How To Kill Termites.
Termites are colony pests that come in 5 different types. They feed on cellulose, which means every home has the opportunity to play host to this silent killer. Termites can appear in any plant or wood materials without any indication they are there. The termite is specifically designed to tear away tough cellulose materials, but they will feed on a book just as easily as they’ll feed on cabinetry.
Here are the types of termites that you may find in your home.
- Conehead termites.
- Dampwood termites.
- Drywood termites.
- Formosan termites.
- Subterranean termites.
No matter where your home may be located, any or all of these types of termites may be present. Drywood termites tend to be the most common as they live and consume wood within the home. Subterranean termites build mounds outdoors and then extensive tunnel systems that access areas of your home from underneath.
Termites are a constant, ongoing threat in every season. That’s why it is very important to have a 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.
Signs of Termites
The most common sign of a termite infestation is when there are winged varieties that are trying to escape the home. Homeowners will find them around their windows and doors especially, but they may be anywhere outside of the colony. It is also fairly common to see a cabinet infestation of termites have winged pests hovering around the colony site. This discovery usually happens during the first days of Spring.
Here’s some good news: you don’t have to wait until Spring to find out if you have a termite infestation. There are some common warning signs that can be observed at any time of year that can let you know that there’s a colony of these pests hanging around.
- Paint that has bubbled or cracked. Termites are feeding off of the interior of a structure, so as they approach the surface of it, the paint or coating on the surface will begin to bubble. There might be frass within the bubble, which is what the waste of the termite is called. Walls might also crack in ways that aren’t normal for foundational cracking.
- Solid wood now sounds hollow. Termites will leave the outer structure of a cellulose item intact, carving out the interior like a hollow chocolate Easter bunny. Tapping on the wood leaves a slight echo because the sound vibrates.
- There are mud tubes outside. Termite tubes look a little different than hornet or wasp tubes. Wasps and hornets tend to stay congregated in one place. Termites will spread along exterior walls, wood beams, and down in crawl spaces.
If Spring has turned into Summer and you find a bunch of discarded wings in your home, this is also an indication that termites are present. You’ll need to remove the pest completely to recover from the infestation.
How To Kill Termites
Before killing termites, it is important to remove any easy food sources for them. For many homeowners, this often means moving the firewood pile from beside the house. Any wood, lumber, or even paper debris that is near a home’s foundation can become a home for a colony of termites to begin. Make sure to grind out or pull out any stumps that are near the home and any other plant-based debris that is present as well.
Termites also need an entry point into the home to infest the interior of it. Make sure that there are screens in place on every outside vent to prevent these pests from moving in. Regularly inspect any decking, fencing, and other wood components of the home and take action to remove the pests immediately if they are found.
There are DIY, chemical, and non-chemical solutions that will remove a colony of termites. The most common non-chemical solution is to install a barrier around the home. This typically happens when the home is being built, but a new barrier can be installed in a similar fashion to a new waterproof membrane along a foundation.
Termites also struggle to move through sandy soil. Installing a barrier around your foundation, that is sand could slow these pests down. Combined with steel mesh on any vent, this can be an effective solution. Certain fungi and nematodes have also been shown as being effective at eliminating a termite colony.
Certain chemical solutions are also approved for use and may be available through an online store, at a local hardware supply store, or through a professional pest eliminator. The most common type of chemical solution to remove termites is through the use of bait. The bait is set out around the area of the colony, it feeds off of it, and eventually it dies off. There are three other common chemical solutions that are also approved for use.
- Liquid pesticides that are specifically formulated for termites and applied to the soil.
- Building materials that are already infused with a pesticide.
- Wood treatments that are applied as needed.
It is important to apply any chemical solution to kill termites as instructed. These chemical pesticides can get into the water system of the home and any surrounding drinking wells. When this happens, the treatment is generally not effective against the pest. That’s why having some proven DIY methods of termite pest control can be extremely helpful to eliminate stubborn colonies.