Spring Homeowners' Complete Guide To Effective Termite Control
As homeowners ourselves, we know how frustrating it can be when an unexpected problem pops up in your house, and you are left scrambling for a way to fix it. Maybe it's flooding in your basement, a leak in your ceiling, or an electrical issue. While all of these scenarios can be a nightmare for any homeowner, termites are possibly the worst thing that can happen to your home.
Termites are one of the most infamous insects in the United States, and for a good reason! These wood-destroying insects have earned a reputation for causing devastating structural damage—in fact, they generate over $5 billion in property damage in the U.S. every year. That's a lot of damage for such small pests! If left to their own devices, termites in Spring will invade your home by the hundreds, thousands, or even millions and start devouring any wood they can find. Unfortunately, termite problems won't go away on their own, and the longer the infestation goes on, the more damage those wood-damaging pests will inflict. This will eventually result in significant issues for your home.
Since termites pose such a significant threat to our homes, it is vital that you know how to protect your property from costly termite damage. While the best way to protect yourself from termites is always with pest control in Spring, there are other factors that can help make your property less appealing to these veracious wood-eaters!
Signs Of Termite Activity To Watch For Around Your Home
Termites are notoriously sneaky pests. While this is great for them, it is terrible for us since this can allow termites to be active in a home for months or even years without setting off any alarm bells. However, termites do leave behind some telltale signs that you can use to confirm their presence if you keep a watchful eye out for them.
One of the best ways to avoid a termite problem is to be on the lookout for the early warning signs of termites around your home. Here is a comprehensive list of the most common indicators of a termite infestation in Spring:
- Mud Tunnels: Finding mud tunnels along your home's foundation is a telltale sign of termite activity. Subterranean termites build these mud tubes to protect them from the sun as they travel between their underground colony and their food source—in this case, your home.
- Termite Swarms: Another blatant sign of a termite problem is seeing a swarm of winged termites near your home. These termite swarms consist of winged reproductives (also called alates), and their purpose is to reproduce and create new termite colonies. Subterranean termites typically swarm in the spring during daylight hours, usually after rain, while drywood termites swarm during late summer or early fall in the evening.
- Wings: If you miss the initial termite swarm, you may still find the termite swarmers' shed wings. These wings are translucent, and you will likely find them around windowsills, doors, and outdoor lights.
- Frass: You may also notice small piles of tiny, wood-colored termite droppings called frass found beneath kick-out holes in the infested wood. These pellets resemble sawdust, which makes sense, given their diet.
- Hollow Wood: If you see wood that looks damaged or sounds hollow when you tap on it, this can also be evidence of termites in your home.
- Bubbling Paint: If you've noticed that your paint has started to bubble or looks generally uneven, this could mean termites have begun damaging your home.
- Windows and Doors that stick when opening: As termites chew through more and more of your home's structural wood, your house may shift, causing your doors and windows to open and close with more difficulty.
Termites are commonly referred to as "silent destroyers" because they often go unnoticed for a long time before being discovered. However, regularly inspecting your property for these signs can help alert you to the presence of termites despite their sneaky tendencies.
The Extent Of Damage Termites Can Cause To Your Home
Termites have earned the reputation for being one of the most destructive insects in the world, and rightfully so! If you have never looked into just how much damage termites can cause, now would be a great time to find out precisely what you're up against and reevaluate if you are willing to take the risk.
The type of damage that termites cause depends on the specific species you have. Here in Spring, there are three main types of termites that damage our homes:
- Formosan termites: The most destructive termite in all of Texas, the Formosan termite is a species of subterranean termite that ranges in color from creamy white to light brown with narrow, oval-shaped bodies that are 1/2 an inch long. As their name suggests, subterranean termites create their nests underground.
- Eastern subterranean termites: While they are less common than Formosan termites, eastern subterranean termites also make their home in our area. These termites look pretty similar to the Formosan termite but are a bit smaller at 1/8 of an inch long and can also be dark brown or black.
- Drywood termites: These termites measure 3/8 to an inch in length and have long, narrow bodies and oval-shaped waists; similar to Formosan termites, they can be creamy white or light brown. Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites don't live underground but instead create their colonies inside the wood they tunnel through.
Above, we are describing worker termites (the termites that actively damage your home), but you may also see winged termite reproductives, so we thought we would describe them as well. Formosan termite alates will be a pale or brownish-yellow color with translucent wings and are around 5/16 of an inch long. Eastern subterranean termite reproductives are usually dark brown or black and range from 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch long with wings similar to Formosan termite swarmers.
