Termites wreak billions of dollars worth of havoc on residential homes each year, making them the homeowner’s tiniest enemy. There are plenty of Pest Control services out there intended to help homeowners tackle the unpleasant task of removing termite infestations from their homes, but, as with most things in life, prevention is the best medicine. Read on to find out about a few tell-tale signs that termites or other potentially damaging insects have taken up residence in a home, and a few ways that infestations can be prevented, to begin with.
The first thing to do when inspecting a home for termite damage is to check the wood. To do this, simply probe any exposed wood using a flathead screwdriver or other tool to check for hollow spots. Homeowners can also stay on the lookout for termite swarms, although it is important to note that ants are similar in appearance and are often mistaken for termites.
Ants Vs Termites
Ants have front wings that are noticeably longer than their hind wings, while termites wings are roughly equal in length. Additionally, while termites have antennae that stand straight up, ants’ antennae bend at a ninety-degree angle. Homeowners who notice signs of ant swarms should look into ant control, rather than termite control, as they can also become quite a nuisance if they are allowed to go on breeding unchecked.
The first step toward preventing a termite infestation must occur during initial construction of the home. Termite-conscious contractors use concrete foundations and leave ventilation spaces between the soil and the wood, then cover any exposed wood surfaces with sealants or barriers. Keeping the soil around the foundation dry and filling in cracks in the foundation with caulk after construction is completed can also help.
The idea is to make the property as unattractive to termites and other pests as possible. Removing any blockages from vents and fixing interior leaks immediately can help quite a bit, as can ensuring that no firewood or wood debris is piled anywhere close to the house and no plants are growing up against its exterior surface.
The easiest way to deal with an infestation is to call a pest control service as soon as the first signs of termite swarms or damage are noted. These professional exterminators will likely use a combination of chemical and non-chemical treatments to kill any termites already present and deter new colonies from taking up residence. These methods are quite effective, but re-treatments are sometimes necessary for areas that are particularly prone to termite infestations.