If you are committed to handling a termite infestation yourself, there are many methods you can use, from traditional chemical products to organic options.
The Different Types of Termites
The two most common types of termites you’ll come across are subterranean termites and drywood termites. It’s important to identify which type of termite you are dealing with, because they may require different treatment methods.
While poisonous barriers are effective against subterranean termites, you’ll need to spot treatment or hire a fumigation service for drywood termites.
1. Subterranean Termites
These types of termites live in your foundational wood, soil, and any compost piles around your home. They create mud tubes or paths out of wood and soil to travel in your home. They generally do more damage than drywood termites because of their saw-toothed jaws.
Worker termites are a pale cream color, while soldiers share the same body color but have brown heads. Reproductive termites are either black or brown or creamy white. Subterranean termite colonies can become huge, ranging from 100,000 to even 1 million termites.
2. Drywood Termites
Drywood termites can live exclusively in wood, unlike subterranean termites, which require contact with soil in order to live. They do not create mud tubes to travel and are usually only found in warm coastal regions.
Termites that directly damage wood are white, like subterranean termites. Some have wings that span from yellow to light brown.
Drywood colonies can only hold up to 2,500 termites.
How to Identify a Termite Infestation
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to spot a termite skittering down your wood grain. However, termites will leave different types of evidence they are attacking your home’s foundation. If you suspect a termite infestation, start checking your attic, holes, and cracks in your home.
- Hollow Wood: When you knock or tap on your wood, and it sounds hollow, it’s pretty clear you have termites. For further instigations, take a screwdriver and press it into your wood. If it gives easily, that is not a good sign
- Mud Tubes: Subterranean termites create their own traveling system out of tubes of mud to connect the wood they eat to the soil. Mud tubes are made out of wood and soil, and if you spot small entry holes, you may have termites.
- Swarm Evidence: When subterranean termites create new colonies, they shed their wings, often in piles. If you see a bunch of shattered wings, they can be from termites.
- Frass: Since dry wood termites consume dry wood, they excrete dry and pellet-shaped that appear like sawdust or sand. If you see small termite droppings on your door frames, baseboards, and windowsills, you might have a termite problem.
How Do You Get Rid of Termites?
- Termiticide Barriers: Depending on where you live, you may be able to purchase professional-level termite-killing products. Applying these termites treatments to your home’s exterior perimeter to create a barrier, termites will eat the treated materials and will die.
- Direct Chemical: Direct chemicals can be used inside your home. If you spot a termite, use this treatment directly into crack, voids, and crevices to poison termites as soon as they touch the treatment.
- Termite Baits: Install baits around the perimeter of your home’s foundation to attract foraging termites and poison them when they try to molt. This slow-acting toxin will infect termites who will bring the insecticide back to the colony, and transmit it to other termites.
How to Prevent Termites
There are several ways you can make your home less appealing to termites. Here are a few top methods to prevent termites from infesting your home.
- Check for Leaks: Subterranean termites can’t live without moisture. Keep your home dry by checking for leaking, especially your roof and air conditioner.
- Clean Gutters and Pipes: Termites love to hide in warm, dark, moist places. Clean out your gutters and pipes regularly to prevent termites from settling in.
- Keep Wood Away: Termites are attracted to the cellulose in wood, so it’s important that you don’t stack firewood against your house or leave tree stumps in your yard.
- Get Regular Inspections: The best prevention method is to get regular inspections by a professional pest control company.
Professional Pest Control Services
If you suspect you have termites, call a professional pest control company to investigate. These pesky pests can destroy the foundation of your home quickly. Rid-A-Bug is a reputable pest control company that knows exactly how to find entry points, identify colonies, and create a treatment plan. Contact us today for more information about our services.