San Antonio: (830) 931-1292 | Waco: (254) 224-6744 | College Station: 979-431-3992

San Antonio: (830) 931-1292 Waco: (254) 224-6744 College Station: 979-431-3992

Termite Control for Homeowners

Termite Control for Homeowners

Untitled design – 2021-08-31T113414.746

Pesky little creatures, termites are a homeowner’s nightmare. From silently feasting on the wooden structures of your home to causing irreparable damage, these pests demand proactive vigilance and control. As the seasons change and environmental conditions fluctuate, termite infestations can spike, catching any unprepared homeowner off-guard. This guide is a comprehensive resource tailored for individuals who are proactive about protecting their homes from termites and preserving the value of their property.

Understanding the Threat: Termite 101

Before we jump into the methods to control these voracious pests, it’s essential to understand your enemy. Termites are eusocial insects that are classified at the taxonomic rank of infraorder Isoptera, or as epifamily Termitoidae within the cockroach order Blattodea. Currently, about 3,106 termite species are recognized, primarily divided into three main types: subterranean, drywood, and dampwood termites.

The Lifecycle of a Termite

The termite colony is a well-ordered, structured community, much like a beehive or ant mound. It starts with swarmers (or alates), which are potential kings and queens that leave their nests to mate and form new colonies. Once a new couple find a suitable spot, they establish a nest, and the queen begins to lay eggs, starting the life cycle of worker, soldier, and reproductive termites.

Termite Behavior

Despite their small size, termites can cause significant damage due to their insatiable appetite for cellulose material — which is present in abundance within a typical household’s composition. Their silent and subterranean nature means they often go unnoticed until the damage is severe.

Signs of a Termite Infestation

Identifying a termite infestation early is crucial. Regular house checks can help in early detection, which is key before the infestation escalates.

Visible Damage

  • Wood Damage: Hollowed-out wood along the grain, with dried mud or soil present in the galleries.
  • Bite Marks: Small, papery-looking pieces in varying sizes along the floor or baseboards, which are actually termites’ exoskeletons.

Auditory Signals

  • Rustling Sounds: As termites infest wood, they may produce rustling, clicking noises, which are often a sign that they are present in large numbers.

Housekeeping Hints

  • Frass: This is the powdery byproduct of eating wood present inside or just outside the structure, indicative of a nearby termite nest.
  • Shelter Tubes: Termites create shelter tubes from soil, feces, and wood, which they use to travel and for protection against predators and the elements.

Prevention: Fortress Your Home Against Termites

Taking a proactive stance against termites is your first line of defense. Let’s discuss how to make your home less appealing to these wood-munching critters.

Construction Techniques

  • Pre-treatment: Before a structure is built, termiticides can be applied to the soil to deter termites from entering.
  • Barriers: Physical barriers like wire mesh can be used to prevent subterranean termites from entering.

Home Maintenance

  • Moisture Control: Termites love damp environments, so keep your home and surroundings dry.
  • Landscape Maintenance: Avoid having plants and mulch directly touching the house, as this can provide a bridge for termites to bypass barriers.

Termite Control Products and Professional Assistance

Several products and methods are available for termite control, ranging from DIY solutions to professional-grade treatments.

DIY Treatments

  • Baiting Systems: Suitable for termite control and prevention, bait stations can be strategically placed around the home and garden.
  • Liquid Termiticides: Such products can create a chemical barrier to keep termites away from the structure.

Professional Help

  • Inspections: Regular inspections by licensed professionals can catch potential infestations before they escalate.
  • Treatment Plans: If an infestation is detected, various treatment options like fumigation, heat treatment, or chemical barriers may be recommended.

Natural and Environmentally Safe Solutions

If you’re environmentally conscious or have concerns about chemical treatments, several natural methods can help deter termites.


  • Beneficial Nematodes: These microscopic, worm-like creatures seek out and kill termite colonies.
  • Spraying Infested Areas: A solution containing nematodes can be sprayed over the infested area for effective control.

Boric Acid

  • Barrier Application: Dust boric acid over or near areas of termite activity to create a barrier.
  • Treated Wood: Pre-treat wood with a borate solution — it acts as a deterrent and poison to termites.

The Aftermath: Termite Damage Restoration

In the unfortunate event of termite damage, the next step is restoration. Repairing and reinforcing damaged structures is paramount to prevent future infestations.

Assessing the Damage

  • Professional Evaluation: Have a professional assess the extent of the damage for a thorough understanding of the scope of restoration needed.
  • Recognizing Weaknesses: Identify structural weaknesses and moisture problems that may have attracted termites in the first place.

Restoration Methods

  • Wood Replacement: Replace damaged wooden structures with termite-resistant materials or treated wood.
  • Strengthening Measures: Implement preventive measures like metal shields to protect wooden components of your home.

Staying Vigilant: Ongoing Home Termite Management

Termite control is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. Regular maintenance and checks are critical to keep your home termite-free.

Regular Inspections

  • Monthly Checks: Perform monthly checks for signs of termite activity.
  • Biannual Professional Inspections: Have professionals conduct thorough inspections every six months.

Secure Your Investment

  • Maintain Records: Keep detailed records of inspection dates, treatments, and any findings to track preventive measures.
  • Stay Educated: Continuously educate yourself on advanced termite control methods and products.