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On average termites are less than an inch long, yet these tiny pests cause an estimated $5 billion in property damage each year in the United States and Canada. Without proper pretreatment solutions and regular monitoring, termites can quickly and quietly gnaw through buildings creating untimely delays and costly repairs. Commercial construction executives can use these practical tips to better protect their employees and projects from disruptive termite damage.

Tip One: Start with a pretreatment solution

It is required by law in many states to treat all areas with a pretreatment termite solution prior to pouring slab, which is a vital step toward preventing a termite infestation. Commercial construction sites create the ultimate feeding grounds for termites. Unfinished buildings are more susceptible to retaining moisture and can provide open access to wood and insulation. If allowed, termites will feast on wood and other food sources 24 hours a day. 

Taking the time to pretreat all areas of the construction site with a preventative termite solution can help seal vulnerable access points such as plumbing lines, electrical conduits and expansion joints that have not yet been covered by walls and flooring. Termites only need 1/55 inch to work their way inside a structure. Without pretreatment measures, termites can sneak inside building structures through mud tunnels and other access points where they can live, feast and multiply. 

Tip Two: Follow state regulations

“Do-it-yourself” quick-fix solution can lead to additional problems and fines if the solution or treatment method does not fall under state regulations. Some state-to-state regulatory variations may include:

  • Which termiticides are acceptable to use
  • Who is responsible for repairs and if repairs are mandatory should a pest problem arise
  • Whether a termite pretreatment is required prior to starting construction

It's best to know what the state’s rules and regulations are before starting any construction project. To avoid confusion or a possible misstep work with a trusted, local pest control company. Pest experts should have a clear understanding of all federal and state regulations and be able to provide the most effective treatment plan based on each project’s unique needs.

Tip Three: Know the signs

Due to their vulnerable nature, construction sites are always at high risk for a termite introduction. Timing is critical when dealing with a potential termite problem. By the time termites are spotted, it’s often too late and the property is at risk of experiencing significant structural damage, project setbacks and costly repairs. 

Spotting the signs of termites can be quite difficult, but knowing the common signs to look for could prevent further spread or damage. Work with a pest control expert to identify any unique or vulnerable points and train workers to look for these signs: 

  • Wood that has buckled or is swollen or wooden tunnels where termites have burrowed
  • Mud tubes that connect their underground nest to a structure
  • Droppings, which look like tiny wood-colored pellets
  • Piles of wing residue from the termite swarm or remaining live termites

There is a reason termites are also referred to as the “silent destroyer.” Their small bodies and ability to live and feast in the smallest of spaces make them almost impossible to spot. Once termites have entered a structure they can be difficult to remove and multiple visits may be required, creating costly delays for construction projects. Construction executives can better protect their employees and avoid expensive setbacks by properly performing pretreatments, following state regulations and learning to spot the early signs of termites.

To learn more about pest prevention for construction sites please visit, Rentokil.com/us.

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