Since centuries, termites have been feeding upon wood. The problem started when these ordinary wood consuming insects started attacking households and silently feeding upon all that classifies as wood. This is where things got serious and termites began causing damage worth millions, every year. The problem is, most residential spaces are either infested by termites or might face a termite infestation in the future. It is estimated that around 600,000 homes in U.S are affected by a termite infestation annually; costing home owners, approximately $5 billion in termite treatments and damage repair each year. This whooping figure shows how devastating a termite problem can get, but will you be able to identify whether or not you have a termite threat at home? If yes, then how do you plan to get rid of the problem before you suffer some substantial wood damage?
Are termites really to be feared?
A termite swarming is considered as the most common indication of a termite infestation but what most people generally are not aware of the fact that even if you haven’t witnessed any termites swarming around your vicinity, there still are possibilities of termites living and growing in that area. The reason: it takes about three years for termite colonies to produce swarming termites and you would not be seeing swarmer termites for long and quite frequently as it quite possibly lasts for less than an hour and occurs only once or twice a year. So the possibilities are that these termites may be unapparent but might have already done irreparable damage by now. Another threatening factor is that they are capable of entering the foundation of your house through the tiniest of cracks or crevices.
From there they start capturing the wood in your home by building mud tubes leading them through walls, along pipes to their food destination. The way they start hallowing your wooden belongings is itself a threat because termites start consuming wood from the inside, which is hardly ever apparent until they reach the surface. So by the time you’ll see a termite infestation over your wooden furniture, the chances are they might have already damaged the core. Formosan and subterranean termites are the species most commonly found in homes and are known to aggressively feed upon wood. They grow in uncontrollable quantities such as: 2 million termites per colony. Hence, they are quite skilled in causing more damage in minimum time. For people, who have been unfortunate enough to face a termite infestation in their homes, the problem sure is the most troublesome pest issue, worse than a nightmare.
Signs that indicate a termite infestation:
Known as silent destroyers, knowing that there is a potential termite infestation in your home is quite difficult. You don’t know about their presence until the damage has been done. However, there still are a few signs which indicate that your wood is in danger and some action is required on your part:
- Termite swarming, mostly during spring and summers, is one of the most important factors that determine you have a fully grown colony of termite inviting pests to your home
- A mud tunnel is one significant sign of a growing termite colony. Mostly subterranean termites are not so discreet about their activity and you can find their mud tubes by the sides of walls, or areas with no sunlight exposure.
- Check for signs in woods like: wood sounding hollow, mud or dirt around wooden furniture, wooden walls, baseboards and or any wood work around your home. Also you may notice wood dust and holes around things made out of wood.
- Dry wood termite usually moves around leaving their fecal bits. Similarly, they emit their fecal bits through holes made into furniture or walls. If you notice holes in wood, then knock it slightly so that these pellets fall out of them and you can take necessary precautions.
Quick Tip: Make sure the fire wood you have purchased does not have a colony of termite or other species of pests living in it.
Getting rid of an infestation:
The biggest problem with termites is DIY or other efforts don’t usually work; in fact, it intensifies the issue and helps them spread to areas where they haven’t reached yet. However, the adage, “prevention is better than cure,” works best in stopping the problem from growing into a huge issue. Nonetheless, if you get to know about a termite infestation after most of your wood is damaged then it is best to consult a pest control professional to provide you with a proper termite treatment.