Termites despite their minute size can be very destructive. According to the National Pest Management Association, they can cause even more than $5 billion worth of damages in commercial and residential buildings every year. Thus, it is very vital for you to find out whether your home is termite infested or not. Getting to know the signs of having termite colony in your home is the first step. Consequently, you also have to be familiarized with the things you can do to handle the situation.
There are many tell-tale signs that indicate a termite colony might be living off the structure of your home. Here are some:
Presence of mud-like material in holes – this is a combination of soil, saliva and feces of termites, which is used as the termites’ shelter tubes.
Hollow sound in the wall – if you tap the surface of a wall and this sound is produced, the interior wooden structure may be termite damaged already.
Pests flying around, especially near light sources – if you notice this to occur during spring (March to June) or occasionally during autumn (September to October), a part of your home may have been infested with termites. However, you must ensure that the pests fleeting around your home are actually swarmers, the adult male and female termite reproductives, and not the winged ants. Termites have straight antennae, straight abdomen and equal length of flimsy wings. Ants have elbowed antennae, thin abdomen and two pairs of wings, wherein the front wings are much longer.
Small signs include buckling or cracking paint, tiny holes in the wall, excavated wood, discolored or blistered hardwood floors and piles of fecal pellets.
When looking for these signs, focus on areas with wood and paper, as these cellulose materials are what termites mainly feed on. They also thrive in humid damp spaces or in structures set in a soil- or concrete based floor like posts, steps, door frames and trim.
There are many do-it-yourself applications you can do to address the issue. Termite insecticides or termiticides are often used to treat the soil foundation of the house. This application can last for a few years. A termite bait system nowadays is much more preferred by many homeowners. This works by installing bait stations directly in the ground where termites can easily access them, much like a mouse trap. The station is a cylinder-like material that has a wood feeding source and bait cartridge inside. Once the termites eat the source, they will die and be enclosed in the cartridge.
While the self-help applications are way cheaper, hiring a licensed professional pest control company although more expensive can produce long-lasting results. They are equipped with all materials and chemicals needed to treat the affected areas. Get the services of a firm that is a national, state or local pest management association member.
To prevent further termite infestation, you might as well make some changes in your home. See to it that there is at least a six-inch gap between the foundation and wood portions of the house. If this gap is not present, you can regrade the soil or cut a few inches off the wood structure in order to eliminate wood-to-soil contact. You should not also store cellulose materials inside crawl spaces as these may only serve as the gateway for the termites into your home.
While termite control may require you to devote as much time, money and effort into it, it still remains to be a very beneficial process. It is a worthy investment so you can protect your home.
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