Termites are social pests that live in colonies and feed primarily on cellulose, which wood has plenty of. This makes homes and other wooden based structures prime places for termites to target.
There are five types of termites that are commonly found nesting in homes. They are:
No matter where your home is located, any or all of these types of termites may be present. Drywood termites are typically the most common of the types as they live and consume wood within the home. Subterranean termites build elaborate tunnel systems outdoors that can access areas of your home underground.
Termites are a constant, ongoing threat in every season which makes it vital to pest control plan that is ready to implement at any time. It does not take long for a colony of termites of any type to be able to cause an extensive amount of damage in any home.
The Impact of Termites
Termites can do a tremendous amount of damage to your home structure if left alone, so it’s best to be proactive in checking around your home if you have termites and take steps to eliminate and prevent them. Usually once homeowners have discovered termites, they may have already done a devastating amount of damage that will be extremely costly to repair.
Termites love to eat wood and your home has plenty of it to feast on. Whether it’s the structure of your home, books, your wooden furniture or wallpaper, termites will take whatever they can get. Depending on the type of termite, they may prefer damp wood, rotting wood or fresh wood. This distinguishing habit of termites is exactly why termites are the cause of anxiety for homeowners and are the cause of billions of dollars worth of damage each year.
By far the scariest thing about termites is that they carry out their destruction hidden in the bowels of homes, undetected by the homeowners. The term “out of sight, out of mind” is just what the termites want so they won’t be bothered as they break down your home of all of the wood that keeps it standing upright. It usually isn’t until homeowners notice crumbling wood that they realize they have termites and need to take drastic measures, by that time a whole heck of a lot of damage would have already been done to the home.
Spring: Termite’s Most Active Season
It’s no wonder that March is usually regarded as a prime time for termite awareness month because it marks the beginning of Spring and that is typically the time where termites are the most active in their wood-destroying ways. During spring, termite reproduce at high rates and begin to swarm homes. A homeowner could potentially find a cloud of hundreds of termites around your home.
Another reason that awareness of termites is pushed heavily by the pest control industry is because it is also the springtime that is also the peak season for buying and selling homes. Folks planning to sell their home and finding they have termites could see a loss in prospective buyers or even worse a big dent in the value of their largest investment.
Signs You May Have Termites
The most telltale sign of a termite infestation is when there are winged termites moving about. Homeowners often find these varieties of termites around doors or crawling along windows. These winged termites usually leave the colony to go mate and reproduce to increase the infestation.
While spring may be an ideal time to inspect for termites you don’t have to wait until Spring to find out if you indeed have a termite infestation. Here are a few things you should watch out for:
Piles of wings or dead termite bodies scattered in different areas of the home like your bathrooms etc.
Check around your home’s structure for ‘mud tubes’. These are tubes the width of a pencil which serve as tunnels for termites to travel from their nests into your home.
Tap on wood around your home like your attic or basement. If it sounds hollow, then you definitely have a termite problem.
Look for ‘flying termites’ around stumps and other moist wood sources after a rain.
Notice any signs of paint on the surface of your wooden structures in your home, that has bubble or cracked. Termites feed of the interior of structures which will make the paint or coating on the surface bubble up and look blistered.