Termites: What You Need to Know About These Silent Destroyers
As a property owner, there are few things more terrifying than hearing you have termites. The National Pest Management Association estimates that these pesky critters cost U.S. homeowners over $5 billion each year, which is more than fire and storm damage combined. Unfortunately, termite damage is often not covered by homeowners insurance, making their presence extra jarring.
Termite Awareness Week - March 12-18th - is dedicated to educating homeowners on these pests and what can be done to protect against them.
Termite Fast Facts
There are over 40 species of termites in the U.S., some that can fly and some that cannot. Most are about ½ of an inch long, ranging from white to light brown in color. King and queen termites are larger, often over an inch long.
Termites primarily feed off of cellulose, which is a fiber found in wood and other grass-like plants. They have unique mouths and microorganisms to help break down wood into the nutrients they need to survive. Termites often live in the same place as their food source, burrowing into lumber and slowly eroding the integrity of wood structures from the inside out. Oftentimes, they go undetected for far too long, leaving homeowners with extensive damage and costly repairs.
How to Spot a Termite Infestation
The sooner you can identify a termite infestation, the sooner you can put a stop to devastating damage. Here are some signs to watch out for:
- Tiny holes in drywall or wood
- Peeling paint or discolored drywall
- Creaking or buckling floorboards
- Hollow-sounding wood
- Discarded wings left from termite swarms
- Mud tubes near your home’s foundation that provide moisture to the termite colony
- Termite droppings also known as frass
How to Prevent a Termite Infestation
Preventing termite infestations is similar to preventing infestations from other pests, but it’s something you’ll want to do sooner rather than later.
- Survey the exterior of your home and seal off any noticeable gaps, especially where utilities and pipes enter the structure.
- Reduce moisture around your home by ensuring proper drainage and fixing leaks.
- Trim shrubs and tree branches back away from the side of your home.
- Move excess mulch and firewood at least 20 feet away from your home.
- Maintain proper ventilation in crawl spaces and attics to reduce humidity.
Pestmaster offers a number of termite treatment services designed to help keep your home or business termite-free, including the following:
- Whole-home inspections
- Wood-destroying organism reports
- Subterranean termite control
- Drywood termite control
- Formosan termite control
If you’re worried about termites in your home, contact the pest professionals at Pestmaster today to find out more about termites and the tools we use to stop them.