Exterminator provides tips on how to protect your house from termites

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - They're one of the biggest pests this time of year - Formosan termites.

While they are annoying, exterminators say it's the ones you can't see that you need to be the most concerned about.

"We get a lot of calls right now because everybody's seeing termites," said Dave Fleming, owner of Absolute Termite Control.

Fleming said termites are active year-round, but they swarm during this time of the year.

"There's actually a mating season for termites. People are worried about, 'Turn out your lights, oh watch out for termites flying in.' They fly in, that's not really a problem, but if they're flying out of your walls, that could be a problem," Fleming said.

He said the swarms only live for 24 hours to mate before they die. The termites you should worry about are the ones silently eating away at your house.

"What we're looking for is colonies that are actually infesting houses. Then we treat the foundations or something from being able to get in, and then treat the walls to kill off what's in it," Fleming said.

Fleming said you can keep the bugs out by turning off your outdoor lights and spraying your house every 10 years.

"Keep your foundations treated with termiticides. People think we treat wood because they're termites, they eat wood. We actually treat soil at the foundation and we drill out foundations and pressure treat them with chemicals that stop them from being able to get in," Fleming said.

"Right here you could just push your finger and you'd pretty much go right through the wall," Gregory Becknel said as he showed us the damage in his kitchen.

Becknel has a termite problem that dates back nine years ago.

"I noticed brown drippings coming through the walls, and me and my wife were like what is that? We didn't know what it was, but then I told my landlord and said yea, that's probably termites excrement," Becknel said.

Sure enough, exterminators broke open a piece of wood from the house to find dozens of termites.

Becknel says most of the damage is in his kitchen, and they even had a cabinet that fell down because of termites.

Becknel said he's called pest control three times, but the bugs keep coming back.

"If I see it get to the point where this house is about to fall over, like it looks like it's doing, yea, I'd have to move out," Becknel said.

Fleming adds that while you should spray your house every ten years, you should still get it checked out by a professional every year.

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