If there’s one thing that can absolutely devastate a home, it’s a severe termite infestation. Termites eat wood. If left alone, a termite colony can absolutely destroy the structure of a house. What’s worse is that termites have the ability to hide themselves in a home and often go undetected until thousands of dollars of damage has been done. If you want to stop a termite infestation, you need to know how to find them and kill them.
What Attracts Termites?
First, it may be a good idea to know exactly what houses are at risk of a termite infestation. Termites primarily seek out wood. The species of termite determines what kind of wood they prefer, and their names are fairly self-explanatory. Dampwood termites like damp wood. Drywood termites like dry wood. Subterranean termites like wood that is in contact with moist soil.
Other things that can attract termites or lead to an infestation include moisture, wood that is in contact with a house’s foundation, cracks in a building’s exterior, firewood, and untreated lumber.
What Are the Signs of a Termite Infestation?
Many of the signs of termite damage are not obvious, which is why infestations often get completely out of control before they’re noticed. Look for damage done to floors, walls, ceilings and the foundation. Laminate flooring may blister. You may see cracks in walls, the ceiling, and foundation.
Wood in your house may become weakened and sound hollow. Doors and windows may suddenly begin sticking because of warping in the frames. You should also look out for termite fecal pellets and “mud tubes” near your foundation. The termites themselves may appear as white ant-looking insects and flying bugs with big wings. Likely you won’t see them though.
How Do You Remove the Termites?
There are a number of strategies you can use to kill termites. This includes the use of liquid pesticides. You can buy some at a home improvement store or make your own based on internet tutorials. Exposing termites to sunlight and baiting them with wet cardboard are two other strategies.
However, if the infestation is significant enough, you probably will not be able to finish the job on your own. With so much at risk, it may be a better idea to seek out termite control professionals.
How Do You Repair Termite Damage?
Once termites have damaged the wood in your home, often times eating through vital support beams, DIY repairs usually won’t help much. In most cases, you will have to replace the damaged materials. Depending on the severity of the infestation, these repairs can become very expensive. It in other cases, you can add extra wood to damaged pieces to provide support. However, this is usually only a stopgap measure-if it works at all-as the structural damage will usually be too severe.
It’s always best to prevent termites form entering your home in the first place by removing conditions and materials that can attract them, like moisture and untreated wood. Familiarize yourself with the signs of an infestation, so that you can catch any problems early. If you spot termite damage, move to eliminate them as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. The structure of your entire home is at risk.
By Anita Ginsburg
who is a freelance writer and residing in Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. Anita recommends that you contact termite control as soon as possible.