The Key To Keeping Your Houston Home Termite-Free This Spring
Spring is a prime time for termite activity. The combination of warmer temperatures and moist conditions from rain and an increase in humidity makes the perfect recipe for a potential termite infestation, especially if your property consists of the types of wooden materials these insects love to devour.
A termite problem can cause major headaches for homeowners. These highly destructive insects can wreak havoc and create significant damage to the structure of a house, potentially costing thousands of dollars in restorations and repairs. In fact, these small, often undetectable pests are responsible for billions of dollars in damage each year, making it critical for homeowners to recognize the signs of an infestation early so they can take the steps to prevent and control termite populations.
The first step in preventing termites is to educate yourself on the different kinds of termites that are most common in the Houston area. There are currently three main termite species that plague our residents, each with its own unique behaviors and characteristics. These particular termites include dampwood, drywood, and subterranean termites.
Subterranean termites rank first as the most destructive type of termite. As their name suggests, they reside in underground colonies and construct mud tubes to travel above the ground to find wood food sources. These kinds of termites are primarily responsible for the vast majority of termite damage in the United States.
Drywood termites are found in dry wood inside or on your property, such as in eaves and attics. They don't require contact with soil, so they can infest wood structures that don’t touch the ground. They are not as common as subterranean termites, nor do they cause nearly as much damage. However, don’t let that little factoid lull you into a false sense of security. These types of termites can still destroy the structures in your home over time.
Dampwood termites are found in damp, rotting wood, such as in logs and trees. Like drywood termites, they aren’t as destructive or cause as much damage as their subterranean counterparts. But again, these termites definitely cause their fair share of damage and can eventually weaken the stability of a structure.
But no matter the type of termite, Modern Pest Control provides the most advanced solutions and reliable pest control in Houston to rid your home of a termite infestation to save your home along with your sanity. Our expertly trained team understands the frustration that these destructive insects can cause. That’s why we quickly assess your specific situation to devise the most effective action plan to execute.
Continue reading to learn more about these insects known as “silent destroyers,” why you want them eradicated immediately, and how partnering with a professional termite and pest control company can get you back to living peacefully pest-free much faster.
You're Likely Never To See A Termite
Termites are considered nuisance pests that steadily eat away at your wooden structures and materials. These tiny insects are not often seen because they live and work underground, within the walls of buildings, and inside the wood itself. They are also most active at night and during the early morning hours, which means that they are less likely to be seen by humans while they’re continuing to do their dirty work. Additionally, termites are so small that most people would easily overlook them, even if they weren’t hidden.
Termites are commonly referred to as “silent destroyers” because they can be present and cause substantial damage in a home for a long period of time without being detected. Additionally, termites can tunnel through wood and other materials without leaving any visible signs of damage, making it even more difficult to recognize an infestation, even while it’s in progress.
Another reason why you’re not likely to ever catch termites in the act of causing destruction is that they steadily chomp away at your wood from the inside out, leaving the outer layers completely intact and hiding the damage as they gobble along. Even more disturbing is that termites are active 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Unlike humans, they have no sleep cycle whatsoever, so they have all the time in the world to continuously damage the structural integrity of a building, which can lead to safety hazards and costly repairs. Just this act alone makes them particularly dangerous pests to have in a home.
That’s why it’s critical to contact a professional pest control company at the first signs of termites in your home. Some of those clues include:
Small, pinpoint holes in wood or other materials
Damaged or hollow-sounding wood
Mud tubes on the foundation of the house or on walls
Discarded wings from swarmers
Swarmers are the only winged termites and are responsible for taking flight in search of the best location to start new colonies as they’re also the reproductives of the group. If you see any of these warning signs, get in touch with Modern Pest Control right away to schedule a comprehensive home evaluation.
Why Do I Have A Termite Infestation In My Home?
If termites have descended upon your property, you may be offering a smorgasbord of wooden materials for them to munch on. And it’s not only wooden fixtures they love! Certain species of termites, particularly subterranean and dampwood termites, thrive in humid and moist environments. But there are other reasons that termites may find your home so appealing. These insects are attracted to wood that is in direct contact with the ground, such as a fence or wooden deck. If there is wood-to-soil contact in or around your home, it may be more susceptible to a termite invasion. Additionally, and as previously mentioned, moisture lures termites like a magnet. Therefore, address dripping pipes and leaky plumbing issues immediately. Otherwise, you’re simply supplying them with one of the most essential elements they need to thrive.
