Termites can be a serious issue for any homeowner. One of the biggest issues isn’t the fact that one colony can consume as much as one foot of 2×4 wood in just 5 months. It’s actually the fact that you can have several colonies in your home and you may not know they exist.
In other words, several colonies can do an impressive amount of damage and easily cause structural issues in less than a year. If you’re not aware of their existence then the damage can be considerable.
It’s the reason why it’s so important to have regular visits from a pest control expert. They recognize the signs of a termite infection and can help you to deal with the issue;
If you decide to take the DIY approach to termite invasion then the most important first step is recognizing the signs of a termite problem.
Signs You Have Termites
There are several signs you need to be aware of that confirm you have a termite problem.
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Wood Flooring and Paneling is Blistering
This means the termites are active and making tunnels in your wood. The tunneling places pressure on the coating of the wood, causing it to blister.
When your house is really quiet you’ll be able to hear a quiet clicking noise, especially if you go around tapping the walls.
The sound is the worker termites banging their heads against the wood. It’s a warning sound to the other termites telling the danger is present and they should all be alert;
In addition, if you identify a spot where they are active you can put your head against the wall and actually hear them eating your wood! Don’t worry, termites can’t bite humans.
Fertile male and female termites will leave the nest at specific times of the year, often after a rain shower. Their job is to find a mate and then create a new colony. The new colony will likely be inside your home as well!
If you don’t see them flying you may discover their discarded wings. As soon as a termite finds a mate they discard their wings and focus on building a new colony. Discarded wings is a sign that termites are starting colonies, that’s a definite call to action.
Termites create tunnels as they eat the wood. These tunnels are visible as small pinpricks on the wood, perhaps with a little sawdust beneath them. You can also find tunnels around the outside of your home in the soil.
This is where the termites tunnel through to your foundations. You can check they are active by closing a tunnel or two.
Check the next day, if they are reopened or a new one appears next to them the termites are active.
There are other signs but the above ones are the most common.
Top Tips to Deal With the Termite Problem
The key to successfully treating termites is to ensure you kill off the nest. Destroying the ones you see will be like taking the top off the iceberg. There’s plenty more that can’t be seen.
That’s why you need to follow these tips:
Using Baiting Stations
The best approach when dealing with termites is to use termite bait stations. These are small boxes that you place near where you’ve seen termites. Inside the box, you place a little food that will attract the termites That means cellulose-based food like softwood.
You then leave the baiting station so that the termites take the bait and mark the spot as good. It’s best to allow a couple of days for this. You can then switch the bait with poisoned bait.
The termites will collect the poison bait and take it back to the colony. This will kill the queen and the workers, leaving the rest of the colony to starve.
Once the bait is left untouched you can check to ensure the colony has vanished.
These are not effective when dealing with the main colony but can be a good way of keeping the workers out of your home. A barrier termiticide is sprayed around the perimeter of your home. This prevents termites from entering and stops those insides from leaving.
As termites need to leave the warmth of your home for moisture, his can be an effective way of killing them.
However, to be really effective, you should locate the colony and cover the actual colony in the liquid termiticide. This will involve tracking the termites, drilling into the foundations, and spraying the liquid everywhere.
This is a more complicated approach than termite bait stations but can be effective.
It’s worth noting that these liquid termiticides are much more effective than they used to be. Previous offerings were designed as repellants and one gap in the coverage rendered them useless. The new generation actually kills the termites, a much better idea.
There is no harm in attempting to deal with the termites yourself. After all, it’s your home and your battle. But, it is also important to be aware of the signs that you’re not winning. This is mainly that the termites keep appearing.
You need to know when you’re approach isn’t working and contact a professional termite control expert. They have the experience, knowledge, and time to deal with the issue for you.
You may even be able to watch them at work and pick up some of their skills.
Recognizing the signs of termites means you can take action to eliminate the issue before it causes serious issues to your property.
Choosing to tackle the issue yourself is an acceptable option. You simply need to choose a quality product and know when your approach isn’t working to call the professionals.
Couple this with regular pest inspections and you should be able to keep your home termite-free, that’s significantly better for your wallet.