Every home owner lives in fear of a termite infestation, and for good reason. Termites can cause thousands of dollars of damage to a home. In nature, termites are an important element of processing old and diseased trees. The real problem with termites, however, is that to them there is no difference between the wood of a fallen forest tree and the wood in your home. Termites will, in fact, eat the first source of food they come too and if that’s your house then that’s a big problem. Here’s what you need to know about termites and what to do if you find them in your home.
Termites live in colonies that re made up of workers, soldiers, nymphs, as well as primary and secondary reproductive. Termites do have queens, but getting rid of a termite queen won’t get rid of a colony because one of the other reproductive can pick up right where she left off. Termites require a bit more finesse to get rid of!
There are many different types of termites with the most common being the eastern subterranean termite. These types of termites live underground and need moisture in order to stay alive. They create tunnels as they search for food that help to control the humidity and as the size of the colony grows, so does their territory.
Generally, you won’t be able to tell that termites have invaded your property until the termites find their way into your home and cause damage. Many new homes are treated for termites during construction now, and that product can control termites for up to five years. After that, homes will need to be treated or have termite bait monitoring system installed to let you know when termites come.
Signs of Termites
Common signs of termites include:
- Mud tubes that run up the exterior or interior walls, through gaps in foundation, door jambs, etc.
- Baseboard damage or a bubbled effect on the drywall where pain on damaged wood appears bubbled.
- Wood that looks like it’s paper-thin
- Wood that makes a hollow sound when tapped
- In the spring, you may notice swarms of winged termites
- Clusters of wings in piles on the outside of your house, maybe along window seals.
How to Keep Termites Away
No one can completely eliminate the risk of termites but there are things you can do to dramatically decrease your risk of your home becoming a termite buffet. The first step is to contact a pest professional in your area that can do a termite inspection and termite treatment of your home.
Here are a few things you can do yourself:
- Make sure your crawl space and foundation are dry. Remember, termites like moisture.
- Repair leaky pipes or faucets.
- Divert runoff from gutters with blocks or hoses away from your home.
- Have opening to your home that could be potential entry points for termites sealed.
- Store firewood away from your house.
- Wood mulch should be kept away from the foundation of your home.
- Keep bushes trimmed so that they don’t touch your house.
- Ensure wood from your home does not come into contact with the ground.
- Have home inspections done regularly to look for evidence of termites.
- When you buy wood furniture, look closely at it to makes sure you aren’t bringing termites into your home.
Making efforts to have your home monitored by professional for termites and being diligent in looking for signs yourself can end up saving you a lot of money in the end. Talk to your pest control professional today about options to keep termites out of your home and off your property.