A house or other structure experiencing pest infestation will need fast help to prevent extensive damage. Professional service may be one option for a serious problem. Estimates suggest that consumers spend more than $2 billion annually to control and prevent this problem. However, homeowners may be able to take some steps for termite control to stop the threat and keep it from getting worse.
Three different groups of insects present problems in the United States. These groups include Formosan, subterranean, and dry wood. Of the different types of bugs, subterranean termites are the most common. This bug consumes cellulose, which is present in wood. It is possible to identify the insect by the damage created, the droppings they leave behind, and the swarmers that appear. Swarmers are immature, and they have wings initially before shedding them to start their own colonies. Swarmers do not eat wood, and it is possible to remove them by simply sucking them up in a vacuum. Seeing swarmers in a house is often the first sign of infestation.
It is possible for termites to invade a house and feed on the wood for years before anyone notices the damage. These creatures often hide behind walls, inside insulation, and under floor coverings. In fact, it is even possible for damage to occur on visible wood such as trim and baseboards. The bugs usually feed on the layers of wood behind the exposed surface leaving the outer surfaces intact. Look for hollowed-out wood. Surfaces that appear sunken and rippled can also be signs of creatures making tunnels.
Termite Control Methods
Installing bait stations with slow-acting poison can be an effective way to control infestations. Workers visit these bait stations and eat the poison. They also take the poison back to colonies for other members to eat. Eventually, multiple generations of colony members will die, though this process does take time. Some homeowners want faster results for situations with severe damage or large colonies. In this case, a professional service might use a special and powerful insecticide.
Homeowners can also take steps to control infestations by eliminating various food sources. Get rid of woodpiles located around a house because these can be attractive to the insects. Moisture problems can also create an appealing environment. Consequently, homeowners should repair all roof and plumbing leaks around a house.
Termite control, to be effective, must include an entire residence, not just a portion of it. Colonies can have hundreds of thousands of members, making the situation pervasive and ongoing. These creatures will spread out far and wide to feed. Treating just localized areas will only encourage them to explore a little further to find new and plentiful food sources. The period of time treatments last varies depending on the chemicals used. Some treatments will last for years, while others will need annual reapplication to ensure effectiveness.
Remain vigilant regarding infestations to ensure that a residence does not experience significant structural damage due to the insatiable appetites of these tiny termites.