Poor ventilation is another problem that can lead to high humidity and draw termites, so you should remedy this issue quickly. Check areas in your home like cellars, basements, or crawl spaces where humidity levels can rise. And while you’re working on properly ventilating these spaces, check for cracks and gaps in your home’s foundation. Termites can enter a house through the tiniest crevice, so it is important to seal these areas to prevent an invasion.
See any old or damaged wood on your property? If so, it can become a harborage for termites. These insects love old, rotting, or damaged wood. Not only does this wood provide the nutrients termites need to survive, but it also acts as a shelter to protect these pests from harsh elements. Keep in mind that if a nearby tree or other wooden structure on your property has a termite infestation, it increases the likelihood that your home will become infested as well.
Termites don’t have discriminating taste and aren’t picky when it comes to places they’ll target. These insects can infest any type of home regardless of its age, condition, or location. Regular inspections and preventive measures are essential to avoid termite infestations.
If you suspect termites have helped themselves to a healthy portion of your wooden materials, contact Modern Pest Control to schedule a comprehensive property inspection. A qualified pest specialist will conduct a thorough termite evaluation to pinpoint potential problem areas and provide recommendations to prevent an infestation. Our experts advise that homeowners have a yearly inspection to detect any signs of insect activity early on.
Natural Termite Prevention Tips For Around The Home
Homeowners can take several environmentally friendly steps to prevent termite infestations and minimize the risk of damage, which include:
Reduce moisture levels in basements, crawl spaces, and attics by fixing leaks and installing a dehumidifier.
Plug up holes, gaps, cracks, and small openings in your home’s walls or foundation that termites could use to gain entry.
Remove any rotted or damp wood from around your property.
Eliminate tree stumps, wood piles, and debris, or move these materials at least 20 feet or more from the exterior of your home.
Routinely examine the foundation, walls, and other areas of your property for signs of termites.
Keep your gutters clean and in good repair by unclogging them to avoid water building up around the foundation of your home, which creates the perfect, moist environment that’s attractive to termites.
For those into natural deterrents, try filling up your garden with termite-repelling plants such as eucalyptus, lemongrass, or mint. Using these plants and herbs is a pleasant, aromatic way to keep these wood-loving insects from coming around your residence.
You can also try boric acid, which is a natural mineral that destroys termites by dehydrating them and shutting down their nervous system. It can be applied directly to wood or combined with water to create a solution to spray around the foundation of your home. Diatomaceous earth is another natural substance that eliminates these insects in a similar way to boric acid but is harmless to humans and pets.
Some people find success using a drywood termite bait station. This is a natural and eco-friendly way to detect and eliminate these types of termites. The bait station cleverly contains wood that is treated with a natural insecticide that is harmless to people and pets but lethal to termites.
By following these tips, homeowners in Houston can take proactive steps to protect their homes from a termite invasion this spring. But keep in mind that even with the best preventive measures, termites can still find a way to enter your home, rendering these methods as a stopgap that won’t provide the same level of protection as professional termite treatments.
Therefore, once an infestation is discovered, take immediate action to prevent it from raging out of control and resulting in costly damage by contacting a reputable pest elimination company. Depending on the extent of the infestation, treatment may vary, and the physical removal of infested wood may be necessary. Thereafter, it's always a good idea to have routine inspections and termite treatments applied by qualified pest control specialists.
Going forward, make sure to educate yourself on the signs of a termite infestation, which include hollow-sounding or damaged wood, pinpoint holes in drywall or other materials, discarded wings from swarmers, peeling paint that looks similar to water damage, mud tubes on walls, dipping ceilings, and buckling floorboards.
The Most Effective Termite Control For Houston Homes
Curious to know the most effective termite control and prevention method for your home? The answer depends on the type of termites, the magnitude of the infestation, and the specific circumstances of your property. No matter what type of termites are present on your property, professional termite control treatments from Modern Pest Control are the most effective solution to your termite problem.
Our pest professionals will conduct a thorough inspection to determine the scope and severity of your infestation as well as possible entry points and conducive conditions. From there, we'll install the Sentricon® system of liquid bait, leading to the elimination of the entire colony, including the queen. Once the colony has been eliminated, the Sentricon® system will continue to provide protection against future invasions.
For more than six decades, Modern Pest Control has delivered exceptional pest management to keep the homes of our residents in Houston and the surrounding areas free of pest problems. Our team works closely with you to determine the best course of action to fight the infestation fast. We understand the fear and frustration these insects cause, so we respond urgently to resolve the issue. Our mission is to improve the lives of our customers by creating pest-free environments that you love to live in. Protect your home and everyone in it with effective termite control from Modern Pest Control. Reach out to us today to request your courtesy inspection.