The last thing we want as homeowners are termites eating our investment. Have you noticed any signs of termite damage around your property? Is there a chance termites are chewing on the wood that holds up your home? These are great questions that we in the pest control industry struggle to answer on a routine basis.
Identifying termites isn’t an easy task. They live most of their lives tucked behind the walls of homes and they’re perfectly comfortable remaining there for many years. First let’s take a quick look at the types of termites:
Types of Termites
One group of termites is what we call subterranean termites. These are termites that are typically associated with your Northern states. Subterranean termites make colonies in the ground outside of the home. They make their way to the wood structure of the home through underground tunnels and return back to the colony once they’re done eating.
Another group of termites are the drywood termites. These termites actually make their colonies inside the walls of the house. Because these termites don’t have a need to leave the home, it’s often very difficult to suspect termite damage.
Dampwood termites love to make their home in damp wood, whether it’s in rotten logs or sections of your home that are subjected to flooding. Such termites are common on the Pacific Coast as well as Southern Florida.
How to Identify Termites
One of the most common ways people find out they have termites in their house are by seeing what we call swarmer’s. Termites will try to reproduce and spread their colonies. Those that have wings, or swarmers, will be flying around the home in search of a new beginning. If you notice them flying around your home there is a chance you have termites.
Another way to determine if you have termites is through detection systems. Pest control companies can install baiting systems around the house that will indicate the existence of termites. Some baiting systems have wood and if there is any indication of chewed wood, termites are likely to blame.
Subterranean termites leave their mark by creating mud tubes along the exterior of the home. If you notice dried up mud tubes outside your home you may want to have it tested for termites. Other types of termites make small holes where they enter and dump out fecal matter.
It’s always best to leave the detection of termites to the professionals. It’s important to understand the signs of termite damage, but don’t attempt to make your own judgment or get rid of the termites on your own. There are very strong chemicals on the market for removing termites and it’s safest to leave the job up to the professionals.
In many cases termite removal requires leaving the home for a few days. When the fumigation approach is taken, professionals spray poison throughout the home and then place tarps over it to seal it. Homeowners are allowed to return to the home once the toxins have fully settled.
Reach out to a local pest control company to determine the best approach for removing termites from your home.