Termites can cause a lot of damage to your home if you are not careful and do not look for immediate solutions. They are destructive pests and the damage can be irreplaceable when it comes to damaging antiques and other priceless wooden articles in your home.
You should know that termites are found in 49 of the 50 states. Alaska is the only state that is spared from this issue. An estimated $50 billion is lost in damages by termites to homes and buildings every year.
The problem with termites is that they can cause a significant amount of damage before you notice that you have a pest problem on your hands.
Since they eat wood from the inside out, their presence is difficult to detect unless you know what you are looking for. Though everything may seem solid and sturdy, these pests can eat into all wooden structures and leave you with a fat repair bill.
Luckily for you, termites eat away at wood really slowly and the damage is not as bad as it seems if you take care of the problem immediately. Termites consider cardboard as junk food and some nests contain thousands of hungry termites that can really destroy your home.
In case, you cannot seem to figure out how to solve this problem with termite sprays and applying other solutions. You should connect with a pest control professional to look into the problem and then figure out a way to completely overcome it. Here are some of the things that exterminators review when they inspect termites:
Since termites eat wood from the inside out, you would not be able to figure out the surface damage. At times, you will find dry mud tubes and other dabs of mud that come across the wooden surface.
A termite inspector would tap the wooden beam and detect a flat or low sound which would indicate if the wood is hollow on the inside. You will be able to have a distinctive understanding of the problem with the help of a pest control professional.
When it comes to the advanced stages of disintegration, there will be bits of mud inside the damaged area of the wood. Also, you will find that the excavated regions would have deep parallel grooves.
This is usually because termites have to eat the soft spring-growth sections of the wood and leave all the hard areas of the wood intact. This will allow you to distinguish between dry rot and water damage.
Though you cannot fully determine the presence of termites in your house, you should look around your property for any indicators. Make a checklist of areas around your property which harbor termites.
Termites come from the outdoors and usually enter homes wood infested with termites. The first place that termites hit is wooden fences which are an instant source of food.
These are a welcome sign for termites to enter your home and make a meal of it. From wood mulch that is a few inches from a home’s foundation to untreated wood kept outside, termites would eat anything that has a moist cover.
Slowly but surely they would make their way to your home and in time, they would bump into it and follow where it leads.
Firewood could invite termites in your backyard, though there is no way to discourage termites, you should store the pile at a minimum of 20 feet from your home. Deadwood which includes fallen tree limbs should be removed immediately.
Even if you feel that tree branches are natural in the environment, you should know that they would still attract termites. You need to round up the dead wood, treat it and discard it.
Wood structures should be termite resistant and this is commonly used during construction of outdoor structures. These include decks, playsets, sheds and arbors.
Wood improvements to your house should be made from termite resistant materials like pressure-treated wood. This should not be vulnerable to terminate damage now or at later stages.
Mud Deposits in Construction Joints
A termite inspector would then check if there are mud deposits at construction joints. Since termites are like little builders, they seal small gaps with mud to make it more comfortable for them.
Even if you do not find tubes around your property, then you can find crusted dirt in small holes or cracks in sheetrock or concrete or mud crammed into these construction joints.
The next major indicator is when there is a termite problem caused by mud tubes. These can be found along your foundation, crawl space, attic, entry points and near pipes.
These mud tubes are also known as shelter tubes as they are like covered highways that are used to traverse open, exposed spaces like concrete footers. Since they cannot go through certain obstacles, they build highways around and over them.
Mud tubes are created with wood cellulose, particulate matter, and soil. Though termites dehydrate quickly, this is reason enough for them to be in an enclosed environment to maintain humidity levels that will allow them to thrive.
The tubes keep them protected from predators. Mud tubes have a thickness, the size of a drinking straw or a pencil that is encrusted with dried dirt. This can be squiggly or straight.
In case, you see a mud tube and you cannot determine if it was an old termite infestation then you should break a small section and leave the ends of the tube undisturbed. If the broken ends are mended then the termites are active around your property.
Evidence of Swarmers
In the US, there are three major varieties of termites. While the most common is the subterranean termites, you should look for colonies and destroy the nests.
Colonies start producing winged adults and they start their own nests during spring when the air is mild and humid. After a while swarms disperse and you should be able to detect them inside your home.
There is a good chance that they are using your home as a food source. Check window sills, wooden cupboards, wooden pillars and also roofs.
There are ants that start new colonies and this is mostly since you left windows and doors open by mistake. Call an exterminator immediately once you realize that you have winged termites in your home.
Things You Should Know Before Signing Up
Don’t Count On One Time Treatments
There are several pests that need more than one-time treatments that have a quick impact on active pests but this won’t solve the problem.
These pests lay eggs and they stay well protected and well-hidden. Even if you try killing these visible pests, it would not deter it to incubate eggs and hence pests will return.
Experts believe that with a recurring service, you would be able to ensure that you can have some sort of control over them in and around your home. The best thing for you to do is to invest in a service that will do this regularly.
Pest Control Company Could Sell Out
It can be quite surprising that a popular pest control company with a large base of customers offers front-loaded deals then sells them off to a wholesaler and cashes out.
This is not a good business model and cannot work in the long run and in time can leave you, the customer, in a bad spot. If you are caught in a sell-out then you would have to work with a changed policy and service and figure out how they would take care of you.
If you try to sort out the pest problem with a certain DIY method or something you saw on YouTube, it could get much worse. This may seem like something a pest control company would say but in reality they have the proper tools for the job.
They know what it takes to effectively eliminate pest problems. At times, if you involve yourself in the process, you could harm yourself while using these pest control products.
Also, if you were trying to fight off wasps, bees, spiders and scorpions, you could put yourself in grave danger. So, don’t waste the effort and money on DIY solutions. Get an expert to solve your problems.
Bugs Prone To Come Back
There are high chances that even after a pest control company works on your home, there is reason to believe that these bugs could infest your home once again.
They could fight them to a certain extent but there is a high chance of them coming back. Even if you are given the all-clear, you have to check for instances for pests.
Whether you like it or not, Insects and rodents come uninvited. But, if you stay vigilant, fix regular appointments and ensure that your pest control company conducts regular treatments, you can enjoy a pest-free life.
Play Your Role
If you help out, there’s a better chance that you would have a better result. You should look at getting a pest control professional to exterminate the pests, put up pest proofing systems and let them inform you about prevention methods.
But, if you are not tidy and drop food on the ground and let your landscaping build up along your home then you are inviting pests. Ensure that you close the water spouts and repair screens to keep your home pest-free.
We recommend that you get a quote from the best in the business and look through reviews and comments made by people like you.
You can also take a look at some of our archives and articles to learn about pest control companies and how to preventive measures to tackle pests.