Termites have evolved into an insect with a taste for one thing - wood. Whether it's a dead tree stump or your home, they will keep eating until it's gone. Here is how to spot these insect pests and protect your home from them.
Strength in Numbers
A single termite colony can contain up to two million individuals. Most of these are workers whose job it is to find food for the rest of the colony. They use their sense of smell and taste to find cellulose-rich food, in whatever form they can find. Cardboard, paper, wood and any other fibrous material is good enough for a termite lunch.
Once established in your home, a colony of termites can damage ceiling rafters and floor joists, wood paneling, door and window frames and even your wooden furniture. Finding the colony can be challenging which is why you'll need the help of a termite control service like Rainbow Pest Control. Until the colony is removed, your house is at risk of being severely damaged by these pests.
Looking for Termite Signs
Individual termites can rarely be seen out in daylight. They prefer to do their work inside of walls and wooden structures. They make tunnels in wood boards and panels, hollowing them out. Armed with a flashlight and screwdriver, walk through and around the house while looking for the following signs:
- tunnels of mud that lead to piles of wood, brush or old tree stumps outside
- cracks and blisters on wood panels, siding or sheets
- slightly raised areas on large wood pieces, such as wall studs and ceiling rafters
Knock on pieces of suspicious-looking wood to see if they are hollow. Push the screwdriver into a piece of wood to find out if it has been hollowed out. Cut into the raised areas on the wood to see the termite trails inside.
Spraying for Termites
The most effective way to get rid of termites is by spraying. The termite control service will spray around the foundation, at the bottom edge of the wood siding, along ceiling rafters and floor joists. Spraying in these areas will prevent the movement of the termite scouts out looking for food. The technician will also be looking for the colony which contains the breeding queen. This must be destroyed to prevent any more damage to your home.
Protecting Your Home from Future Invaders
While the termite specialist is dealing with the existing problem, you can be working on your home to keep termites from moving back in:
- Make sure all water runs away from your foundation so it stays dry.
- Trim trees and bushes so they are several feet away from the house.
- Place stacks of firewood and other wood piles as far from the house as possible.
- Grind dead stumps down to below ground level.