Termites are often known as the “silent destroyer” because they may be hiding and thriving in your home or yard without any immediate signs of damage. All termites consume cellulose-based plant materials. Unfortunately, all homes, regardless of their construction type, can provide cellulose food for termite infestation.
Termites feed on dead plants and trees as well as dead parts of living trees, including wood and wood in the soil. A termite’s mouth is capable of tearing pieces of woody material. House foundations, furniture, shelves and even books are all possible feeding sites for termites.
Termite homes are usually formed in soil. Within these mounds, termites build elaborate tunnel systems and mud tunnels through which they access above ground food sources. Drywood termites live within the wood they consume and oftentimes infest walls and furniture.
When a colony has matured, winged, swarming termites can be seen around windows and doors. Winged termites are highly attracted to sources of light and are most active in springtime. After mating, these termites locate a new breeding site and create another colony, spreading infestations throughout multiple locations.
What Can You Do to Help Protect Your Home?
Since termites are a constant threat to your home, small steps make a big difference in termite prevention and sustaining an effective termite treatment plan. Start by eliminating moisture conditions and termite food around your home. These simple steps make your home a less attractive target for termites.
Eliminate Moisture Problems
• Repair leaking faucets, water pipes, and A/C units
• Divert water from foundation
• Keep gutters and downspouts clean
• Remove excessive plant cover and wood mulch
• Get rid of standing water on roof
• Keep all vents clear and open
• Seal entry points around water and utility lines or pipes
Remove Termite Food Sources
• Keep firewood, lumber or paper away from foundation or crawl space
• Get rid of stumps and debris near house
• Place screens on outside vents
• Check decks and wooden fences for damage
• Wood on your home shouldn’t contact the soil
Some indications you may have a termite infestation:
• A temporary swarm of winged insects in your home or from the soil around your home.
• Any cracked or bubbling paint or frass (termite droppings).
• Wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
• Mud tubes on exterior walls, wooden beams or in crawl spaces.
• Discarded wings from swarmers.