Termites are one of the most destructive pests in the US. They wreak havoc on the wooden structures of the home, often causing thousands of dollars in damages if they go undetected for too long. If you are living in an area that is prone to termite infestations, your best bet is to have good preventative measures in place and to check for infestations regularly. In this article, we’re going to cover some of the most commonly asked questions about termites and hopefully help you prevent an infestation from getting too large.
How do I identify termites?
Termites are about a quarter of an inch long, and they have light brown to white bodies. In fact, they used to be called white ants. You may also encounter swarmers, or alates, which are reproductive termites in search for a nest. Swarmers can be recognized by their wings. However, if you have a subterranean ant infestation, you are unlikely to spot a termite out in the open. Subterranean ants will use mud tunnels to travel, so the most obvious sign of an infestation will be these tunnels going up your home’s foundation or wooden structures.
What are the different types of termites I’m likely to encounter?
There are several common species of termites in the US, and they can be categorized into three major types: subterranean, dampwood and drywood termites. The subterranean species of termites cause the most damage in the US, and you will be able to recognize them by their mud tubes, which they use to travel when they are above ground. As for the other two types, their names indicate the type of wood they feed on. Drywood termites prefer dry wood and damp wood termites prefer wet wood.
What are the signs of a termite infestation?
There are several signs that you may have an infestation. You may notice swarmers in the house, or their wings. For subterranean termites, there may be mud tubes on the foundation of your home or on any wooden structures. You can also tap on wooden surfaces and items in the home. If the wood sounds hollow, termites may be present. Infested wood will also have dark areas on it, and in some cases, there may be holes through which the termites evacuate debris and excrement.
How can I get rid of termites?
There are several treatment options on the market, and some of them are available for DIY solutions. The most common DIY option is the bait station. Bait stations are inserted into the ground around the foundation, and they contain poisoned wood or cellulose. Termites will be drawn to them, take the poisoned wood back to the colony, and eventually the poison will reach the queen and kill her. Other treatment options are best handled by professionals, who can create a chemical barrier around the foundation of the home, killing any termites that come into contact with it. The barrier contains active ingredients that spread throughout a termite colony as well, through various mechanisms. If you have a termite infestation and you have not been able to tackle it by yourself, contact us today.