How To Keep Termites Away From Your Spring Home
Many of us worry about our homes. We worry about fires, natural disasters, and other things that might leave us without a place to live. Fortunately, we have access to homeowners insurance to provide coverage for these destructive things we cannot control. This peace, however, does not extend to the problems termites can cause. These small local insects have the ability to destroy homes from the inside out. What is worse is that home insurance providers do not cover the damage these pests cause. They consider termite damage to be preventable.
What does this mean for you? It means you have to take action to deal with these pests. Today we are going to talk about the most common termites in Spring, subterranean termites, and offer some amazing strategies to deter and eliminate these pests. If you know your home has an active termite infestation and want to get these pests out fast, contact our team at Modern Pest Control. We will send our team of technicians your way with a quick solution to your problem. If you are less interested in professional pest control in Spring and are here to learn more about termites, keep reading. We have everything you need to know right here.
The Life Cycle Of Subterranean Termites
Termites are driven insects. They work day and night to serve their king and queen by gathering food and expanding nests. There are a few different types of termites that live here in Spring, the most common is the subterranean termite. This local pest builds intricate nests underground and uses tunnels to search for food nearby. What do termites eat? These pests live on a diet of cellulose. If you didn’t know, cellulose is the main component in wood. Out in nature, subterranean termites consume dead trees, stumps, sticks, and leaves. They prefer wood that has been softened by water damage or decay. On local properties, termites like to consume damp cardboard, newspaper, and the structural wood of homes and outbuildings.
Every termite colony is split into different member groups. This is called a caste system. The three main castes are workers, soldiers, and reproductives. Reproductives can be born as swarmers during swarming season. Swarming occurs once a year and involves fully grown colonies looking for new places to build and feed. Subterranean termites typically swarm during the spring and early summer months after rainy days. These pests swarm after rainfall in order to keep their bodies moist while above the ground. Even with this, subterranean termite swarmers are only able to survive for a very short time before they must tunnel underground and start a new nest. If you see what appear to be long black ants with longer oval-shaped wings around your home or property, you might have a termite problem. If these winged pests are inside your home it is an indication of an active infestation whereas swarmers outside just mean they are taking a look and might invade soon.
All termites start as eggs. Queens lay eggs and discern their role. They then sit in underground breeding chambers deep inside nests and gestate over the course of one to four weeks. Once hatched nymphs slowly develop into adults over the course of a year. This process can be shorter if there is more access to food and temperatures in the colony do not fluctuate to harmful levels. After molting into mature termites, workers, soldiers, and reproductives tend to their individual roles in society. Workers build tunnels and gather cellulose, soldiers defend against potential threats, and reproductives reproduce new young.
If there is anything you should know about termites it is that these pests have no problem sharing their food. It is not uncommon for nests to expand creating several satellite colonies focused on one feeding site. What does this mean for your home? It means damage occurs faster. One fully mature termite colony can destroy a two-by-four worth of wood in about five months. Just imagine how much damage five nests around a structure can cause. The good news is that there are methods to identify these pests before they cause severe problems inside a structure. We are going to talk about this today and offer you some amazing solutions to get and keep termites out of your home.
Termite Activity Can Go Unnoticed For Some Time
Does your home have an active termite problem? It is not always easy to know when these pests are around. Termites never sleep and have the unique ability to chew through wood without waking up homeowners from their slumber. The only way to hear termites is to press your ear up against a piece of wood that is heavily infested. As for visible damage, most signs of termites do not show up until months or even years after initial infestation. This is because of how these pests chew their way through homes. They start with structural supports, joists, and other secluded structures beneath your floors. They then work their way up nibbling their way into walls, floors, and eventually ceilings. Subterranean termites spread moisture as they tunnel through structural wood in order to soften it up. This moisture will lead to the first signs of infestation. Keeping all of this in mind here is how to check your home for termites to discern if there is an active problem.
- Walk around your home and check its exterior foundation for pencil-sized mud tubes. These tubes are used by subterranean termites to bridge the gap between exterior soil and structural wood.
- Use a flashlight to check any crawlspaces under your home for visible damage to joists and support beams. If damage is severe, you will notice visible galley ways running through lumber.
- Check out buildings on your property for discoloration to wood, mud tubes, and visible termite damage. We also recommend looking for trees and stumps that show signs of these pests. Often infestations start out on a property and then move indoors.
- Walk around your home and listen for overly-squeaky floorboards and stairs. This can be the result of joists and other structural wood being hollowed out.
