Do you have an active termite infestation? Termite colonies cause billions of dollars in significant damage to U.S. homes every year. They're all destructive whether you have an issue with subterranean termites, drywood termites, Formosan termites, or dampwood termites. If you don't invest in termite control, these pests could cost you a fortune!
This article will explore the signs of termite damage and share termite prevention tips. We'll also look at what you can do to deal with a termite infestation and the best termite control solutions. Let's kick off with how to know you have a termite problem.
Signs of Possible Termite Damage
How do you know you have live termites roaming around your home causing problems? There are various treatment methods available to prevent a termite infestation. However, before you start any termite treatments, you'll first have to discover and identify the signs of termite activity.
If you notice debris that looks like sawdust in an unlikely space, it could be termite droppings. However, not all termite droppings are obvious. Subterranean termites leave their droppings inside wooden structures where you're unlikely to notice them.
Not to be confused with flying ants, termite swarmers are adult termites that fly in groups. If you spot these winged termites near your home or if you find dead swarmers in your doorways, it's a clear sign that you could have a termite infestation.
Although winged termites fly in swarms, they are not particularly good at it. They soon shed their wings and crawl away. If you see discarded wings around your house, it's another clue that live termites may be taking up residence in your home!
If you see mud tunnels around your house, it's another common indicator of a termite infestation. Termites glue mud tubes together with their saliva so they can travel around safely. Because of their delicate exoskeleton, the sun can kill termites. The mud tunnels help protect them from this.
Termite galleries are the tubes that termites create just beneath the surface of your walls. It's not always obvious, so watch out for damage to wallpaper or paint and tiny pinholes where they move in and out.
If you've discovered termite swarmers, mud tubes, or other signs of a termite infestation, you may wonder why these critters invaded your home.
Top Reasons Why Termites Might Invade Your Port St. Lucie Home
It's easier to prevent an active infestation if you know why termites invade your home in the first place. According to the National Pest Management Association, termite infestations can happen for several reasons, for example;
Humid areas with hot temperatures and a lot of rainfall are more likely to need termite control. If you love this type of weather, keep an eye out for the telltale signs of termites, and contact a pest control company if you notice anything.
Even if you live in an area that doesn't have termite-friendly hot and humid weather, poor drainage, moisture in a crawl space like an attic, or problems with standing water that can create wood rot, termites love this!
Gaps in the Foundation
Termites love getting into your home's foundation. They enjoy dark and moist places, so a foundation is a perfect place for a termite colony. Termites will also use any cracks or gaps around the home's exterior to find their way into your home to create new colonies (and cause costly damage!)
Wood Around the House
We all know that termites eat wood. If you have any wood debris near your house, such as tree stumps, it is a sure-fire way to attract a termite colony.
Once they've eaten the infested wood around your home, the drywood termites will continue to make their way inside to create new colonies. In no time, these termites will eat moisture-damaged wood and wood used for support piers, door frames, trusses, and any exposed wood surface in your home.
Types of Termites to Watch Out For
Believe it or not, there are around 2,800 species of termites on earth! Here are some of the termites you should keep an eye out for:
Subterranean termite colonies live underground in groups of up to a million members and can consume up to 15 pounds of wood in just one week! They are also known as ground termites and tunnel up to 150 feet underground to find wood to eat.
Subterranean termites can destroy your insulation, plastic piping, and even your home's foundation!
Winged drywood termites make their homes in trees and exposed wood structures. They eat the wood from the inside out. So the structure or tree may look fine from the outside but is crumbling inside. These termites love making their home in window frames, doorframes, and attics causing termite damage as they go along.
Dampwood termites prefer damp conditions and love decaying wood. If you discover termite damage by this type of termite, it is often an indicator of wood rot. They are attracted to homes that have plumbing problems or issues with moisture.
Formosan termites are subterranean termites and the most destructive of all types of termites. They infest homes through mud tubes along exposed wood that touches the soil. Aerial colonies infest roofs and areas high above the ground.
Formosan termites consume more wood than other subterranean termites because their colony size is typically larger than others. It's challenging to remove infestations without professional pest control companies.
Termite Infestation Prevention Tips
Finding one termite might not be a problem, but it could be a telltale sign that more termites are nearby. In most cases, you'll need a professional pest control company to resolve a termite problem and prevent termite damage.
However, you can do a few things to prevent termites from infesting your home and causing structural damage.
Get Rid of Moisture
One of the main reasons for termites to move in is moisture. If you live in a humid environment, invest in dehumidifiers for your home for better termite control. Use your air conditioner during summer and keep areas around your home dry, for example;
Clean out your gutters.
Ensure you have adequate drainage for home's exterior.
Remove any moisture-damaged wood from your home.
Invest in annual plumbing inspections.
Regularly check attics, basements, and crawl spaces for moisture and ventilation.
Fix any leaks around the house.
Pay attention to cardboard, old magazines, newspapers, and other potential termite food sources. If you use any of your rooms to store such items, make sure it has adequate ventilation and that everything is neatly packed. Sealed storage containers are an excellent idea.
Keep a Distance Between Soil and Exposed Wood
If you have a garden, it's important to maintain at least 18 inches between soil and wood to prevent termites from building shelter tubes to access your home and cause costly damage. If you see a mud tube running up the side of your house, it's a sign that the pests could be invading your home.
Place Infected Items in the Sun
If you notice signs of termites in a piece of furniture, place it outside in the sun for at least three consecutive days. Heat kills termites, so if you keep the furniture in the sun, the pests will die, and you'll remove moisture from the item, which could help prevent reinfestation.
Annual Termite Inspections
Just like an apple a day keeps the doctor away, an annual termite inspection will reveal the warning signs of termite infestations, get to the root of the problem, and help prevent future termite problems.
Best Termite Control Solutions
Termite baits attract foraging termites who bring the poison back to their colonies. Instead of temporary solutions, a baiting system is a more effective long-term termite treatment.
For example, at Southeast Florida Pest Control we have technicians who are specially trained to use the Sentricon System, a state-of-the-art system enhanced with data management tools to keep your home safe. This system uses a bait that termites can't resist and they take it back to the colony to share. Soon enough, the colony collapses!
Contact Southeast Florida Pest Control
If you spot any of the telltale signs of a termite infestation like mud tubes, termite droppings, termite swarms, or discarded wings, talk to professionals like Southeast Florida Pest Control immediately. They will discuss the best termite treatment options for your home and give you sensible advice and pest control solutions.
Whether it's best to use termite baits, liquid termiticides, or other solutions, professional pest control companies will give you sound advice. Southeast Florida Pest Control offers one of the most effective termite control options: the Sentricon System, a baiting system that will help you control termites for years.