MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — With warm weather and consistent humidity in our area, residents are most likely to experience termite activity.

Owner of Redd Pest Control, Paul Eikert, says termite damage could cause thousands of dollars worth of damage if left unnoticed.

“In the Southern part of the U.S., in Louisiana, there is about $300 million a year in termite control and damage.”

The damage from termites may range from small to significant structural damage leading floors or ceilings to collapse. A local homeowner captured on video the moment when her ceiling collapsed due to termite damage.

“Termites don’t cause damage to homes really fast. It’s a slow process. It can take anywhere from months up to a couple of years. A lot of people don’t know they have termites until they see damage in their homes, such as a baseboard, window seal,” Eikert explained.

Eikert says termites can chew through wood, flooring and even pipe insulation.

“Make sure you have a thermal inspection and check everything that comes in cotton attached to the ground or soil in any way.”

Eikert says there are several things you can do around your home to reduce the chances of a termite infestation.

“Keep any wood debris such as firewood, lambert. Don’t stock it too close to your home. Try to keep it a few feet from your home. At least try to give yourself a few feet. As far as grass clips or such, as long as you don’t let it build up high on your foundation, you want to keep it below the brick or siding of the house where you can do an inspection on the house.”

He says it’s better to catch the problem before it gets too bad. He recommends having an inspection even before purchasing a home.

“Yes, to make sure there are no existing problems prior to the purchase. Just have it inspected by a professional that can find out if there is old damage, or there is a current active infestation or if the home is clear.”

Experts recommend having your home inspected at least once a year.