11.16.2017

What To Do When Your Home Is Infested With Termites


Termites are small insects which are known more commonly as ‘silent destroyers’. They are like little ninjas, invading our homes and hiding in the smallest nooks and crannies, damaging our homes without us even noticing until it’s too late. Most of the time people will mistake termites for ants due to their size and appearance, but these can damage your home a lot if you don’t take notice of them soon enough. You can identify termites by their straight waists, equal sized wings and beaded antennae. Take some time to look them up online, it will pay to know the difference.
They primarily feed on cellulose- which forms the integral structure of wood. They will also feed on paper, insulation and filtration systems. Of course, even if your home is made with a steel frame rather than wood- there will still be elements within your walls which provide the perfect feeding grounds for these creatures. In the garden, termites can also feed on living trees and harm them, so if you prize your plants you may want to look into a way of getting rid of them.
Termites are known to have caused a whopping $5 million worth of damage to homes in the USA, which is more than the damage caused by house fires. The issue with having termites in your home is that they are often not covered in your home insurance schemes, meaning that you will be facing a large pay out if they do happen to damage the structure of your property.
If you manage to detect termites quick enough, you can avoid all of the issues and deal with them safely and quickly- which is great because it means that you don’t need to worry about the damage to your home. But how do you detect whether or not these insect ninjas have made a home in your home? You won’t be able to see the insects themselves as they are incredibly good at playing hide and seek, however it is the signs of damage they create which you can look out for.
Reading The Signs
There are two different species of termite which could invade you home, and they will do different damage to your property. There are drywood termites, and subterranean termites. They look pretty much identical so it can be difficult for you to know which one you are dealing with without checking with a professional for identification.
Drywood termites live within the wood they eat, and are very active above the ground. Whereas subterranean termites, you’ve guessed it, live underneath the ground and are active below. You may have seen the mud tubes which these termites produce as a way of navigating the terrain under the ground- and these creatures rely heavily on moisture. This means that if you have a lot of moisture in and around your home, it could become a prime target for these little pests to feed and breed.
●  Wood damage-  this is the sign which is most associated termites being in your home. If you ever see a small piece of wood which is broken or it looks as if something has been carved out of it, then this is a sign that termites are living in your wood. A good way to check whether the wood is hollow or not is to poke a knife into the wood.
●  Sand- If you suddenly start to notice random piles of sand in your home, this is most likely not sand at all, it’s termite poo.
●  Mud Tubes -  as we said above, if you see small mud tubes anywhere in your home you could be facing a subterranean termite problem.
●  Sagging Wood Flooring  - if you notice that your wood or laminate floor is becoming uneven, blistered or sagging- then this could be a sign that termites are eating through your floorboards.
● Cracks on the outside of your home which have no explanation could be a warning sign of termites.
●  If you windows or doors start to warp and become stiff it could be a sign that termites are burrowing in and causing the frames to become misshapen
What To Do
If you’ve been noticing some signs of a termite infestation and you think your home is under attack- you need to find a pest control company like Go-Forth Pest Control to come out and inspect your home thoroughly. Although you could try and go for a more DIY approach, because termites are so invasive it may not be the best way to deal with the issue. You don’t want to go in all gung-ho and end up causing much more damage than was already there because you don’t have the right tools or knowhow to deal with the infestation in a controlled manner.
If at all possible, you will want to try and avoid the use of pesticides and go with a green pest control company- this will benefit you because they will focus on ways to target the affected areas and not use the chemicals all throughout your home. The key is for the pest control team to focus on the target areas which are most affected in your home, and once they have managed to rid your home of pests- they will want to take measures to prevent them returning again.
Preventing An Infestation
If we were to live in an ideal world- the risk of being infested by termites in the first place would be zero. Unfortunately, that just isn’t the case-however there are different steps and precautions we can take in order to prevent them from calling our homes their home.
One of the ways that you can jump the gun and stop the problem before it presents itself is to understand the signs that termites are present in your area and near you home. In the spring and the autumn, as the weather transitions you will be able to see termites with wings flying around your home, and you will also be able to see discarded wings around your window ledges and door frames. You will also notice disturbance in the upper layer of soil in your garden during rainy days, and this is a tell-tale sign of the presence of subterranean termites on your property.
Once you have identified that termites are in the area and near your home, you can take some measures to prevent them coming into your home and invading.
● Every 2 or 3 years, make it a ritual to schedule yourself a termite check with your local pest control. If you’ve had the issue before it may be that the termites will detect your home once more and sneak back in. The best way to prevent this is to make sure you get it checked out.
● Fix leaks in your pipes, insulate your house and also make sure that it is properly ventilated to reduce damp. Remember, termites like moisture.
● Make sure your home is secure by filling in any cracks in your walls, floors and ceilings to prevent anything from the outside finding its way in.
● The foundation of your home should be well-drained to prevent any moisture from getting into the area and also make sure to clean your gutters on a regular basis. Creatures like termites and mosquitoes love to use damp areas to lay their eggs. By cleaning out the area regularly you are making sure that these eggs cannot develop into fully grown pests.
● Make sure that the air bricks on the outside of your home stay open to ventilate the home, and avoid letting any ivy creep up to cover them.
● Make sure you secure your roof fully against the elements as well as pests by fixing the tiles and replacing any which are either damaged or missing.
● Make sure that the wood in your home never comes directly into contact with soil- because this is the perfect way that termites will find their way into your home. You should always have a concrete barrier between wood and soil to prevent this occurring.

● Bait them – you can take matters into your own hands a little here and create small traps around your home, which could be a mason jar or tub with cardboard, wood or paper inside (laced with poison) to entice the termites in. Once the termites have been trapped you can get rid of them far away from your home and the slow acting poison will kill them. Don’t worry the poison you will use is only effective on termites so it won’t harm you, your family or any pets you may have in your home. Baiting termites can be a super effective way to get rid of any termites which have started to worm their way into your home, as well as to get rid of any termites within your garden which may find their way inside soon. It will also prevent termites from coming back to your home in the future, which means that you can stay safe and secure in your home.

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