Termites wreak havoc in your homes and devour it from the inside until there is nothing left but dust. Needless to say, need to be terminated the moment any trace of them is found in your home. This article will tell you all about what these little wood eaters are, how they can destroy your home, and what you can do to eradicate them.
What are Termites?
Termites are often referred to as white ants, as they look a lot like ants, but are completely opposite in nature. They have soft bodies and are always ready to eat away your houses into nothingness. The pests cause more than $ 5 million worth of damages to various houses every year. It is no wonder why a home owner’s biggest fear is termite infestation.
Termite infestations almost always occur in colonies, which are decentralized. These little insects are always looking for new wood to prey on.
Termites that usually invade homes are divided into three groups. These are subterranean, dry wood and damp wood termites. The former two are the most hazardous for buildings. Amongst the two, subterranean termites are the most common.
The worst part is that the pests have wings which allow them to fly long distances especially during spring time.
Determining a Termite Infestation
There are certain signs that help you determine the extent of an infestation. You can always call pest control experts and ask them to determine it for you. However, if you want to do it on your own, keep your eyes peeled for the following signs.
- As we mentioned previously, termites usually form colonies and then invade the house. When you start noticing swarms of termites in your home or in and around the area you live in, it’s time to bring in the big guns. Lifeless termite carcasses on the window sills are also signs of an infestation.
- Termites require moisture to survive, and usually live in cramped, small places. This is why they use mud and sand to build tunnels or tubes. When you come across such a tube, break it off. If it has been rebuilt the next time you check you know you have an active termite infestation.
- If there is any area in the house where the wood has started to rot; keep an eye on it. Termites are attracted to such places. Use a flat blade to probe the wood and look into it.
- You might mistake signs of water damage as termite damage. Both of them look the same.. The only way you can differentiate between them is if you check for the presence of dirt particles. If there is dirt, then you’ve got a serious termite problem.
How to Get Rid of a Termite Infestation
Once you have determined that your home is, in fact, being infested by termites, dealing with the matter swiftly should be next on your list. Word gets around fast. When these little devils stumble upon a place they would love to shift their colonies in, they will probably attract other termites to it.
So how do you get rid of them? Well the most obvious answer would be to call a pest control agency and let the professionals handle this operation. You need to understand the difference between killing them and getting rid of the entire infestation. The latter is best left to the experts. You can take a few steps on your own, before the professionals arrive.
Injecting liquid termiticide into the soil around the house may solve your problem. You can even inject it in other likely areas, which might act as the point of entry for the termites. The pests won’t use the same place to enter your home again after that.
Once you apply the termitcide, the pests that are present during the application will ingest it and go back to the colony. After that they will transmit the insecticide to the rest of the colony, infect them with the substance and eradicate the entire infestation. This process involves an expert with the proper material, coming to your home and completing the procedure. Liquid products have been introduced, which are quite effective in taking care of the problem. You do not even need to inject large amounts of the liquid, a little will suffice. However, it’s best that you leave such techniques to the pros
It is also better to choose this option, as it gives faster results than any other method.
You can use a wooden bait to lure termites inside a plastic parameter. Once the termites get attracted to this enticing meal, they will ingest the insecticide that is placed in it. After this they will return to the colony, and eventually finish it off . This method is also installed by the experts and monitored regularly.
Preventing Termite Infestation
You’ve learned what termites are, where they can be found, and how you can get rid of them. Now your house is completely free of termites. But how do you keep it that way? Why, by taking some effective preventive measures, so that you can live the rest of your life safe from these wood-eating pests.
- If you leave lumber in tiny spaces like decks, it’s time to stop. Don’t create temptations for termites, otherwise they will come back, and you’ll find yourself in the same situation all over again.
- Remove any wood siding that is lying on the ground. Try to keep the wood at least a foot off the ground.
- Make sure that your gutters are not over flowing and there are not leaks in and around your house. Termites are attracted to moisture, so try to keep it as minimum as possible, and prevent puddles of water from gathering in or near your home.
- You can switch the soil for sand. It is one of the most effective measures of warding termites off your property.
- If you are thinking of getting your home renovated, then it might be a good idea to start thinking about termite proof renovations.
There are types of wood which are disliked by termites; try to use those while getting your house constructed and you’ll be safe from infestations.
Once you are done with all these, you are ready to live in a termite free home.