■ Don’t misidentify the termite species. Above all, avoid misidentifying ant alates as termite alates). Every step after a misidentification will be ineffective and could lead to civil and regulatory penalties.
■ Do examine posts that penetrate concrete and reach soil.
■ Don’t skip plumbing or drainage leaks. Delayed maintenance should must be rectified.
■ Do determine whether a porch is soil filled. Soil fill must be more than 8 in. below wooden structures.
■ Don’t excuse subtle fractures in structural concrete that could allow cryptic ingress.
■ Do look for air vents to make sure they’re serviceable and aren’t obstructed.
■ Don’t accept debris around and under a structure. Mandate removal.
■ Do note shallow foundation walls and footings (wood-to-soil contact points).
■ Don’t misinterpret veneer surfaces and flower planters (bonding fails and potentiates hidden ingress).
■ Do point out, and mandate removal of, tree stumps.
■ Don’t allow woodpiles to be stored near structures or contact soil.
■ Do realize IPM can be defined as inspection and investigation, identification, establishing threshold levels, implementing two or more control measures and evaluating effectiveness.
■ Don’t use professional products not as directed by the label. There are several effective professional products available in various formulations.
Dr. Mitchell, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H., B.C.E., a board-certified physician and entomologist, is principal technical specialist for PestWest Environmental, as well as PMP’s Technical Editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-333-8923.