Termites can easily cause thousands of dollars of damage in your home and can make it structurally unsafe. Learn to spot these pests before they settle into your house, make your home less accessible to them and have a pest control company's phone number handy for emergencies. Here is what you need to know about termites and how to keep your house safe from them.
A Persistent Insect
Termites are an eating machine, digesting the cellulose in wood to make food for the colony. Their first choice of food are the dead trees, rotting tree stumps and roots they find in your yard. When those food sources are exhausted, they will move to the wood in your house.
Recognizing The Signs of These Pests
In your house, look for wood beams and rafters with small blisters or cracks on the surface. If you spot rafters or weight-bearing beams sagging, tap them with a hammer or screwdriver and listen for a hollow sound. Some wood structures may be so ravaged that you can push the blade of the screwdriver through the wood easily.
If a large, active colony has infested your home, you may see signs of wood damage on wall paneling, flooring, drywall, fabrics made of plant fibers, wallpaper and any stacks of paper sitting around the house.
Keeping These Pests Out of the House
It's easier to keep termites from getting into the house than getting them out since once they find a food source, they won't move until it's gone. Stop these pests at the door by keeping them in the yard and out of the house:
- Trim any trees and bushes that touch the house.
- Trim tree limbs overhanging the house.
- Stack wood as far from the house as possible.
- Remove dead trees before they begin to rot.
- Grind all tree stumps down to ground level.
- Keep the area clear between the ground and the bottom edge of wood siding on the house.
Pest Control Services
If you live in an area known to have termites or you see signs of them yourself, get in touch with a termite control company like Emory Brantley & Sons Termite and Pest Control to start treating your house. The company will find the colony and get rid of it as well as individual termites that are out looking for food.
The service will spray around the exterior foundation and all openings into the house. Inside, they will spray any surfaces where there are signs of termite activity. Once the house has been treated, you'll need to watch for signs of termites that return to re-establish the colony.
Quick action when you see termites is important to keep them from doing major wood damage in your home. Call a termite control company to make sure your home doesn't become host to a hungry termite colony.