Home invading termites are often referred to as ‘silent destroyers’ as they may be secretly devouring your home without any signs of visible damage until a lot of destruction has been caused. Termites consume materials that are cellulose-based and regardless of the construction of your home, all homes contain some type of wood or plant matter that serve as a food source for termites. Flying termites have two prominent pairs of wings and are called the ‘reproductives’.
Dry wood termites commonly live in wooden structures like decayed trees but often infest dry walls, window frames, and furniture in a home. Subterranean termites live in mounds in the soil where they build elaborate tunnels from which they access food sources above ground. A mature colony of dry wood termites will leave the nest and swarm around windows and doors as they are attracted to light. They are most active in spring and after mating will locate new breeding grounds, creating new colonies and so the infestation spreads to multiple locations.
Early Warning Signs of a Termite Infestation
A temporary swarm of termites from the soil or inside the house or a large amount of discarded wings are signs that a new colony is looking for a nesting place. Termite droppings or bubbling and cracked paint surfaces, or mud tubes on wooden beams, exterior walls, or crawl spaces are all indications that a termite colony has invaded your home, as is a hollow sound from wood when it is tapped.
Termites can cause damage to laminate flooring, ceilings, walls, foundations, and carpets. If left untreated these wood-boring pests can cause immense damage to the structure of your home and most insurance plans do not cover termite damage.
Extermination is the best way to eradicate termites from your home, followed by ongoing prevention. As soon as you notice any signs of an infestation you should immediately contact an extermination company to come and assess the damage and the type of termite that has taken up residence in your home.
Dry wood termite treatment options include heat, gas, and termiticide applications. Fumigants disrupt the metabolism of termites when inhaled. Heat treatments are used to raise the temperature in the home to over 120 degrees Fahrenheit that effectively kills termites living in the wooden structures of your home. A termiticide is applied to infested wooden structures to target termite populations, or into the soil surrounding the house to kill off current populations and prevent new colonies from forming.
Damp wood treatments include moisture removal and termiticide applications. Moisture removal involves fixing leaks, ensuring proper drainage, and ensuring that no wooden structures are in contact with the soil.
How to Protect Your Home After Exterminating Termites
Termites are a constant threat and an effective termite extermination plan should include preventive measures. As moisture is an important requirement for termites to thrive, the first thing to do is to eliminate problems like leaks, wet foundations, water accumulating in gutters, water on the roof, and wood mulch. Remove any food sources such as paper, lumber, firewood, and debris from the foundation or crawl space of the home. Cover outside vents with screens and repair any damage to wooden structures.