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Protect home from termites in post-Gustav and Ike rebuilding

October 8, 2008

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., urged builders and homeowners to take steps to prevent the spread of Formosan subterranean termites as they rebuild and remodel after hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
“Many homes and businesses were badly damaged by the storms,” Strain said. “We’re advising that you consider options to prevent future infestation from the Formosan subterranean termite.  
“We know for a fact that there are huge colonies of Formosan termites throughout south Louisiana and these colonies are constantly looking for new food sources. Now is the time to take proactive measures to prevent termites from destroying your investments.”
Structures in south Louisiana are typically treated with a preventative barrier either pre-construction, during construction or post-construction, Strain said. Some owners also choose to build with termite-treated or termite-resistant products. After construction, baiting stations and liquid treatments are used as tools for detecting and destroying termite colonies. 
“There are several treatment options out there which have been proven to be effective,” Strain said. “They are the best line of defense against termite infestation and termite population suppression.
“As always, make sure you hire a licensed or certified pest control operator when you have any kind of pesticide applied in or around your home or business.
“Consumers should contact the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) at 225-925-4578 to make sure the pesticide company is fully certified and licensed. This protects you, your family, your home or your business.”   
Treatments and annual inspections by a licensed, insured and bonded pest control company are a good termite preventative. Between professional inspections, owners should periodically inspect their house or business for evidence of termites. Look for mud tubes on the slabs, piers or walls and pinholes in wallboard, softness in flooring or blisters in paint or wallpaper.
“If your community flooded and treated soil was washed away by the hurricanes, most likely the pesticide barrier no longer exists around your home or business and the area may need to be retreated,” Strain said. “Bait stations need to be evaluated for replacement as well.”
A properly written termite contract is very important to adequately protect your investment in a home or business. Owners should review these papers annually and fully understand these termite documents when considering remodeling, building or buying. 
“Post-hurricane is the opportune time to evaluate your situation and take the necessary precautions to protect your home or business,” Strain said. “It would be a double dose to suffer losses from the hurricanes today and Formosan termites tomorrow.”
For more information, visit the LDAF Pesticide and Environmental Programs website at