- Tap on walls, beams, and floors and listen for a hollow sound. If they should not sound hollow, then this could indicate an active infestation.
- Listen to floors and walls for a soft rustling noise. Although termites are quiet, they are not completely silent and do make some sound while nibbling at structural wood.
- Go around your home and try open and close windows and doors. If they are tight-fitting and require effort to open, this could be due to swelling inside the wood around them.
- Check walls around your home for bubbling, peeling, or tearing wallpaper/paint. Although this is not a clear sign of termites, it often accompanies infestations.
- Look around for discolored moisture spots on floors, ceilings, and walls. These spots could be a direct sign that termites are just out of view.
- Inspect unpainted wood for visible galley ways and live termites. You are most likely to find this around your basement and other secluded areas indoors.
Performing a detailed termite inspection is not easy, especially if you want to identify these pests early. To make your life a million times easier, consider bringing in our team at Modern Pest Control. We have advanced termite identification equipment that can help us spot these pests deep inside walls, floors, and ceilings. We are also willing to crawl under your home and get into other uncomfortable areas to check for signs of these pests. One great method for handling wood-destroying insects is to schedule your home and property for a yearly WDI (wood-destroying insect report). This will allow you to detect problems before they become severe.
Remove Factors That Attract Termites To Your Home
In order to prevent termites on your own, you have to know what attracts these pests to your home in the first place. Often colonies start near a smaller source of food in your yard. This might be a pile of damp cardboard, a dead tree, or even a leaf pile. Workers then travel outwards and find exposed structural wood that is water-damaged, rotting, or in decay. This is where real infestations begin. If you enjoy rolling up your sleeves and aren’t afraid to put in some elbow grease, here are ten great prevention tips for termites.
- Clean up leaf litter, sticks, and other debris from your yard. The less tasty treats termites can find on your property, the better.
- Remove dead/fallen trees and stumps from your property. These objects provide termites with a big source of food and might lead to an active infestation inside your home.
- Address sources of rainwater build-up in your yard and address conditions that allow for this build-up in the first place.
- Make sure your gutters are in good working order and clean them out at least once a year.
- Inspect your home’s pipes and fixtures for leaks. Repair any damage your find.
- Repair or replace structural wood that is water-damaged, rotting, or in decay. If you cannot do this on your own, hire a contractor.
- Make sure all of your exterior doors are in good working condition and sealed with things like weatherstripping, screens, and doorsweeps.
- Use a dehumidifier inside your home and keep it running on especially humid days.
- If you have vents above your stove and in your bathroom, use them when things are getting steamy.
- Keep an open dialog with your neighbors and make sure they know how to spot termites on their property. If they are dealing with an active problem, your home could be next.
With all of these prevention tips, it is important that you understand that termites have time. Addressing moisture issues and repairing wood will only keep these pests away for so long. Without regular maintenance and attention to detail, these destructive insects will slip past your defenses. If you want to take on this challenge, we wish you the absolute best of luck. If you want a simple and long-lasting option for termite prevention, you might want to look into professional control.
Another thing you should know is that these prevention strategies will not solve an existing infestation. If your home has even a few termites these prevention tips will not solve your problem. They are exclusively built to deter these pests, not to eliminate an existing infestation. If you need help with an active infestation your absolute best option is to get our team involved. We know how to utilize professional-grade termite control to remove these pests from your home and property. We also have many amazing year-round prevention strategies that can help you guarantee these pests stay away. All you have to do is talk to our team. Let us help you find a plan that best meets your need.
The Best Termite Control Solution For Spring Homes
At Modern Pest Control, we only use modern solutions to combat pests like termites. Our process starts with a thorough inspection. We will pay your property a visit and check for any existing termite nests and signs of activity inside your home. After informing you of what we find, we will then install active bait stations around your yard. To guarantee efficiency, we use Sentricon®. This is a widely known and trusted system that eliminates termites by feeding them a tasty, gradual poison. The best thing about it is that it doesn’t just work to prevent these pests. Sentricon® actively eliminates existing infestations as well. With scheduled maintenance to make sure this system remains effective, you will not have to worry about termites ever again. The only thing that is left is for you to let our team know you need help.
Call Modern Pest Control now if you have any unanswered questions about termites and schedule an appointment for your Spring home and property. Let us show you the many benefits of professional pest control and open a door for you to feel confident in your home’s well-being.