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Homeowners Guide to Termite Treatment

Termites are found throughout the United States, and if you find that your home has an infestation, it’s crucial to get rid of them. These pests are not just annoying; they are destructive and can cause substantial property damage unless you initiate the right sort of termite treatment. The first step to keep your house safe from these little bugs is to educate yourself.

Termite Basics

Have you wondered what termites look like? You’re not alone. The scientific name for these pests is subterranean termites. They are categorized with the insect family called Rhinotermitidae with three predominate species. Some basics to know include:

  • Size: 1/8 inch long

  • Shape: Narrow, long oval

  • Legs: Six

  • Color: Dark brown, black, or creamy white

Control and Prevention

Preventative steps can help immeasurably, so take precautions to keep termites away in the first place. For example:

  • Avoid the accumulation of water around your home’s foundation.

  • Divert water with gutters, downspouts, and splash blocks.

  • Minimize humidity in crawl spaces with adequate ventilation.

  • Keep a gap of one inch between the wooden portions of your home and the soil.

  • Don’t bury waste lumber or wood scraps in your yard.

Also, make sure you store firewood away from your house. If you mulch your garden, keep it 15 inches from the foundation.

Termites’ Habits

Termites have specific habits that you should be aware of. When you see some of their telltale signs, you’ll know you need to call in a reputable pest control company to eradicate the problem. Some of their habits include:

  • They build tunnels known as mud tubes. These tubes protect them from the air and create pathways for them to access food.

  • They eat wood all day, every day.

  • They swarm in the spring to form new colonies.

Where They Live

Subterranean termites usually live underground with millions of their colony-mates. They sometimes live above ground, too, in moist, secluded spots. Around the globe, there are 2,300 species, with 41 of the categories living in the United States. They live in:

  • Tropical regions

  • Subtropical regions

  • In the U.S., especially the southwest region

Potential Damage

Termites can be very destructive. They have rugged jaws that operate like saws or scissors to devour wood, one tiny bit at a time. Over a period of time they can:

  • Destroy wooden beams

  • Cause buildings to sag or even collapse

Pest Treatment Options

If you suspect you may have an infestation, contact a reputable pest professional to assess the situation. You may want to get several evaluations, as there are different treatment methods to consider. Two of the main treatment options include:

  • Liquids: Termiticides, which are liquids applied to the soil, have been around for years. These liquids create chemical barriers to keep termites from infiltrating a building. The pests inside the home will eventually die, too, because they can’t return to soil.

  • Baits: Bait stations full of poison mixed with paper or cardboard are placed beneath the ground outside. Some bait stations are put inside near active mud tubs. When termites scavenge for food, they eat the bait, share it with others in the colony, and gradually die off.

In order to learn whether you have a termite infestation, you should schedule an appointment with pest company professionals. The representatives will evaluate your home’s needs and recommend appropriate treatments.

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