The Importance of Treating and Preventing Termites
What do you think the number one physical threat to homes in the U.S. is? Flooding, fire, hail? Nope—it’s termites! While termites aren’t as obvious as external dangers, their consistent, subtle eating away of house frames and support timbers over time can be extremely damaging. Termites live on wood, which is obviously a common material in houses and garages. With enough wood to feed on, termite colonies can quickly expand to hundreds of thousands of termites. When a colony grows too big for one nest, they split up and form new colonies within the structure, which can lead to exponential amounts of damage. It helps for owners to know the warning signs of termite damage so that they can set up an inspection and termite treatment as soon as possible. Here’s everything you need to know about termite damage and termite treatment for your home.
Signs of Termite Damage
So, how do you know if you have termites? Homeowners can easily miss signs of termite infestation. One of subterranean termites’ most visible signature marks, their telltale mud tubes pathways along foundation walls, can be hard to see in a dark crawlspace or behind overgrown shrubs or weeds around the house. If you live in a termite-prone area, you should consider contacting a pest control professional to inspect your home regularly to prevent and treat any possible termite damage.
Here are Termite Infestation Warning Signs to Look for:
- Stained or warped sheetrock on the ceiling or walls (often mistaken for water damage)
- Buckling, sagging floors
- Loose tiles
- Hardwood floor slats popping up
- Laminate floors bubbling or sagging
- Small pinpoint holes in drywall
- Bubbling or peeling wall paint
- Damaged wood in posts or foundation that crumbles easily
- Doors or windows jamming
- Wood in any part of your structure that has a hollow sound when tapped
Your best bet is clearly to protect your home from termite infestation before it occurs.
Methods to Help Prevent Termites From Damaging Your Home Include:
- Receive regular (annual is recommended) termite inspections.
- Work with your pest control professional to address problematic conditions in your home, like moisture build-up and wood-to-ground contact, which can attract termite activity.
- Remove termites’ access to your home by correcting conducives such as any place where the wooden structure of the house touches the ground. You also can treat low-lying wood with termiticide to make it unappetizing to termites.
- Remove food sources. Dispose of extra cellulose materials in your home, especially in crawlspaces. Replace mulch with cellulose-free alternatives or move it six inches or more from your foundation. Make sure any wooden siding is more than six inches away from the ground.
- Limit moisture build-up. Ensure that water doesn’t puddle anywhere around the foundation of the house or on the roof. Immediately resolve moisture build-up in the basement and crawlspace. Quickly repair plumbing leaks, dripping gutters, and leaking/dripping air conditioner condensation lines.
Repairing Termite Damage
If you’ve discovered that you do, in fact, have a termite infestation, there are two main categories of termite treatment to consider: liquids and baits. Soil-applied liquid termiticides provide a chemical barrier that keeps termites in the ground from entering buildings. In most cases, this kills termites in the structure too, since they can’t get back outside. The other treatment category is baiting. Termite baits consist of paper, cardboard, or other items that termites see as food, combined with a slow-acting, lethal substance. The bait is placed below ground outside. It can also be placed indoors over active mud tubes. Termites consume the tainted bait and distribute it to their nestmates, leading to a steady decline in termite numbers. Sometimes, bait may constitute the only available form of treatment, or it can be combined with liquid applications. Whichever method is selected, it’s important to have the termite treatment performed by an experienced termite technician, with a reliable pest control company.
If left untreated, serious termite infestations can cause extreme damage to homes and even cause floors or roofs to collapse. A pest control specialist will immediately spot the warning signs of a termite infestation and proceed to treat your property. Accurate Insect and Pest Control can help you prevent, diagnose, or treat your termite infestation safely and reliably. Call us today! 281-745-0234.