Many homeowners worry about termites. They can wreck havoc on a home because their diet is basically the main material in many American homes; wood. Each year, they do damage to about 600,000 homes around the United States. The average amount that a homeowner who finds termite damage in their home will have to spend is $3,000. It has been estimated that about $30 billion is damage is done each year to man-made structures around the country by termites and similar insects. Here is some more information about termites and the way to get rid of them.
- If you see winged termites, you have an infestation. Every year, in the spring, winged termites set out on their own to set up their own colony and mate. When you see them in your home, it is a sign that they have picked your home for their colony spot. Termites have straight antennae, equal sized wings and a broad waist.
- Look for tubes of mud along your foundation. If you need more proof that you have these pests, look along your foundation, piers, floor joints, etc. The termites like to construct tubes that are made of mud. If you see these around your home, that is another food sign that the termites are there, too. Pest control services need to be called. You may or may not see active termites in these tubes so do not assume you have no termites if you do not see them.
- Look for damaged wood. If you see wood that also has tubes cut out of it, you have termites. Pest control services say they burrow tubes into the wood and they call these tubes “feeding galleries.” They may have dirt or mud lining the walls of the tubes. Because the termites tunnel into the wood, the exterior may look normal and not at all damaged. If you see sawdust, that is an indication of another kind of insect infestation.
- Pesticide needs to do deep. Termites can burrow many feet below the surface so any application of termiticide needs to do the same. These are not superficially dwelling creatures. The pest services control company will apply the termiticide deep into the soil that surrounds your house’s foundation. They will have to use a very large amount of the termiticide. They frequently go through hundreds of gallons to get all of the termites.
- You need both a termiticide and a termite repellent. When your pest control services company comes out, they will first apply the termiticide. In the past, the pest control contractor would only use the repellent. In recent years, pest control experts have found the termiticide is good at killing the bugs right away but then the repellents are needed to keep them from coming back. You should have a conversation with the pest control services company before they begin work so you know what they are going to do.
- Termite bait may also be used. These are normally used by pest control services companies alongside the termiticide. The baits have food to attract the termites and have a slow acting poison. These are often placed around the tubes the termites dug in the mud around your home or deep in the soil around your home.
- Spot treatments are useless against termites. They live in areas that are very deep in the soil around the home but they venture into houses to look for food. It is really important to treat the soil very deeply around the home. The good news is that most termicide that is on the market today should protect your home for at least five years.
- Termites do not work quickly. If you see evidence of a termite infestation, it is worth your while to talk to several local pest control services companies. You want to get a few quotes and ideas about how they will treat the insects.
It is a good idea to check your foundation in the spring for the mud tubes. Since termite infestations are found in the spring months, checking around your home during this time may be your best way to spot them and then start your termite eradication plan. The good news is they can be gotten rid of.