Wood termites may be the most destructive pests that can invade a building. If you own a building that’s constructed with wood, you may be facing thousands of dollars worth of structural repair if your property is invaded by termites. These pests will devour the wooden components of buildings or furniture, but they will also consume any other material that contains cellulose, a plant fiber found in paper, books, cardboard and other wood based products.
While some termite species form colonies underground before they invade a home, other species spend their entire lives inside a woodpile, tree trunk or the wooden structures of a building. If you notice signs of wood termites, such as tiny holes in the baseboards of your home, piles of droppings or discarded wings or irregular mud tubes along your exterior walls or in your crawlspace, contact a professional pest control service for an inspection. A licensed inspector can confirm whether your home is infested by wood termites.
Indications of Wood Termites
Long before termites began to destroy human habitats, these species were consuming trees and other sources of wood throughout the world. Termites have thrived on natural sources of cellulose for millions of years, becoming a nuisance to humans relatively recently. Because basic home insurance policies don’t cover pest damage, homeowners may end up paying for these damages out of pocket. Once they’ve invaded the structural fixtures of a home, wood termites can undermine the integrity of the building, even causing homes to collapse.
Termites may be difficult to identify outside or inside your residence, which is why it is a good idea to get termite damage pictures when you discover a problem. Subterranean species leave visible mud tunnels along the sides of a house and piles of droppings inside the home. These underground insects use the tunnels to travel from their subterranean colonies to the interior of your house without exposing themselves to heat or light. Once they’ve entered the building, they may destroy support beams, floor joists, furniture, books and paper documents.
In the spring, when the weather gets warm, the reproductive members of a colony can form noticeable swarms around the outside of your home as they attempt to form new colonies. Swarmers may leave discarded wings inside the property or on the grounds. Although the reproductive members of a colony die fairly soon after swarming, the workers continue in their efforts to devour wood so that they can feed the larval termites.
The most serious indication of a termite infestation is visible damage to the wooden components of your home. Once termites have set up habitation inside the house, they can cause considerable damage to the building. You may notice indentations on the grain of wooden beams where these pests have hollowed out the wood. In later stages, you may even notice sagging ceilings or walls. If you tap on a beam or board that’s been attacked by wood termites, you’ll notice a hollow sound. Some types of wood termites literally consume beams from the inside out.
Pest control professionals can identify the most common termite species that invade residential buildings. These licensed experts can recognize the different species by the unique signs they leave behind and the type of damage they cause. Drywood species are especially difficult to find because they live buried deep inside wooden beams or boards. These species leave tiny, characteristic perforations in baseboards and other structures where they push their pellet droppings through the wood.
Although commercial insecticides are available to homeowners in hardware stores or on the internet, these products are rarely effective at eliminating pests from inside your home. Drywood species, in particular, are difficult to eradicate because they bury themselves so deeply inside the wooden structures of a residence. Pest control professionals can identify the areas of your house where wood termites hide and develop effective strategies for eliminating them.
Treatment methods that work with subterranean insects may not be effective at eradicating drywood varieties. Fumigants, heat or chemical spot treatments may be used to kill drywood species, while liquid termiticide barriers and termite baits are often used to eliminate underground insects as they make their way from the house to the soil. Pest control companies include multiple treatments in their range of services to remove the insects from your house and yard before they cause expensive damage.
Wood termites are only one of the types of insects that consume wooden structures. Certain species of ants and beetles also invade homes and consume wooden fixtures. However, a termite damage is more wide ranging and devastating than the damages caused by other species. Qualified pest control services will carefully inspect your house for signs of invasion before giving you an estimate on the cost of treatment. Compare quotes from several companies to find a team that offers expert service at a reasonable price.