Considered as the top threat to wood based structures, termites cost Americans over more than $5 billion in damages based on a National Pest Management Association estimate. Certainly no one wants to have termites in their home, but all of us are at risk for termite infestations. Though these small but terrible pests play an important role in the ecosystem, they are destructive in our homes. Unfortunately, the only time you can identify a termite problem is when the damage is severe. This is why having some knowledge about termites, such as being able to identify the early stages of a termite infestation is essential as it can help protect your home and control the problem before it escalates.
Termite Activity Throughout The Year
Some people believe that spring is the only season when termites are active, but the truth is, termites are actually active throughout the year. However, it is usually during spring when identifying termites is easier because they are seen in swarms. There are two common termite species in the country – the drywood termites and the subterranean termites. They are most active in areas having warmer climates, despite the existence of the subterranean termites in every state. Those that live only in wood are called the drywood termites and they can be found in furniture, framing and hardwood floorings, while those that live underground in colonies are called subterranean termites.
When you are able to detect the early signs of a termite infestation, you will be able to prevent severe infestations which can cost you a fortune. As such, you will be able to detect, protect and prevent severe devastation caused by termites in your home.
Swarmers or Discarded Wings
The reproductive termites are known as swarmers and they swarm from place to place to create new colonies. Once you find a swarm of termites or a pile of discarded wings, you will need the help of a pest control professional to get rid of them.
As termites prefer dark and humid environments, they are not found on the surface of wood where they can be seen by humans. Instead they feed on the wood inside out. So though the wood’s surface is smooth, it will sound hollow when tapped.
Cracked Paint On Wood Surfaces
It is important that you keep an eye out for cracks in the foundation of your home, especially near the roof siding, vents and windows. When you find any openings even those smaller than a dime, you must have them all sealed as swarming drywood termites can enter them.
When termites eat their way through wood, they produce wood colored droppings at the same time. Food sources such as debris and materials with cellulose must be cleared from crawl spaces and gutters to keep termites away.
These tubes are built on the surfaces of a house’s foundation by termites so that moisture is present while they forage for food. The best way to prevent this is to store wood chips, firewood and mulch away from the house to eliminate moist living environments for termites.
Though there are ways for you to try get rid of termites on your own, consulting with a professional is better. There are different treatments for each species of termites and only a professional can apply a customized treatment and prevention plan for your home.
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Valerie Williams is a freelance writer specializing in natural forms of pest control. She also provides information about natural pest control methods for termites in homes and in the office, how pests affect lives and how the services of Preventive professionals from help treat severe infestations.