Termites are a threat to all house owners as they chew through wood structures and paper causing damage to property and loss of money. Massive termite infestation can cause safety hazards to the inhabitants of a house. So, what are termites? How do they affect us humans and how do you get rid of termites? Read on to learn more about termites.
Facts About Termites
- Do you know that the termite species dates back to 120 million years, which is around the time of dinosaurs.
- It is estimated that every year termites cause property damage of around 5 billion dollars in the US.
- There are mainly three types of termites that invade the home; dampwood,drywood,and subterranean.
- The drywood and dampwood termites live inside the wood that they eat through while the subterranean termites live underground.
- Termites usually create defense using mud walls.
What Causes Termite Infestation?
Wood is the food of termites and wood structures generally attract termites. Another reason for termites is the geographical area and climate. Warm climate with humidity is ideal for the termite population. So termites are mostly found in regions with such climatic conditions. Not just wood inside the house, wood structure in the foundation of the house can also attract termites to it. Moisture is another important factor that invites termites. Moist wood and soil is the ideal location for termites to live.
Termites that live in soil also feed on wood that is connected to the ground. They create mud tubes which they use to travel between wood and soil. Overgrown shrubs and damp wood etc can bring in termites. Untreated lumber and firewoods that are placed too close to the house can cause termites to thrive. Cracks or crevices in the outside area of the building can also cause termites to find the way inside. Termites live in colonies and they can often be mistook for flying ants.
Signs Of Termite Infestation
Termites do not harm human beings directly. But wood is their primary source of food. So, they feed on wooden structures in houses that they infest. This can compromise the safety of the wooden structures. They can eat through ceilings, plasters, wooden furniture, and even floors in the case of wooden homes.
It is very difficult to identify termite infestation until it is too late. So you have to inspect your homes regularly. Look for damp ceilings, walls, and mazes on walls or furniture. Sometimes termite damage can appear like water damages. There will be a smell similar to mold or mildew.
Swollen ceilings and floors are often signs of termite infestation.
You can also look for damaged wooden structures and furniture to find a termite infestation.
Shelter tubes that termites create can also be found on foundations, slabs, and attics. These are mud tubes used by termites to travel without dehydrating. The presence of shelter tubes indicates the presence of a termite infestation. It is even difficult to spot a dry wood termite infestation. They burrow deeply into walls and furniture and only after that do the maze-like structures become visible.
Termites season can be identified by the presence of swarmers. Swarmers are termites with wings and they come to establish a termite colony. They are attracted to lights and can be seen near windows and doors.
How To Get Rid Of Termites?
Once you find a termite infestation in your house, you need to take immediate action. Getting rid of termites is easier if you get professional pest control services. But, the best way to keep termites away is to create an inhospitable environment for them at your house. Termites need two things to survive. Wood and moisture. Moisture is essential for almost all termite species. So keep your house warm, dry, and free of humidity. If your foundations are made of wood, insulate them. You can look for cracks, broken windows, and other openings in the house and seal them. There are termite exterminator sprays in the market. But, it is better to not use it without a complete idea of infestation.
The Bottom Line
It is always advised to get a pest control professional to take care of a termite infestation. The extent of the termite infestation can only be determined with the help of professional pest control methods. To effectively get rid of termites, you need to know for how long your house has been infested. This is very difficult to determine as termite infestations are often found out too late. So, get a regular termite infestation inspection at your home. They will thoroughly inspect your house and find all possible areas of infestation and will help you treat the termites. Always hire a licensed termite control expert with experience. Termite treatments have warranty and most often, the effect of a treatment lasts for a year or more. If the termites reoccur in the warranty period, most pest control services will exterminate them for free. When you are getting a termite control expert,make sure that you conduct proper research and find reliable pest control agencies.