Education is a powerful thing. In most cases, being knowledgeable about a subject will leave you better off than having a lack of knowledge. This is especially true when it comes to termites. The more you know about these invasive property destroyers, the higher your chances are of avoiding the consequences of an infestation.
Learn The Signs
There are three species of termites that invade US homes: drywood, dampwood, and subterranean. The termites that invade Syracuse homes are almost always of the subterranean variety, which puts Syracuse homes at an even higher risk of costly damage.
Subterranean termites are the most efficient termite species in the world, causing the most damage in the shortest amount of time. They are largely responsible for most of the damage caused in homes throughout the US. However, even as the fastest workers, subterranean termites do not eat the wood in your house as quickly as you might think.
It takes about 18 months’ worth of work for these termites to cause $3,000’ worth of damage, on average. The problem is that subterranean termites tunnel in the moist soil around a house before entering a structure. From there, the worker termites eat away at the wooden parts of the home’s foundation, unbeknownst to the homeowner.
While you might not be able to see worker termites, there are a few signs of subterranean termite activity that you might notice if you know what to look for, such as:
- Mud tubes on the bottom of your outdoor walls
- Swarmers (winged termites) in the springtime
- Tight-fitting doors and windows
- Clicking noises within the walls
- Damage to any visible wood in the basement or crawlspace
If you do notice these signs, the only way to stop the infestation immediately is to enlist professional assistance. If you try to eradicate an existing infestation with home remedies or store-bought sprays, you’ll probably stop only a fraction of the termite activity, exposing your home to further damage.
Avoiding Infestations Before They Begin
While you might not be able to get rid of termites by yourself, you might be able to avoid an infestation in the first place. Keeping termites out can be difficult, but you can reduce the factors that attract them onto your property by understanding what draws them in. Subterranean termites are the most efficient species of termites because of their food preference: wood that has already been exposed to moisture damage and rot.
If you can limit the moisture buildup on your property that can lead to wood rot, you can decrease your chances of incurring a costly infestation. Here are some of the best moisture control methods for Syracuse homeowners:
- Dehumidifiers in areas of high humidity
- Regular lawn maintenance
- Monitoring pipes for leaks
- Gutters and downspouts to expel rainwater away from the house
Controlling your moisture is important, but so is limiting the soil-to-wood contact around your home’s foundation. By using a buffer of pine straw, gravel, or rubber mulch around the outside of the house, you can prevent subterranean termites from tunneling their way right into the side of your house under the soil.
While moisture control and limiting soil-to-wood contact can be effective, the only guaranteed method of termite prevention on your Syracuse property comes with professional assistance. If you already notice signs of an infestation, or you want to avoid the problem altogether, don’t waste your time and money trying to handle the problem yourself. Instead, call the pros at Pestmaster® Services right away.