Out of all the countless insects, rodents, critters and other pests that disturb and discomfort homeowners everywhere, none is more dangerous than the termite. Only termites can single-handedly ruin and destroy a house’s very foundation and character in just a few short years. The first destructive handiwork of termites may not even be noticeable for the first five years after their infestation. By then, it may be too late. Your home is likely the largest investment you have ever made and the most important. Therefore, it is necessary to take the proper steps to protect your home from termites, and to rid your house of them immediately if they have already invaded your property.
- Look for signs of an infestation. You may not see direct evidence of termite infestation, but that doesn’t mean you should remain ignorant of it. Sagging floors, holes in woodwork and hollow parts of your foundation are all serious warning signs of termites. You may actually see the termites themselves, as well.
Take a screwdriver and flashlight with you to your basement, and examine crawlspaces and foundation beams by tapping on the wood to check for hollowness and to push the screwdriver into the wood to test for strength. If the wood gives easily and falls apart, you may have a termite problem on your hands.
When performing this examination, also be sure to keep an eye out for termite wastes. Termite droppings are wood colored or darker brown pellets of excrement. The presence of these droppings near weakened wood could indicate an infestation.
You may also find a termite nest on your property; a subterranean termite infestation will build a system of tunnels and tubes of mud, while a drywood termite infestation will present itself in a nest inside the wood.
- Determine the type of termites you have. There are two general types of termites that might infest your home: subterranean and drywood termites. The former are found in both the soil around your home and the wood of your home, while the latter thrive solely in wood (not soil). Subterranean termites are found mostly in warm, coastal regions – primarily California, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Georgia. Drywood termites can be found anywhere in the states.
Subterranean termites can be found in wood and compost piles around your home, in addition to the foundational wood.
Subterranean termites typically do much more damage to a home than drywood, and may require different treatment methods.