircase, there are a few precautions you should take in order to ensure that the area is as safe as possible to prevent accidents that could harm your loved ones.
It's important that you check your stairs and deck for termites, as these pests can burrow into wood and compromise its quality, causing entire sections to cave in. These bugs inflict more than $2.5 billion worth of damage on American homes every year, and catching them early is key to ensuring that your house doesn't become their next meal.
Though a professional will be able to confirm your hunch if you suspect you have termites, you should check for these signs of infestation regularly to keep your house safe.
- Mud tubes - Termites burrow into houses this way. They're about a pencil's thickness in width and are the color of mud.
- Flying termites - If you see swarms of these pests flying around, or spot shed wings anywhere around your home, you could have an infestation.
- Damp or muddy wood - They like to live in moist habitats, so keep an eye on the wood under your deck and your staircase newels for sure.
- Blistered veneer - Once the insects have burrowed into a piece of wood, they leave behind a blistered appearance on the surface.
- Bulges in the walls, ceiling or floor of your house - These could be a sign of a nest being built.
- Pin-sized holes - Depending on the species of insect, this may be a sign that your house is at risk.
Make sure to check out your back deck, which can be an easy way to find out if you have a problem with these pests. And if you spot any warning signs, contact an exterminator right away.
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