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Everything You Need to Know about Termite Control
Termite damage causes over $6 billion in damage every year in the United States. These little creepers live in well-organized large colonies with over one million hungry workers that are difficult to identify easily. These unpleasant pests are tiny in size, and often one might perceive them as ants. Even the thought of the presence of these winged termites in the home can be extremely intimidating. Most of the home insurance policies do not cover this type of damage repairs or treatment. So, you need to be proactive in order to protect your home with an effective termite pest control treatment. Or also, it is better to prevent damage by looking for the signs of termite arising in your home on a regular basis. Here are the few common signs of termites that you can look for in your home.
Damaged or hollowed wood: If you notice a piece of wood damaged from below or behind the surfaces such as floors, walls and more, then this is a sign of a termite infestation. Termites chew through wood to find cellulose and leave behind the long grooves. These grooves not only deteriorate the wood but also do extensive structural damage. Hollowed wood is generally associated with an empty sound or a honeycomb interior.
Wood flooring blisters: Blisters or dark areas in wooden flooring are an indication that termites are feeding below or inside. The damage caused by subterranean termites in wooden flooring looks similar to water damage.
Mud tubes: The pencil-sized mud tubes are common in areas where the ground meets your home or in any other food source like a tree or shed. This happens because subterranean termites are nesting underground and are on a hunt of their food source, which is often a structure of the house. As these termites need specific temperature and humidity levels to thrive, the tunnels in house structures provide a similar environment by blocking out cool and dry air.
Swarms evidence: Termites mostly leave discarded wings after swarming out of their nest to find a new colony. These wings are usually seen near doors, closed windows and other access points of your home. While all the termite wings are of the same size, the ants have one pair of smaller wings and one pair of larger wings.
Drywood termite droppings: Drywood termites make galleries that they like to clean up, by digging out holes where they remove their poop. As these critters nest inside the wood and eat wood, they excrete wood which typically creates large piles of pellets. The piles of pellets appear similar to coffee grounds or sawdust and indicate the presence of drywood termites.
Sometimes, even if you don’t notice these termite signs, that doesn’t mean they are not present there. Termite infestation can go undetermined most of the times, but by the time it is noticed, the rate of damage may have become already high. So, it is best to hire a termite pest control professional that offers free termite inspections and can take away your worry of any new termite damage repair for your home.
How can you prevent a termite infestation in your home?
If you know that there is a termite infestation in your home, it is good to learn how to prevent termites to avoid costly repairs. Because usually, the termite prevention mistakes are the core reason that attracts termites inside your home.
However, not always compulsory, the best way to prevent termite infestation is to prevent termites even before a home is built. This means when the home is in the planning stage or under construction. This is possible with a BTB (Basaltic Termite Barrier) prepared from rock particles that are tightly packed beneath a home surface, to restrict the entry of termites getting inside. For areas like cold joints in concrete, termite mesh, known as stainless steel screen with small holes, can be used so that termites cannot pass through. Also, it is difficult for termites to invade poured concrete foundations without cracks. It is also wise to use steel frames, termite resistant heartwood, and pressure treated wood during construction to prevent termite infestation.
You can also minimize the contact of soil with wood around your home. It is also important to remove all wood plants, paper, cardboard, lumber, mulch, etc. present near the foundation. Only the concrete foundation should be in contact with the soil. With paper or wooden planting products, start from at least 6 inches above the soil. Ensure that your soil drainage is effective in reducing excessively moist soil. Remove the sources of excess moisture to prevent the conditions that invite termite invasions. Turn off or relocate outdoor lights at night during the swarming season as the light attracts the swarmers.
Tips to keep termites out of your home
It is necessary to perform home inspections regularly to check for a termite’s evidence like frass and carton. These are waste materials that are left as a trail by drywood and subterranean termites. Even wood patterns can help identify what type of termites you have to deal with. As described above in the common signs of termite infestation, the blistering may come up in sheetrock from where termites enter and fed. Another common evidence of termite activity are mud tunnels because they help termites avoid sunlight and provides them with a hiding place for protection as they search for places to enter and destroy your home. So, you need to find the structural issues and cracks in the foundation that offers easy access.
Here are some tips that will help you keep termites out of your home:
- Trim shrubbery close to home: Always trim all the shrubs near your home leaving at least a 12-inch distance between the exterior wall and the shrubbery of your home. This will allow quick drying of damp areas by creating a pleasant air flow. It also makes it easy to identify termite damage earlier. Moreover, keep ivy and other plants growing close to the exterior foundation because ivy creates difficulty when trying to implement an effective inspection. It also leads to moisture problems and let termites make a direct path to infest a foundation or structure.
- Keep sprinkler heads away from home: The points of your sprinkler heads should be kept pointed away from the foundation of your home. Remove the sprinklers that are around 8 to 12 inches from a home’s exterior. These sprinklers cause moisture in your home’s foundation, which further creates a suitable environment for termites to thrive.
- Use pine needles instead of mulch: Rather than using mulch, try to use pine needles as pine needles or rocks are not very appetizing to subterranean termites, in contrary to mulch. It also makes the environment less favorable to other insects, like ants to, nest in as well. And if using mulch for landscaping, keep it at least 6-12 inches away from the structure.
