Nature’s Home Wrecker: What You Need To Know About Termites In Your Home

Termites are among the most annoying and costly pests that can invade your home. They cause more damage than ants, cockroaches, and rodents combined, and multiply at least as quickly. Knowing the facts about termite control can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars down the road.

What Kind of Damage Can Termites Cause to your Home?

There are three common types of termites that infest homes and yards: drywood, dampwood and subterranean. As their names suggest, drywood termites live in dead, dry wood; dampwood termites are attracted to damp organic materials; and subterranean termites colonize underground and can destroy the plants in your yard and even invade the foundations of your home.

Drywood and dampwood termites usually live in the plant-based materials that they consume, so the most common location that these termites inhabit is inside the very walls of your home. But that’s not the only place you will find them. They can take over furniture, cabinetry, fencing, carpets and your ceiling. The pests can even destroy your important paperwork or books.

What are the Signs of a Termite Problem?

While the damage that termites can cause is often severe and costly if left untreated, the presence of termites is not always immediately noticeable. You may see a swarm of them in crawlspaces, attics or around your doors or windows, but the signs of a termite infestation are usually more subtle.

They commonly leave wings that they have shed or droppings in or near the areas where they have been feeding. You may also see mud tubes, about the thickness of a pencil, which subterranean termites use to travel from their underground homes to the wood that they have been snacking on.

When Do I Need to Call a PestControl Company? Do I Need Termite Control?

The best time to call an exterminator is at the first sign of a termite infestation. The sooner you can begin rooting them out, the better. If you think you may have termites, a thorough investigation of your crawlspace, attic, basement and garage is likely to reveal signs of termite activity. In addition to checking for wings, droppings and mud tubes, you can tap your walls and ceilings and listen for a hollow sound.

Even if you don’t find any evidence of a termite problem, never hesitate to seek the advice of a professional. A pest control expert can accurately determine whether you have an infestation and decide the best course of action for removal.

How Can I Keep Them From Coming Back?

Drywood termites are attracted to dead wood, so keep lumber, firewood and other plant-based material, such as leaves, limbs or papers, far away from your house, or get rid of them if you can. Tree stumps often house termite breeding grounds, so remove stumps that are near the home as well. Using treated lumber for fences, decks and porches can deter subterranean termites, while replacing damp and rotted wood can help prevent dampwood termites from returning.

Check your plumbing to see that it is still dry because even the tiniest leak or drip can start rotting wood and attracting more termites. Standing water on your roof or in your yard can beckon these pests as well, so make sure that your home has proper drainage and that you keep gutters and vents clean.

Check out this article for more information on the best ways to control termites.

You can save yourself from the trouble of these wood destroyers by calling the termite control experts at U.S. Pest. Give us a call today for a FREE inspection!