Termite Control Services
They’re every homeowner’s greatest insect foe — a bug that can actually eat your house. How do you know if your home has them, and what do you do if you find them? Here’s what you need to know to identify and eradicate these house-munching insects.
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What Are Termites?
Termites, sometimes called “white ants,” are not ants at all. Their closest cousin is another notoriously nasty household pest — the cockroach. Like cockroaches, termites are not compatible with a healthy home, but that’s where the similarities end. Termites live in large groups, some with literally millions of members, and instinctively enforce social hierarchies with the queen at the top and all of her workers doing the chewing. The termite queen is the longest living insect on the planet with a lifespan of 30 to 50 years. As long as she’s alive there will be millions of new termites ready to hatch and wreak havoc on your home.
Where Do They Live?
Termites are found all over the globe on every continent except Antarctica. They build a wide variety of nests across their different species: from towering clay mounds to wasp-like nests in trees, and of course their labyrinth of tunnels in the walls of your own home. Once they’re inside, they’re difficult to remove, as the queen must be eliminated to keep them from coming back. Often, by the time the pest control experts have been called in to help, the termites have already caused extensive damage that will have to be gutted and replaced.
What Do Termites Eat?
Dead plants are the meal of choice for termites. They love damp clumps of leaves and rotting logs in forests. It’s for this reason that termites actually play a vital role in our ecosystem, breaking down dead plant material into fertile soil to grow new healthy plants. They do, however, produce massive amounts of greenhouse gases as their guts break down these plant materials. Termites love damp, decomposing wood, particularly wood that is infected with fungus as that makes it easier for them to digest. You may find termites in walls where there was a previous moisture problem.
How Can I Keep Termites Out?
Keeping termites out of your home is easier than getting rid of them once they’re in. You can reduce the chances of termites entering your home by keeping the exterior clear of dead and decaying plant matter. Make sure trees are trimmed back away from the roofline and have a skilled arborist remove any dead branches. Keep your gutters cleared of leaf clutter. Keep crawlspaces and under porch areas clear of leaves. If you keep a woodpile, keep it away from the house. Most importantly, check your home for signs of rot — rain-damaged wood is prime eating for termites.
How Do I Check My Home For Termites?
Though you won’t usually see them out in the open, termites leave a few tell-tale signs of their presence. Here’s a few to look out for:
- Sawdust-like droppings around baseboards
- Blistering wood flooring
- Mud tubes reaching from the ground to under home siding
- Piles of broken and discarded wings
- Swiss cheese-like holes
- Visible termites in trees or woodpiles outside
If you encounter any of these signs in your home, it’s time to call for professional assistance.
How Do I Get Rid Of Them?
Termite eradication is a job for trained professionals. A pest control expert can inspect your home and provide you with an estimate for remediation. Be prepared to replace any parts of your home that have been damaged by termites and be aware that most homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover damage made by termites. That’s why you’ll want to find a pest control provider that guarantees their service and will inspect your home annually to make sure those pesky critters don’t come back.
If you are in need of termite remediation for your home or if you would like a pest control expert to inspect your home for termites, contact one of our preferred providers today.