Tracy Coats, owner of Neuse Termite and Pest Control, tells us
how to protect our homes and businesses from insects,  termites,
and moisture issues.

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Tracy Coats is the President and Founder of The Neuse Termite & Pest Control. He entered the pest control industry in 1985, holding a series of positions during a seventeen-year rise to senior management where he supervised the central North Carolina region. The Neuse will soon celebrate its 19th anniversary, still proudly serving central North Carolina. Today, Tracy tells us what we need to know in order to protect our homes and businesses from insects, termites. and moisture issues.

Tracy, you and Neuse Termite & Pest Control have helped many Triangle home and business owners protect their property from insects, termites, and moisture issues for many years. But there are things that many homeowners are not aware of and need to know. Can we please start with some very basic information?

Tracy, what is pest control?

Pest control is defined as the regulation or management of a species defined as a pest, a member of the animal kingdom that impacts adversely on human activities. On the surface, that definition is correct! However, homeowner definition of pest control next to an industry professional’s can be quite different. To a customer, for example, pests can be spiders, ants, silverfish, squirrels, opossums, and racoons! But for most pest control businesses, services do not extend outside of the insect family.


How is pest control performed?

Most businesses will begin with an “initial visit.” They will get to know your home, view the conditions that surround your property and locate potential entry points for various species of insects. Searching for the root of a homeowner problem is more important than applying a band-aid to any pest situation. After the initial visit it is common to set a schedule to visit multiple times each year. Why is this important? Pest management is extremely seasonal, and species that invade in the Spring will not be the same pest that finds its way inside as the temperature begins to drop. In a state like North Carolina where we truly have four seasons, consistent visits are key to prevention.


What can I do to ward off pests myself?

Great question. Although many insects can be persistent, the best thing a homeowner can do is to eliminate “good conditions” where pests thrive. This will vary by insect, but a few constants are to have shrubs trimmed back from the home, keep an eye on any leaning trees or branches (ants love this), and divert moisture or standing water away from your house. Also, keep tiny holes plugged in the kitchen and bathroom areas, such as where caulk and grout will dissipate over time.


I’ve heard about termites, but how do they differ from general pests?

This is asked quite a bit! While termites can certainly fall under the “pest” category, they are much more than irritating critters. Due to the treatment required and risk that they pose to both residential and commercial structures, termite control has its own separate category of services and field of study throughout North Carolina. If an infestation becomes too severe over time, it can threaten the structural integrity of a building. Local institutions such as North Carolina State University devote considerable research monitoring termite activity in our state, and termite treatments involve vastly different training, products, and execution than a pest control service.


When should I be concerned about termites?


The old quote “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could not ring more true here. Termites have been alive since the age of dinosaurs and require the cellulose in wood to eat. The survival of the colony is of paramount importance to them - meaning their food search does not halt once they find a source of wood in the ground or from fallen trees. Persistence is a strong quality in them which is why North Carolina homes often fall prey to their hunger.

What does termite protection include?

Termite control will function very similar to an insurance policy, and getting started will differ depending on the age and construction of your home. Overall, a company will first schedule a visit and inspect the home for any signs of termite activity. If no current activity is found, then a termite treatment will likely be scheduled before your home can be put under coverage.

Coverage itself can vary, so be sure to ask plenty of questions! Some policies cover damage incurred while under coverage as well as a re-treatment guarantee - while others do not cover damages to the structure. The annual renewal fee for the inspection will also differ from company to company. Like any policy, it is important to stay informed what protection level you may have.

Why do many pest companies also offer moisture control services? That doesn’t seem to fit.


Moisture control is both a general extension of home protection and an excellent tool for termite prevention. In fact, since subterranean termites live in the soil and require a moist environment, excess moisture levels underneath a home make it easier for subterranean termites to invade. Many termite inspectors will also perform a wood moisture test underneath a structure during an inspection.


Other risk factors for elevated moisture levels include moisture damage to the home’s flooring system, poor air quality from increased mildew, fungus and allergens in the home, and risk of floors buckling or warping


Neuse Termite and Pest Control is located in Clayton NC.
Their website is

If you have any questions about protecting your home or business they would be happy to try to help you. You can call them at (919) 553-9888 or email them at