Many homes have seen the need to get rid of termites. You would too, once you witness your most treasured property being slowly destroyed by those little ‘white ants’. Termite infestation is no joke and requires your full and immediate attention to avoid serious damage to your properties. Destructive they may be, but technically though, termites contribute to the ecosystem by breaking down dead wood and turning them into humus that makes soil fertile and healthy, which is in turn beneficial to live trees and other organisms in nature. There are over two thousand termite species known today and only a very small percentage of them are nuisance to humans. So, while other species are busy breaking downed trees away from human structures, the subterranean and drywood termite species (that small percentage bit) easily thrive and breed even under human conditions as long as their source for food is nearby. They feed primarily on wood, but not only that. They eat anything that is cellulose-based such as papers, books, insulation, etc. Yes, they are the culprits that cause millions of property damage each year and they will continue to do so unless we stop it. Now is the time to educate ourselves about them and know how to get rid of termites.
Subterranean termites are known to be the most destructive species to human properties and reasons point to their overly great appetite for wood and their number. A mature subterranean termite colony could house 60,000 up to 2 million termites! Their staggering population alone could devour a one-foot two-by-four wood in as short as four to six months. They build their colonies underground where there is presence of moisture. They build webs of mud tunnels to use as their highway toward their food source, your home. Drywood termites, on the other hand, do not need moisture to thrive. They live within the wood they infest. Compared to subterranean termites, drywood termite colony can reach only up to a few thousands so that noticeable property damage will take longer to surface, but destructive, nonetheless. Can you imagine these pests infesting your home and left undetected for so long? Worse comes to worst, they could render your home uninhabitable which is why it is so important to get rid of termites.
What’s scary about termite infestation is that it could have started long before without you even knowing. Sometimes apparent termite damage to properties could take years to show up and by then, there could already be significant and costly damage to structures. In order to get rid of termites early on, it is wise to be cautious and observant to signs of termite infestation.
- Mud tubes found rising from soil to the foundation of the home, door and window frames or anywhere in the house.
- Presence of swarming termites flying near light bulbs on outside fixtures.
- Discarded insect wings found on window sills and door frames.
- Hollowed-out walls.
- Termite droppings which could be reddish-brown, tan or black in color.
- Tiny termite holes found on the surface of the wood.
If it helps, take a screwdriver and flashlight, head to the basement or crawl space and start tapping on any wood from beams, pillars, etc with the screwdriver’s heel and listen for hollow sound
Signs of infestation should be your go signal to call in pest control experts to handle termite extermination. But with most termite control procedures costing more than your budget can handle, you have the option to do it yourself in order to get rid of termites – you just have to learn how to get rid of termites on your own. There are actually many termite control products available in market that can be easy enough to use for homeowners. One way to deal with termites on your own is by using liquid termicides which will be sprayed over the infested area in the house and in the soil. Termiticides are toxic in its own sense so proper care must be adhered. Liquid treatment is not as often used as other termite treatments because it is not as effective in eradicating a whole termite colony and at the same time it is not environmentally friendly. Another way on how to get rid of termites yourself is by using a bait system. Because there is no direct contact with termiticide, this treatment is less invasive and more reliable in destroying a colony. The bait systems are bought with monitoring stations which should be strategically placed underground around the perimeter of your house. Inside a monitoring station, untreated wood is placed inside to be left underground for a period of time. Every so often, you check for a presence of termites on the wood. If there are termites, bait is placed so that the next time those termites infest on that wood, they will collect it and bring it back to colony where it will kill termites. As you can see, treating termites can be a very challenging and daunting. If you are not ready to do all the work, maybe you are better off with hiring a professional after all. But don’t worry because it will still be a cost-effective move.
Treating termites does not end in eradication. Preventive measures must also be done so that re-infestation will be unlikely. Do not provide an environment that is conducive to termites. Keep basement and crawl spaces moisture as much as possible. Eliminate moisture by fixing dripping faucets, repairing leaking pipes, etc. Keep firewood, wood debris, cardboards away from soil and home’s foundation so that termites won’t have access to food. Plants growing near wooden walls should be pruned back to avoid moisture and mold build up. Check wood structures for termite signs and treat before importing them inside your home. All these are just some basic preventive techniques effective enough to limit, if not prevent the presence of termites. It takes effort, yes, but it must be done if you do not want to see your precious home slowly falling apart. Get rid of termites and savor the life living at home without worry.