A termite infestation in your home is something to be concerned about. Termites cause billions of dollars a year in damages to homeowners and repairs are often not covered by insurance. While they live naturally in the environment, termites can find their way into your home. Here are four things to know about termites in your home.
1. How can you tell if your home has a termite problem?
If termites have managed to get into the wood in your home, they will colonize inside of it. As they eat the wood fibers, they form tunnels. Over time, as they eat more and more, the termites in your home will cause serious damage affecting the structural integrity of your home.
Usually, you won’t notice a problem until you see the damage. Termites spend most of their time eating when they’re outside and follow the same behavior inside your home. However, you may see their wing debris around window sills and doors after they have swarmed. You also may see piles of their droppings, frass, which looks like sawdust or tiny coffee beans. Mud tubes along your foundation are yet another sign of a termite infestation.
2. How do they get into your home?
In their natural habitat, termites feed off of decaying wood debris near the ground. It’s common to see them colonizing in dead tree stumps. If there is wood that they are feeding on in your yard, they can easily find their way into the wood structure of your home. Termites can also get in through cracks in your foundation.
3. How do you get rid of termites?
If you think that there are termites in your home, call a professional termite inspector immediately. This isn’t something that you want to take any chances with. If you are correct and you do have an infestation, there may already be significant damage. If you pay attention to the signs of termites, you can likely catch the problem early.
If the inspector confirms that you do have termites in your home, bring in a pest service right away. There are two general ways to remove termites:
- Barrier Treatments: The soil around your home will be treated with the termiticide to get rid of the termites that are near your home, preventing them from getting to the wood. A professional will know which chemicals are safe for your particular property specifications.
- Bait: Placed in strategic locations behind and near the wood of your home, bait will attract and kill the termites in your home. It contains less pesticide and is a longer-lasting approach than a barrier treatment.
4. How do you prevent getting termites in your home again?
After your home has been professionally treated, there are a few different things that you can do to keep your home safe from another infestation.
- Don’t stack firewood too close to your home.
- Remove tree stumps from your yard.
- Seal any cracks in foundations where termites might be able to enter.
- Keep trees and shrubs trimmed so they don’t get too close to your home.
- Instead of mulch near your foundation, use pine needles.
- Periodically, schedule an inspection to make sure that the termites in your home haven’t returned.