Drywood termite alates measure between 7/16 and 9/16 of an inch long and are typically light brown, though they can also be yellowish brown, dark brown, or tan. These reproductives also have translucent wings that may have a smokey gray tint.
Subterranean termites are more destructive than any other termite species in our area, but any of these termite species can spell disaster for your home if they find their way onto your property.
Once termites find their way into your home, they will quickly begin eating away at the structural wood of your home, chewing through beams, floors, walls, and even wallpaper without ceasing. This can lead to severe damage that may compromise the structural integrity of your house after only six months. In the worst-case scenario, termite damage can even cause entire buildings to collapse.
Unfortunately, termite damage is preventable, and any damage typically won't be covered by standard homeowner's insurance policies. These repairs are pretty pricey and can be a financial burden, so it's best to avoid termites whenever possible.
Factors That Attract Termites And How To Remove Them
On your list of things you don't want to deal with, termites probably rank pretty high, not only for the inconvenience of now having to get rid of a termite problem but also for the extensive, costly damage they can inflict on your home. The old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," perfectly sums up our recommended approach for dealing with termites. The best way to keep termite-related repairs off your running list of home projects is to add termite prevention to your to-do list—or better yet—sign up for termite prevention in Spring.
To help you prevent termites in Spring, here are a few common factors that could be attracting termites to your property and what you can do to address them:
- Wood In Your Yard: Before they can invade your home, something has to draw termites to your property in the first place. If you have dead trees, stumps, lumber, woodpiles, or mulch in your yard, this is probably what initially brought termites to your yard. Storing piles of lumber or firewood 20 feet from the exterior of your home, keeping mulch from making direct contact with your home or deck, and removing other sources of wood will help keep these wood-destroying pests away.
- Moisture Problems: Subterranean termites will target water-damaged or rotting wood since this wood offers them the moisture they need to survive and comfortably eat away at the wood of your home. One of the best preventative measures you can take to deter termites is to address any moisture issues in or around your home, including leaky pipes, gutters, downspouts, or splash blocks that aren't working correctly, moist or water-damaged wood, and excess humidity. By fixing any leaks, maintaining your gutters and downspouts, installing dehumidifiers in areas with high humidity levels, making sure your basement or crawlspace is well-ventilated, and replacing any water-damaged or molding wood, you can help mitigate one of the biggest foraging termites attractants.
- Entry Points: Before termites can begin feeding on your home, they must first find a way to access the wood. If there are cracks or gaps in your foundation or areas where wood makes direct contact with the soil, termites will have a free pass to enter your home. Sealing these potential entry points and limiting wood-to-soil contact will reduce your chances of developing an infestation.
While being proactive in your termite control efforts is an excellent defense against termites, an even better termite control option for your home is calling Modern Pest Control for assistance.
Contact The Pros For Total Termite Control For Your Home
Termites are a pest you cannot get rid of alone. As much as we wish it were easy to eliminate these destructive insects, termite removal in Spring can be very tricky and best left to the professionals.
At Modern Pest Control, we offer the best termite treatments in Spring to help you eliminate your active termite infestation and protect your home and property from future termite invasions. To ensure our termite treatments are as effective as possible, we use the Sentricon® System, the #1 brand in termite protection!
Before beginning our treatment process, one of our experienced technicians will inspect your property for signs of termite activity or damage, as well as any potential entry points or other termite attractants. This will help us determine the extent of your termite infestation and develop the best action plan.After this initial inspection, we'll begin treatment by installing Sentricon® stations around your property. This approach uses the nature of scavenging termites against them by providing a food source they can't resist. The Recruit HD termite bait will attract worker termites that will leave behind a pheromone trail for other termites to follow back to the bait stations. Those termites will then bring the bait back to their colony, effectively eliminating the entire termite colony, including the queen.
Another benefit of the Sentricon® System is that it provides continuous monitoring for termite activity and ongoing protection to make sure your termite problem doesn't return.
Whether you think you've spotted the signs of termites around your home and need to get rid of them as soon as possible, or you're looking to strengthen your home's defenses against termites, the best termite control company for your Spring home is Modern Pest Control! When you sign up for termite protection with us, you'll never have to worry about dealing with an unexpected termite problem again. Contact Modern Pest Control today for a free inspection.
If you want to schedule a termite treatment or would like to learn more about our pest control options for termites, reach out to us today and take back your peace of mind!