Did you know New Orleans is the termite capitol of North America? Entomologist Ed Martin says we have to contend with two species in the South. According to Ed, "Besides our regular native subterranean termites, we have the largest infestation of Formosan subterranean termites that were brought into North America after WWII." Their colonies are three times larger than our native bugs...scary stuff.
To learn more, I visit Ed at a home in New Orleans East, where Terminix is creating a termite barrier. His workers begin by digging up the soil and drilling holes. After that, they fill the trench with pesticide. Ed tells me, "We have to go a put that liquid everywhere that termites could get into a house. On a slab house where the pipes go through the floor, on the outside. On a raised house, they go up the brick piers; they go up the cinder block piers and get in."
Prevention is key when it comes to termites. Putting a barrier around your house only takes a couple of hours, but it'll protect your home for the next 5 to 7 years. Down here in the Big Easy, it's not an option. Ed says, "If your house is unprotected, you've got termites in it. It's that simple."
The average job costs $1,200. It's slightly less for a slab foundation and a bit higher if your home is raised. Once it's done, there are two types of termite contracts. "One says if termites get into your house, we will come back because you're under contract and do any treating at no cost to you. The other says not only will we do treating at any cost to you, we'll repair your damage for free," says Ed.
It only takes 1/64th of an inch for a termite to enter your home! Prevention from the pros will ensure your family and your wood can rest easy.