Termite season: Tips to prevent termite damage in your home

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It's just the beginning of their season, but termites have already made their appearance. Here's how you can prevent them. (KTRK)

Swarms of bugs are invading parts of Houston, but these are more than just annoying. These are insects that can do serious damage to homes.

Exterminators across the Houston area are busy.

"They're out searching for new homes, new targets that is normally in the ground first and get in there and start their mating process and then they're looking for a food source, which naturally is your home," ABC Home and Commercial Services president, Raleigh Jenkins said.

For the next several weeks, you might see a swarm of bugs.

They're termites with wings, known as the Formosan termite. An insect that travels in bunches.

"They don't just give up on Sundays and Saturdays," Jenkins said. "They are constantly looking for new food, feeding on it and focusing on it."

If you see the bugs flying around your house don't just call for help, or take a photo and send it in. Instead, get a plastic bag and collect a few and bring them to an exterminator.

If you do have the insect, experts say you can buy bug killing solutions and spray your foundation.

But you should consider professional help as well.

At ABC home and commercial services, crews place material in the ground, which kills the colony.

It costs upwards of $1,500 and takes several weeks, but it can save a lot of frustration later if the termites go untouched.

"With few exceptions, Formosan termites are going to do more damage than any natural disaster combined annually," Martin said.

In order to stop the termites from arriving, make sure you have four to six inches of clearance with your foundation between the house and dirt.

Look for mud tubes along the foundation, and spray the outside, especially near the cracks.

"All they need is about 1/64th of an inch to enter a structure," Jenkins said. "That's about the size or the width of your fingernail."

In addition, your home, check for other parts of your property.

"Look at your fence," Martin said. "Fence is a viable food source for them. If you see damage or mud tubes on your fence, that's another one you might want to get identified."
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