Termites can be one of the most annoying and hard-to-get-rid-of pests that you can imagine. They can transform your once stable home, full of integrity and aesthetic nuance, into one of rickety boards and sagging floors. Termites are difficult to detect for a number of reasons, but there are certain signs that you are experiencing an infestation, as well as ways to treat and prevent a termite infestation.
Why Are Termite Infestations Difficult To Detect?
Most people generally assume that termite manifestations are quite easy to notice. Nothing is actually further from the truth. In popular culture, such as movies and cartoons, termite infestations are depicted by wood rotting from the outside, followed by lines of termites marching to and from their victim (usually wood beams and floors).
However, termites usually inhabit the inside of the places that they infest. They actually eat, and reside, in the innards of your house. And it is not just wood they inhabit, but roof shingles and even weak alloys like aluminum. Termites subsist on cellulose, the main building block of cell walls, so any place you can find cellulose you could possibly have a termite infestation.
Signs Of A Termite Infestation
First and foremost, if your home has experienced any sagging floors or walls that look like they have a certain droop to them, then you may have a termite problem. You might want to check for small holes in the walls; termites burrow into the innards of your house through these holes. You may want to investigate the outer regions of your house and look for termite tunnels; these are quite obvious and are similar to wasp nests. They are constructed from termite saliva and feces and are their means of conveyance from the outside world to your home.
If you suspect a termite infestation and don't have means to do an interior visual inspection, try to push a screwdriver through the suspected infested location. If the screwdriver drives right through the wood, it is likely that it has been eaten and destroyed by termites.
Treating An Infestation
Termites can be a difficult pest to get rid of, but luckily there are a few tricks to hopefully rid yourself of these beasts once and for all. One of the most common tricks is to create a termite trap: if you soak a piece of cardboard in water and leave it on your floor over night, this will attract termites. In the morning, take the piece of cardboard outside and burn it, along with the termites. Repeat until the infestation is quelled. Similarly, you may want to purchase nematodes. Nematodes are a non-invasive worm that is the natural predator of the termite. They are sure to rid you of your problem once and for all.
Preventing An Infestation
There are plenty of things you can do to prevent an infestation. First and foremost, make sure your house is well sealed. Check for any cracks on the outside of your home from where termites can enter. Avoid using mulch near your home. Mulch provides termites with both a food and water source and they can easily make their way to your home from an area rich in mulch. Similarly, it is best to get rid of any old trees or stumps in the area. Any old lumber that makes its home on your lawn should be removed as soon as possible. Keep vulnerable areas, such as rafters and crawl spaces, free from moisture, as termites prefer an environment high in moisture.
Although termites can be a pesky nuisance, this article has hopefully prepared you for how to handle them yourself. Call a professional like Paramount Exterminating Co to get the extermination process started if you don't think you can DIY.