Termites consume wood in their quest for food. This can cause structural damage and make the home unsafe for residents. Termites are big enough to eat through even the best-made cement panels, flooring and wooden joists. Termites might enter a home by attaching to outdoor structures and plants that provide access to a structure’s exterior walls through cracks or crevices. This can lead to holes in the wall. Their presence may also be detected by the presence of fecal pellets near an entry point.
What are termites?
Termites are a type of insect that is actually not an insect at all, but rather a colony of insects. The term “termite” refers to the type of ant or isopteran that devours wood and other plant material. There are three different types of termites in the United States: subterranean termites, drywood termites and dampwood termites. However, these terms are not all-inclusive as there are more than 50 species in North America alone. In some instances, you will need an expert to identify which termites you have. Often the local government can help you with this as they know which ones are active in the area.
Signs of termite infestation
Here are some signs you may be exposed to termites:
* You see wood or other materials being eaten away from the inside of your home.
* You find fecal pellets outside a wall near the entry point.
* Your home smells musty and damp, especially at night.
* You notice swarms of insects flying around outside the structure.
* You can drill a hole in the wall and use a camera to see if there are termites present.
You can take steps to prevent an infestation by maintaining your home’s exterior walls, keeping shrubs and plants trimmed, controlling access points to the house, and sealing holes in the foundation or roof.
Termites can be found in every part of the world, but they are more common in temperate regions. In the United States, these pests are most commonly found in the southern states. They also live in tropical areas, mostly due to the availability of moisture and food sources.
Termites look for warmth and humidity to thrive. In dry climates, such as those found in Arizona and Nevada, termites usually live outside of homes because there is not enough moisture for them to thrive indoors.
Get rid of a small infestation
If you suspect that termites are present in your home, the best way to mitigate further damage is to remove them. If termites are only a small infestation, you can use DIY methods such as using a vacuum cleaner or sprayer to suck up some of their droppings and canister of sugar water.
By feeding sugar water mixed with boric acid, you can get rid of them as well. It will attract more termites and they will congregate near the food source. After two weeks of continuous feeding, they’ll be gone. You might have to open up a wall to get access to the termites. Depending on the type of termites, these methods might not work. You could make the problem bigger as you are wasting valuable time. Chemical products provide more consistent results.
You can also use barrier treatments like cellulose or wood fiber on exterior surfaces to exclude termites from entering your home through cracks or openings in siding, foundations, fascia, etc., which are hard-to-reach areas for pest control treatments.
Get rid of a large infestation
If you have an infestation of termites, it’s important to begin treatment as soon as possible. A large infestation can destroy a home and expose the homeowner to risks. It’s difficult to control a serious infestation with only physical barriers because termites are too numerous and cause too much damage for them to be eliminated by that method.
Before you buy chemical products, you have to make sure that it works for the types of termites that you have in your home. Not every product works for every insect. These products are often easy to apply. You just have to spray them and you are done with it. Be sure to find where the termites live so that you can treat this area.
Some products come with a dispenser whereas others don’t. It is important that you get one with a nozzle so that you can spray inside the wall. Also be sure to get gloves, goggles and other protective equipment when you use these products.
Sometimes you have to go deep inside a wall. An inspection camera is a great tool as it allows you to see inside walls without doing too much damage. Finding the queen of the colony can be a great way to get the situation under control. Once you have located the area, you can drill holes in that wall so that you can apply the product. Use a stud finder so that you don’t drill into them. This makes sure that you can spread the spray as much as possible.
Examples of chemical treatments are Ortho home defense, Termidor SC or Termidor EC. These are sprayed inside wall voids and other areas where termites are likely to enter the exterior walls of the structure. These treatments will eliminate all signs of a termite infestation and prevent future infestations from occurring. Once you have addressed the issue with chemical pesticides and barrier treatments, you’ll need to seal any entry points with caulk or foam that could lead back into the structure.
If there’s a bigger infestation, professional help is needed. Professional pest control companies will come in and take care of all your termite needs. They’ll remove the infested material and conduct treatment inside the home so that nothing re-infests it.
Keep termites out for good
Termites are attracted to moisture and can enter homes through entry points. To keep termites out, the following steps should be taken:
1) Inspect the home regularly
2) Make sure there is no standing water near the entrance point
3) Keep leaves and other plant material away from exterior walls
4) Seal any cracks and crevices that provide access to the house by applying a silicone-based sealant to cracks in painted surfaces of wood or plaster, and making sure they are tightly closed with caulking or a similar compound.
5) You can use chemical sprays on the outside of your house to keep termites outside. This needs to be reapplied yearly. It is something that homeowners can do themselves.
6) Use wood that has been treated against termites when you renovate. This keeps termites out of your home.
To conclude, we can state that termites can cause a lot of problems and damage. For this reason, it is important that you get rid of them completely. Often professionals will have to spray chemicals or even remove parts of the home to do this.