According to the National Pest Control Institute, termites destroy approximately $5 billion worth of wood structures annually in the United States and Canada. There are three native varieties of subterranean termites found across the country, as well as the Formosan termite, an invasive species from Asia.
Different termites live in different parts of the country. The four main things that termites need to survive are moisture, cellulose to eat, protection from predators, and enough warmth to keep from freezing. The dry wood termite is mostly found in the southern states. Termites that favor more moisture are common along the Gulf Coast. The dryer northern states with cold winters have almost no termites, but sometimes they get imported by moving in with infested furniture. No matter where you live, you need to be watchful for signs of termite infestations.
Signs of Termites
Termite pest control in Atlanta, GA, needs to be a regularly planned part of the household maintenance budget. If a termite infestation is not caught early-on, the damage can affect the structure of the building. Damages could easily run into the thousands of dollars to repair. Home pest control operators know what to look for, such as termite shelter tubes, subterranean tunnels, earthen packing, piles of termite frass in or around the home, presence of wings, sagging floors, hollow wood, and termite noises and wood excavation. Outdoor pest control will not only check around the foundation of your home, but also look for underground tunnels, and blowholes in nearby trees that could allow the spread of termite colonies to your home.
New Home Termite Inspections
Termite inspections are performed with required real estate transactions. As a perspective buyer, you want to be certain a thorough inspection is completed. The best pest control is preventive measures that can be taken to assure the home and surrounding area is free of termites. If you rent your home or apartment, your landlord is responsible for having this inspection done, and to pay the cost of exterminating termite infestations.
What Do Termites Look Like?
You need to know what to look for to be sure you are not confusing the termite with other insects. Termites have straight antennae and a long, straight body, about one-half inch long. When they swarm to start a new colony, the wings of the termites are the same length. Subterranean termite swarmers are solid black. Dry wood termite swarmers are solid red. They are not to be confused with carpenter ants that are usually red and black or dark brown, with segmented bodies, and uneven wings. Worker termites are white with soft, one-quarter-inch long bodies, and are usually hidden inside the infested wood.
An Ounce of Termite Prevention
Termites are drawn to dark, damp habitats. Try to keep your home dry, including any crawl space under your home. Try to eliminate standing water around your house. Keep the gutters free of debris so rain water drains completely. Keep dead tree branches and loose tree trunks away from your house. Use pebble stones instead of mulch around your home’s foundation. If you must use firewood, keep it dry, and possibly have it treated with insecticide to ward off the termites. Seal any cracks in your home by caulking windows, doorways, and small cracks around your home. House pest control should be used to retreat inside and outside of your home on a regular schedule.