Termites, also known as “white ants”, are vicious creepy crawlies you need to watch out for, all year round. However, these small insects are typically more active in warmer climates than the colder ones. This is evident in southern states which are at high risk of termite infestation. The cold winters in most northern states would freeze termite colonies before they can even show signs of activity.
A single termite certainly does not look menacing, but an entire colony can wreck and invade a home. American property owners report an estimated cost of $5 billion yearly for the damages caused by just these tiny insects.
The early treatment and prevention of termite infestation are better than never. Getting an annual pest control professional to inspect your home is important to eliminate these destructive pests. Take extra precaution against these insects to avoid the continuous ravaging of your properties through simple measures you can follow.
Getting to know the enemy
Moisture, wood and wooden structures, openings, and geography are the top four factors that cause termite infestation and also need to be looked for before buying a house. These factors heighten the invasiveness of these insects. Although there are about 45 species of termites found in the United States, the following kinds are the biggest threat to home and property owners,
- Subterranean termites
These termite species are found in every state within the United States except Alaska. They live in underground colonies and require soil contact. They also use mud tubes to reach the woods in the house. Most of all, they cause the most termite damage to homes as the worker termites can eat through plaster, foam, plastic, or asphalt to reach the wood.
- Formosan termites
These termite species thrive in the southeastern states, Southern California, and Hawaii. These termites are the most destructive species. They chew and destroy wood very quickly because of their large population. They also nest underground and require soil contact to create colonies.
- Drywood termites
These termite species are found in the gulf coast, southwestern states, and Hawaii. They can live anywhere in a house and do not require any soil contact. As their name suggests, they infest dry wood.
In addition, beware of the swarming season which occurs during spring. During swarming, termites are more proactive and destructive as it starts getting warmer. These termites are more aggressive too during spring because it is their mating season. It is important to consider the early spring as the season to do your yard work.
Knowing the early signs
Termites can be very hard to detect. They could be chewing and munching anywhere in your house stealthily. However, these are warning signs to keep tabs on these “silent destroyers.”
- Watch out for bugs emerging from walls or posts. Otherwise, look over for evidence of the pests themselves indoors, such as shed wings.
- Be wary of droppings resembling sawdust or coffee grounds.
- Look into bulged, hollowed, or damaged woods or spots in your estate.
- Inspect for blistering and darkening in wood flooring, which looks like small cracks or holes.
- Look for mud tubes, which are pencil-thick to inch-wide dirt tunnels, near the base of the home.
Taking matters into your hands
You can help prevent termite invasion. As a home or property owner, you can do the following simple actions to reduce the risk of infestation.
- Check and repair any water leaks or moisture buildups from the home.
- Keep drainage systems unblocked and clean gutters and pipes.
- Get rid of excess moisture.
- Store all firewood away from the home and use termite-resistant wood whenever possible.
- Be cautious with mulch that contains wood; opt for mulch made up of rubber or gravel.
Calling in professional exterminators
However, enlisting the aid of a qualified termite exterminator will save you the frustration, time, trouble, and money in dealing with the sighting and invasion of these pests. Professional help is the most effective and best way to get rid of these destructive termites. Remember, to eliminate a termite invasion, you will need to eradicate the entire colony through an appropriate type of treatment. A pro termite exterminator will be able to spot termite infestation at your home and identify the treatment to administer. Professionals provide a guarantee of their work and continued assistance to prevent further termite activity. Getting regular inspections from a professional pest control company is the best treatment and prevention method for eradicating these pests.
In a nutshell
Termites have survived on the planet for over 250 million years. They are pros when it comes to building self-regulating homes. Moreover, every termite on earth, when combined, outweighs the total combined weight of every person on the planet. Most termites are not pests as they continue to thrive in the ecosystem as beneficial decomposers. They are hardworking insects that never know sleep at all. They are indeed fascinating creatures. Nevertheless, enough is enough. Exterminating these vicious pests today will free you from termite infestations tomorrow. Do not put off calling in a pest control professional if you notice any termite damage or suspect that you may have a termite problem. Be proactive in protecting your assets and investments – your home.
Story by Disa Gale