Termites are hardy insects that creep into your home and cause lots of damage to the structure of your house and your furniture. There are over 2000 termite species. These insects do not discriminate, they will go after a thousand dollar piece of furniture with the same gusto as they will attack a 50 dollar one.
What’s more, they are so sneaky that once you start seeing signs of an infestation, the damage is probably already done and your furniture or home structural integrity is already compromised. Their colonies can number in the thousands and once they are set up in your home, your only recourse, usually, is to seek professional help as soon as possible.
These nasty insects cost homeowners in the United States billions of dollars’ worth of damage every year. You surely do not want to be part of the statistic, so the first step in protecting yourself is knowing how to identify a termite infestation.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A TERMITE INFESTATION
Appearance – It is not uncommon to confuse termites for winged ants, so it’s important that you know the difference. Generally, ants have narrow, wasp-like waists; termites on the other hand have wide waists. Also, for a termite, their wings are much larger, almost twice the length of its body and all the wings are uniform in length, for ants, their front wings are longer than their rear wings. If you see droppings or mud tubes anywhere around, then call your local termite control technician immediately for professional termite treatment.
Behavior – Termites shed their wings soon after locating a new colony site; Hence, if you spot termite wings anywhere in or around your house, then there is a high probability that an underground nest of termites is likely to be underway somewhere close.
These nasty pests swarm before creating a new colony, this is the most frequent indicator that a termite infestation is impending. In severe cases, you can see them with your eyes swarming in masses, usually when you turn on a light at night. But you should be careful not to mistake a termite swarm for an ant swarm.
Signs on wood- Upon a closer look, wood infested by termites has passages that have been covered with what looks like an Earth-like material, similar to clay. If this infestation has been going on for a while, it may be mostly hollowed out with several passages and may look rotten. On a closer inspection, if the rotten wood is poked with a tool or screwdriver; it will crumble away revealing many worker termites spilling out.
WHY YOU MIGHT HAVE TERMITES
Termites like specific conditions to set up their colonies and they usually gravitate towards places like that. Here are some of the reasons why your house has been deemed worthy:
– Termites congregate in areas with lots of moisture, which is why pipes, A/C units and any other home fixture that may be prone to constant leaking should be repaired.
– Homes with cracks or fissures in the foundation, older homes, and homes with a considerable amount of wood indoors and outdoors are more vulnerable to termite infestations.
– If you have cut plants and mulch strewn all over your yard, or any other form of yard debris and old stumps, you might be making your house a sweet spot for termite infestation.
REASONS TO TREAT YOUR TERMITE PROBLEM IMMEDIATELY
Termites are dangerous and destructive, so there is no time to wait or chill before getting rid of them. If you love your property, then you don’t want termites nearing them at all.
– Termite problems should not be taken lightly. Termites are a greater threat to your homes than some petty pests; they can cause significant, expensive damage to homes and businesses in a very short period.
– Termites can also deliver very painful bites that could cause some discomfort.
HOW TO HANDLE TERMITE INFESTATION
Immediately you notice any of the signs of a termite infestation, you should call a local pest control professional. Putting off this call will cause the termite infestations to spiral out of control, and make it more difficult to be rid of.
You will find experienced pest control professionals that can handle your termite problem efficiently and safely near you right here. They will help you to treat your current termite issues and help you to prevent further problems.
TIPS TO PREVENT FURTHER TERMITE INFESTATION
After removing your termite infestation, there are a few important tips that you can follow to prevent a recurrence. Here they are:
– The first step you should take is to eliminate all earth-to-wood contact around your residence, as in no wooden component of your building should be in contact with the ground. This provides termites with food, shelter, and moisture.
– Seal all potential termite entry points around your home, especially gaps around water and gas lines. Plus, any opening around window sills and doors.
– Do not allow moisture to accumulate anywhere near the foundation of your building. Termites like moisture, and will be attracted to your house if the area around it is consistently moist. Fix leaky pipes, maintain proper drainage and slope the ground outside your building so water runs “downhill”.
– Never store firewood against your house foundation or in your crawl space. Same as newspapers, cardboard boxes, lumber, any material that can attract termites.
– If you are in an area that may be susceptible to termite infestations, use mulch sparingly. Termites like mulch mostly because it retains moisture, not really because they want to feed on the wood, so it doesn’t matter the type of mulch that you use.
– If you discover a piece of furniture that has been infested by termite, a good treatment strategy is to take the furniture out and leave in the sun for about three days. Termites don’t like heat, the heat will kill them and also dry up the wood, making it hard for a re-infestation to occur. This will only work well during the summertime.