- Inspect the home exterior for moisture issues: Preventative maintenance is of utmost importance, you should properly maintain your home exterior. This includes windows or wooden sidings, which as a result will decrease the chances of water leakage behind the wall, thus creating a favorable environment for subterranean termites. Masonite siding is one the common areas that rot and provides a room for harborage for termites. It is usual for bottom masonite boards to rot just after few years of installation. Also, wooden windows and doors face possible moisture attacks within 4 to 5 years of their installation. This happens particularly in homes with small eaves that give little or no protection from direct rain. Water draining next to the house structure will find a passage through mortar joints, bricks, and weep holes to wick into the wall areas.
- Keep dirt moisture free: Make sure that the rainwater does not drain near your home.
For proper drainage and to prevent any leakage, try to maintain gutters and downspouts. Our sister company, Dry Seal, offers affordable gutter solutions; call (804) 324-3317 to schedule a free estimate, and ensure the proper drainage methods for your home or office. The moisture that wicks inside the structure because of the dirt above grade can act as a harborage for termites to thrive without any ground contact.
- Do not stack wood materials within 25 feet of home: Avoid stacking wood type materials or firewood within a 25 feet distance from home, unless stacked on a metal base. This is essential if you don’t want to make a bridge for termites via the wood placed close to your house exterior.
- Ensure the crawl space has a good vapor barrier: If there is a crawl space underneath your home, ensure that it has the proper vapor barrier and proper ventilation to restrict the entry of moisture in the subfloor or floor joists. Moisture underneath your home is a likely condition that can lead to the growth of wood destroying fungus. The moisture present in crawl spaces creates unpleasant odors inside the home. And in some favorable situations, it develops an environment for certain types of beetles to infest the wooden spaces in your home. Dry Seal, the sister company of Bug Busters, provides proper vapor barriers and waterproofs all sorts of crawlspaces. So, give them a call today to ensure that moisture doesn’t damage your home.
It takes time to perform termite inspections and can be a daunting task for homeowners to finish it without any professional help. Don’t panic; let Bug Busters solve the problem for you. The termite pest control service performed by the highly trained professionals at Bug Busters can target the infestation source in your home, treat the problem, and provides assurance that your home is safe from termite infestation in the future.o, give them a call today to ensure that moisture doesn’t damage your home.
FAQ’s on termites with answers
How to identify a termite?
Termite workers are little critters that have soft, pale bodies that are about one-quarter of an inch in length. They have straight antennae and a head and body with a broadly joined thorax to their abdomen.
Most often termites are confused with the white ants. Ants are generally pigmented heavily and have three different body regions- head, thorax and abdomen. Their antennae are elbowed and they have a waist which is pinched or narrowed.
Winged termites are also called swarmers and have broad waists, pigmented bodies, and two wing pairs of equal size and shape. The swarmers quickly leave their wings once the brief flight is complete. On the contrary, winged ants have two pairs of wings and pinched waists that are different in shape and size. Even their front is much larger.
Can termites find their way through concrete?
Though it is not possible for termites to pass through solid concrete, they can easily enter through a crack of a certain size. Such openings of the same size or bigger often happen where two concrete pieces join. The cases include the openings around the plumbing penetrations, when concrete is poured separately, or where the concrete has cracked.
How long is a lifespan of a termite?
It’s not simple to answer this question. The lifespan of termites depends on the social order and place of the colony. From 2 to 50 years, the lifecycle of termite varies widely from species to species. It begins when the queen termite lays the egg that hatches as an immature termite or a nymph. However, the queens of subterranean termites in the eastern area can live a long life of up to 30 years, but the average lifespan that is common in these termites is 15 to 17 years. While in some countries, a lifecycle of the queen can also be over 50 years. Seeing their lifecycle, termites are big trouble. If you’ve identified termite damage in your home, make sure to hire a professional termite pest control service provider immediately, like the trusted technicians at Bug Busters.
Should I go with a termite treatment even if my house does not have termites?
Yes, your home needs a termite treatment irrespective of the fact it has a termite infestation or not. Because without an effective termite pest control treatment, your home will remain open to termite damage. And if this issue is not taken care at the right time, it can become a serious issue. So, remember that just because you don’t notice termites, it doesn’t mean your home is safe from an infestation. Subterranean termites thrive in colonies where hundreds of thousands of termites live. They are often difficult to identify as 80% of the wood they eat is hidden inside the structure.
Termite pest control specialists at Bug Busters know how to solve the pest related issues. We have a termite control program that initiates with a detailed free inspection. Bug Busters’ termite control service uses the product Termidor, which is America’s #1 Termite Defense Product that holds a proven track record of success over its ten years in production.
Schedule an appointment with Bug Busters Pest Control Services if you want to make your home free of termites and other pests.
Why Choose Us?
Bug Busters Pest Control Services is a full-service pest management company dedicated to help exterminate and protect you from pesky pests. Our family owned company has been helping protect homes from pests including bugs and wildlife in the central/ south eastern parts of Virginia since 2004. Our company has been accredited by the National Pest Management Association and has won many awards for the services we provide. As a Quality Pro company, our technicians are trained to perform full inspections of your commercial or residential property thoroughly. We customize plans with each individual in mind, keeping cost affordable, and we will work with your schedule.
Whether it be a skunk problem, snake issue, termite infestation, ant overtaking, or mice in your walls, Bug Busters is here to help you with any of your pest control needs. We provide no- obligation inspections so that you are aware of every aspect of the extermination plan before we proceed. Our staff is here for you no matter the time of day as our customer service is available 24/7 to you. We also provide a wide range of home services including attic insulation installation, lawn treatments, and gutter cleaning. Our goal is to help you protect your greatest investment and your family so give us a call today so that we can implement our nationally
acclaimed services for you before the pests become a bigger problem.