It’s one thing inviting guests to stay in your home for a while but it’s the uninvited ones that you need to be wary of and one of the worst pests to invade your home and take up residence is termites.
Termites have rightfully earned a fearful reputation when it comes to the level of damage they can cause to your property and the news gets worse, as they live in colonies and that means that any problem you have with termites is going to get bigger and bigger.
Here is a look at the damage termites cause, plus some insights and tips on how to spot the warning signs of a termite invasion and how to eradicate the problem as quickly as possible.
Why you Need to Watch out for Signs of Termites
The enemy with your walls
You might think that dire warnings about termites are a bit overdone but there is a good reason why they have achieved their fearsome status.
The fundamental issue is that termites live in colonies and that means they co-exist to breed and take care of each other.
If the queen is allowed to lay her eggs within the woodwork of your home and left undetected the colony will expand when there is a regular food source available in the form of the wood in your property and when that colony becomes too large for the one nest, they will divide and create another new colony in your home.
You can see from this scenario and the way termites behave that if this pest is allowed to thrive it can cause extensive damage.
Know your termites
You most likely don’t want to get to know your termites but it is a good idea to have an idea of what particular breed of this pest you are up against.
If you are going to be calling in a professional who knows all about exterminating termites then they will be able to identify what you are dealing with.
Having an idea of the particular species of termite invading your home can help you to know what areas of your home they are going to target and what sort of damage they are likely to cause.
Drywood termites live inside the wood and eat away at it from within. This is an issue because your wood might look ok on the outside but if this termite is inside it may well be crumbling away inside.
Subterranean termites are present throughout the country and this species is almost solely responsible for termite damage in North America. They have a voracious appetite and can munch through about 15 pounds of wood per week and have been known to completely destroy home foundations and support beams.
Dampwood termites are true to their name and will seek out damp and decaying wood, which means that if you have moisture problems in your home that are affecting the timbers, this will be an attractive environment for this termite.
Formosan termites are vying for the title of homeowner’s enemy number one as they are considered to be the most destructive of all. They infest a number of cellulose-based products including wood, and they can cause serious damage to your property in an alarmingly short space of time.
Spotting the warning signs
Now that you are acutely aware of the dangers to your property posed by termites it makes sense to learn how to be vigilant and spot the warning signs of an infestation as early as possible.
This is not an extensive list by any means, but if you have floors that have started to sag or buckle, hardwood floor slates that now pop up, or laminate flooring that is bubbling or sagging, these are issues that need investigating urgently.
Other warning signs include spotting tiny pinpoint holes in a drywall, damaged wood that is easy to crumble with your fingers, and wood that seems to be hollow when you tap it.
The cost of calling in professional help with a termite infestation can often turn out to be marginal in comparison to the repair bill you might be facing if your home is invaded by termites and their progress goes unchecked for a period of time.
Damage caused by termites can vary greatly from minor superficial damage that is not too expensive to put right all the way through to major structural damage that needs extensive repair work to put right.
A good proactive move would be to arrange an annual inspection by a trained termite professional and if you happen to spot anything suspicious in the meantime, it would be best to act swiftly to rid your home of these uninvited and unwelcome house guests.
Featured Article from Louis McDonald. Louis McDonald works as a gardener, a job he’s been happy doing all of his adult life. He’s able to advise clients, and a wider online audience, on pest control, lawns, flowers, watering systems and garden design.