Termite damage may not become apparent until and infestation is very serious. Termites work very slowly, and it takes awhile for them to do damage. It may look similar to water damage. Sometimes, you’ll get sagging floors or ceilings. You may also see tunnels which termites create with saliva, mud and feces.
Termite damage is no fun and can seriously harm your home. Termites are ecologically beneficial, since they add nutrients to the soil, but they’re terrible for the wood of your home. Termites can also get through plaster, metal siding and other materials. If you think you may have a termite infestation, you should contact a professional to conduct an inspection and consider termite treatment products.
The Cost of Damage
Termites cost the US billions of dollars every year. These pests are a serious threat for wooden structures. Most of the nation’s annual pest-control is spent on termite damage and control. The problem is greatest in areas where the average annual temperature is warmer than 50°.
Termite damage can devastate a home if it’s not recognized early. Often, that’s easier said than done! If you’re buying a home, you should know that the average home inspection does not include termite damage. So, you may want to hire a professional to look for signs of infestation.
An annual inspection is relatively affordable. However, the intensive termite service you’ll need to eliminate a pest problem is expensive. You can expect to pay a minimum of $500 and there’s a chance that you’ll pay thousands of dollars.
Recognizing Signs of Damage
If you see any swarmers in you home, you may have a problem. Swarmers are winged termites that look a lot like flying ants. In fact, people often confuse termites and ants. Termites have pill shaped bodies, whereas ants are narrow at the front end and grow wider.
If you see termites outside, it’s no big deal, but if they are in your home you probably need to hire an inspector. You might also see shed wings of termites around your home. A termite will shed its wings when it pairs off with a mate.
You may also see mud tunnels. Termites often come up from the ground and create tubes through the wood. A termite needs moisture and food to survive. So, these tubes typically run up from the ground through exposed foundations.
You may also see damaged wood in your home. If you tap on the wood, you’ll hear that it’s hollow. If you pick open the wood you will see the tunnels, which will be filled with soil, chewed wood and poop. Termite tunnels are quite messy, and very different from ant tunnels.
Professional inspectors often have sounding devices to detect where the termites are. They may also have trained beagles. If you think you may have termite damage in your home, it’s important to get the help of a professional.
Dealing With a Termite Problem
If you do indeed have termite damage in your home, you need to hire a company to help you. This is not a do-it-yourself project. Dealing with the damage is part of it, and getting rid of the termites for good is another part of it. Coping with the consequences of termite damage is no easy task.
There are a number of different methods you can use to deal with an infestation. The two most common options are barrier systems and bait systems. A barrier system involves putting chemicals in the soil around the house and underneath it to create a barrier against the termites. If the idea of putting chemicals in your home frightens you, you might consider trying non toxic sprays.
A bait system requires more labor and monitoring. The bait stations are carefully positioned, and termites should find these stations when they’re foraging. It may take the termites awhile to find the bait, but once they do, it’s time to put the poison inside. This process can take over a year, depending on your location.
The advantage of debate system is that the whole colony will be destroyed, and it’s more environmentally friendly. There will also be fewer necessary household distractions, such as drilling in the floors. However, it’s more expensive and more complicated than a barrier system. You may want to ask a professional the best way to deal with the termite damage in your home.