How To Catch A Termite Problem In Your Dallas Home Before It’s Too Late
February 14, 2020 - Termites
Termites are some of the most troublesome pests around. Not only can they do irreparable damage to homes and structures, but they are masters at remaining out of sight. That means, by the time the signs of their activity are apparent, the problem is likely too far along for household methods to work. That’s why it’s useful to know how to spot termites and what to do to keep them out of your home.
With six legs, antennae and large mandibles, termites are often mistaken for white ants. However, termites have straighter bodies and antennae and they behave quite differently than other insects. Keep in mind, its not likely you will see a termite unless you witness a swarm of alates. While they share a caste system like other bugs, termites utilize every member of their colonies to maximize food production and offspring creation.
Worker Termites: These are the ones that actually chew through wood, gorging themselves and salvaging materials to take back to termite mounds for building or storing.
Soldier Termites: Slightly larger than worker termites yet similar in appearance, soldiers have larger pincers they use to fight off other bugs that try to encroach on termite territory.
Swarmer Termites (Alates): These are the most-seen termites and always indicate a developed termite infestation. Swarmers, or alates, are the only type that can reproduce, so they are crucial for the survival of the colony. Once a colony is established, swarmers will emerge, mate, and begin developing a new colony.
What Does A Termite Infestation Look Like?
Most of the time, you’ll notice the signs of a termite infestation before you notice the insects themselves. Signs can range from visual to audible, so it’s important to know what factors to consider when searching for signs of an infestation.
Chewed-through Wood: Termites leave literal holes and tunnels in wood, so if you notice bite marks or abnormal markings, it’s a good sign of an infestation.
Warped wood: In addition to visible holes or marks, termites can cause wood to warp or buckle as they chew through the cores. Window and door frames may tighten, and floorboards and walls can buckle or bulge as a sign of termite activity.
Clicking noises: When hundreds or thousands of termites get together, they make quite a scene. The sounds of their jaws and limbs clicking away can multiply, creating a distinct audible noise.
What Attracts Termites & How To Reduce These Factors
Termites look for specific things when searching for ideal spots to start a new colony. Reducing these factors is an important step for preventing a termite infestation:
Moist or damp wood: Some termites prefer moist wood over dry wood, but all termites need water to survive. Leaky plumbing, areas of condensation, and damp roof shingles are all areas you should maintain to make your property less appealing to termites.
Darkness: Termites prefer dimly lit areas like basements, crawlspaces and attics. Not only should you check these areas frequently, but sealing up cracks in walls, floors, and roofing are all necessary steps to mitigate termite activity.
Wood-to-soil Contact: Termites are burrowers that make their mounds in dirt. Places where soil connects to wooden structures, therefore, are ideal places for them to get inside your home. Keep soil beds away from the home or install non-wooden dividers to prevent structural contact.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
Since they can be so hard to spot and fully eradicate, preventing or eliminating termites isn't something you should leave to chance. It’s best to call the experts as soon as you suspect an infestation is taking root. Only the professionals know all the places to inspect for signs of termite damage or activity, and only professional solutions can completely wipe out their populations. You can kill thousands of termites, but if any reproductive ones are left unharmed, the problem will likely return.
If you do spot signs of termite damage, it doesn’t mean it’s already too late, but time is of the essence. Don’t let termites become a permanent plague on your home, call the technicians at Texas Star to get rid of them immediately.