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How To Deal With Termite Infestation In Your Home

Posted by Jill Yanus on

Termites are small, winged insects that are known to feed on wood and other cellulose materials. They can cause serious damage to homes and other structures when left unchecked. In order to protect your structure from termite infestations, it is important to understand their biology and behavior.

Termites are able to tunnel through wood, soil, and other materials in order to find food. They can travel up to 100 feet from their nest in search of sustenance.

Termites live in colonies made up of a queen and her offspring. The queen is responsible for laying eggs that will eventually grow into workers, soldiers, and reproductives.

Workers are the most numerous in a colony and feed on wood, plant matter, and other cellulose materials.

Soldiers protect the colony from predators such as ants. Reproductives are responsible for dispersing to new areas to start new colonies.

 

How Do Termites Reproduce?

Termites reproduction and adult termites

Termites reproduce through a process called swarming. During this process, winged male and female termites take flight from their colonies to mate with new partners in the air.

After mating, the female will land and find a suitable area for her colony. She will then shed her wings and seal off the entrance of her colony to begin laying eggs.

The eggs will then hatch into worker termites that are responsible for gathering food and caring for the young. This cycle of mating, egg-laying, and colony building is how termites reproduce.

Termite colonies can contain upwards of several million members and live for many years. Termite swarms usually occur in the spring or summer, as the warmer temperatures make flying and mating easier for them.

To prevent swarming, many homeowners install termite control measures to keep the pests from reproducing in their homes.

Termite stages

 

Types Of Termites

There are three main types of termites: formosan subterranean, drywood and conehead.

Treatment for all three types of termites must be tailored to the specific species of termite present in an infestation.

Depending on the location and severity of the infestation, a professional pest control company may use baiting systems, chemical treatments or specialized treatments such as fumigation.

Knowing the type of termite present can help determine the best course of action for a successful eradication.

Drywood Termites

They feed on wood with a low moisture content and can wreak havoc on furniture and other wooden items.

Dampwood termites are usually found in damp, decaying wood and are typically not as destructive as other types of termites.

Formosan Subterranean

Subterranean termites live in underground colonies and can cause serious damage to structures if left unchecked.

They are an aggressive species that is known to cause extensive damage to buildings; they are typically found in the southeastern United States.

Conehead Termites

These are a species of termite found primarily in the southeastern United States. They are named for their distinct cone-shaped head and mandibles, which have evolved to better handle feeding on wood.

Conehead termites require moisture and humidity to survive, so they are typically found in moist, dark places. They feed on wood, leaves, and other plant materials, making them a serious pest for homeowners and commercial buildings alike.

It is important to note that termites can cause major structural damage if left unchecked. Professional pest control companies and state-approved exterminators should always be consulted when dealing with any type of infestation.

Knowing the type of termite present can help ensure the best possible treatment for successful eradication.

In addition to these three main types of termites, there are also several other less common species that may cause damage.

 

Which Preventative Measures Can We Take?

Treating & spraying termites in the home

To prevent termites from invading your home or structure, it is important to take preventive measures.

These include sealing cracks and crevices in walls and foundations to keep out moisture, removing wood debris and stumps near the building, and maintaining a clean landscape.

Additionally, professional pest control companies may be able to provide additional assistance such as treating the soil around the building with insecticides and baits. By taking these steps, you can greatly reduce the risk of termite infestations in your home or structure.

 

How To Know Your Home Has Termites?

Termite evidence-mud tubes and wood grains

Termites can be hard to spot, but there are some warning signs that may indicate their presence in your home. Watch out for the following:

  1. Mud Tubes: Termites typically build mud tubes to travel from one area to another inside and outside of your home. These mud tubes are about the thickness of a pencil and can often be seen on walls or near foundations and in basements.
  2. Droppings: Termites leave behind small, pellet-like droppings which are usually a sign of fairly recent activity. These droppings are usually brown or black in color and you may find them around window sills, door frames, baseboards and other wood structures.
  3. Discarded Wings: Termites are attracted to light, so if you find discarded wings near windowsills or doors it is a sure sign of infestation. After mating, swarmers will shed their wings and may leave piles of them behind.
  4. Hollowed Wood: Termites often hollow out wood, leaving behind a thin shell. If you tap on the walls or wooden structures in your home and it sounds hollow, it may be an indication that there are termites present.
  5. Discolored Paint: Termites can cause paint to appear blistered or bubbled and can also chew through paint which will leave irregular marks on the walls.

If you notice any of these warning signs, it's important to contact a professional for an inspection as early detection is key when it comes to termites. Knowing how to recognize the signs of a termite infestation can help you better protect your home from wood-destroying insects!

 

What To Do If You Have Termites at Home?

If you suspect that your home has been invaded by termites, it is important to take immediate action.

The first step is to contact a professional pest control company for an inspection and to discuss potential treatment options. These companies are generally able to identify the species of termite and how far the infestation has spread in order to provide the most effective solution.

Depending on the severity of the infestation, they may recommend a liquid or baiting system to eliminate the termites.

If you decide to pursue a treatment option, it is important to follow all instructions closely and diligently so as to ensure that all traces of these pests are eliminated.

Treating your home to prevent termites

In addition to professional treatments, homeowners can take action to prevent termite infestations.

This includes reducing moisture sources around the home, such as sealing cracks and holes in the foundation; ensuring that gutters are clean and working properly; and eliminating wood debris from near or against the house.

Additionally, it is important to store firewood away from the house, trim plants so they don’t touch the home’s exterior, and regularly inspect crawl spaces and other outdoor areas for signs of termite activity.

By taking action right away and following these preventative measures, you can protect your home from invasive termites. With a little bit of effort, you can ensure that your home is safe from these pesky pests.


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