A home is usually one of your biggest investments. When termites invade your house, you might have a lot of questions about what to do to get rid of these pesky creatures. Termites can cause damage to wood structures, paper, books, swimming pool liners, filtration systems, and even insulation. The damage can be both financial and emotional, as you do your best to keep your home and its belongings intact and away from these uninvited guests. Calling a termite extermination service is the best way to remove termites completely from your home.
How to Know if You Have Termites in Your Home
The first thing you want to do is be able to positively identify termites. Here are a few ways to positively identify termites:
- Look for wings that are the same size and straight antennae.
- Termites love artificial light and can often be found near doors and windows.
- Search for mud tube tunnels around the exterior of the house. This is how the termites travel back and forth between your house and their underground dwelling place.
- Termites make holes along the grain of the wood. Inside these holes you will find bits of dried mud or dirt that the termites have left behind.
- Seeing evidence of termite activity outdoors, such as on a wood pile, does not mean they have entered your house yet.
- Sometimes termites might not leave this evidence out in the open and it can be years before their presence is discovered.
How to Remove Termites
Termite removal is a detailed, labor-intensive project requiring a certain set of skills not easily obtained by the average homeowner. Removal also requires expensive equipment for points of entry that are not easy to access. However, if you see termites in an outdoor area such as a wood stump, mailbox post, sandbox, or other wooden structures, you can certainly remove those structures yourself, especially if they are badly damaged. For the rest, it’s better to hire a qualified termite extermination service to remove the termites completely.
There are two general types of termite extermination service – liquids and baiting. Here is a rundown on the difference between the two:
- Liquids have been around for a long time. Older liquids provided a barrier that was repellent to the termites but did not kill them directly. When termites are prevented from entering the ground or buildings, they end up dying. Newer liquids are non-repellent products that kill termites pretty quickly.
- Baiting involves the use of a food termites enjoy (paper, cardboard, etc.) that is laced with a slow-acting poison. Sometimes they are put inside the mud tubes within your home’s interior. Other times, they are placed in the yard in little plastic containers.
There is no one-size fits all method for treating termites. Some exterminators will use try one approach first, and then seal off the house with a different method. A lot depends on how bad the termite problem is, and how well the termites respond to the treatment. Consult with your termite extermination service to see what treatment works best for your home and its condition.