Identifying Termites in Your Home

TermitesThe 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

Inspecting for termitesOne 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.

 

Pre-Construction Treatment May Save You from a Troubling Termite Inspection Down the Road

5_Subterranean_TermitesPeriodic termite inspections are an important responsibility of a homeowner. However, the sensible thing to do is ward off termite damage before it happens instead of waiting until you’re left with crumbling walls and furniture. Some building codes may require pretreatment to aid in the prevention of the wood-eating insects during the construction process of new homes, and if they don’t, it should definitely be something you consider looking into. The future of your home may depend on the protection that’s placed around it from the very beginning. As your foundation is being laid, it is probably a good idea to be aware of the treatment methods used in the developmental stages and talk them over with your pest control experts and contractor to ensure that the job is done correctly. A properly pre-treated residence allows termiticides to be administered in places that can’t be reached once the structure is built and may provide a much longer and more cost-effective approach to termite resistance.

Soldier termiteTermiticide Soil Administration

Termites make their way up to a home by traveling through tunnels they construct in the soil around it. For a soil treatment to be the most effective, it must involve several stages that last from the pouring of the foundation to landscaping and be applied with specialized tools. The termiticide chemicals should be funneled into trenches that are dug out on each side of the foundation to let the soil around the new construction become fully saturated. During slab construction, the soil should be treated before the concrete is poured to make sure it reaches all necessary areas. This will aid in creating a barrier between termites and the wood used in the supporting structures, foundations and piers of the home and most likely hinder an infestation. Continually treating the soil throughout construction as the exterior is formulated is essential in protecting each foundational element.

Baiting

Once the final grading on your new residence is complete, you have the option of choosing to have termite baits installed as an alternative to soil treatment or in conjunction with it. Baits are often used for population control of the insects and are placed in several stations around the property. They use wood to trick termites into feeding on them instead of the wood in your house, and in turn, infect them with a termiticide that will eventually reduce the colony as long as they keep feeding. Baits have to be monitored and maintained, which can also be done during regular termite inspections.

Termites in woodWood Treatment

Treating exposed wood that will be used in the construction of your new home using a borate chemical solution will almost certainly preserve your wood exterior for its lifetime. Termites will be deterred from creating shelter tubes along the treated wood and won’t find them desirable enough to feed on. The chemical must be applied before installing any sheetrock or siding and should be done again to any new wood structures that are part of an expansion; otherwise your residence will just become vulnerable again.

Waiting until post construction to have a termite inspection and treatment may result in an infestation that will be much more difficult and costly to control.

Author Bio

My name is Tiffany Olson and I love to blog. I write on topics such as home improvement, pest management, health and wellness and travel. KillRoy.com is company that I’ve received advice from in the past. They specialize in pest control and termite inspection in Hayward.