Before a homeowner builds or purchases a new home, they should really take into consideration the possibility of a termite infestation happening in the future. This is true especially for wooden dwellings or residences with wooden porches. Also, homes around a lot of trees or ones that have fireplaces will need to consider taking steps to prevent termites from invading.
What Attracts Termites
In general, a termite is attracted to a warmer climate that contributes to extreme humidity. Therefore, a southern state like Florida, which is famous for heat and humidity will be a gravitating force for termites. Not only that, but moisture from any type of water leak or damage will also attract those aggravating little buggers.
The first thing to know in order to combat the problem of termites before they start eating your house for dinner is to know the common causes that will signal them to do so. Here are some signs that you are in danger of accumulating a termite problem around your home:
- Moisture from leaky pipes and clogged gutters
- Wood that may encounter your homes such as mulch, firewood, trellises, vines and stumps from trees that have been cut down
- An opening in your home's foundation where water can make wet soil and moisture
- The state where you live. Southern states around waterways are susceptible to termite damage around your home
Identify Signs of Termite Presence
Termite damage is often apparent in several parts of your home. Some common signals
that you, in fact, do have an infestation somewhere:
- Termite Swarmers - If you notice a crowd of these winged termites hanging around, call pest control because you have termites. They range in color from yellow to black.
- Discarded Wings - The discarded wings of the termite swarmers around areas of your home will be a sure sign that you have visitors of this insect species.
- Hollow Wood - You will be able to tell if termites have made it into the wood around your home or wood stack for your fireplace by tapping the wood and listening for a hollow sound.
- Termite Droppings - These will look like oval-shaped capsules that accumulate in a pile on or around wood. The color will depend on what type of wood the termites are destroying.
- Tunnels in Wood - Tunnels are made by the termites when the wood splits from being so thin and hollow. It will look like a sealed line up the outer side of the hollow wood. These tunnels are made from wood shavings, saliva, and soil. They are brown or tan in color and raised off the wood.
- Mud Tubes - Mud Tubes are basically the same as the tunnels, but are made of the termite feces, saliva, and soil. You will need to do some investigating to find these tubes. They will likely be hidden behind baseboards, walls, and in crawl spaces.
- "White Ants" - These are the termites that are white in color and can be found not only in warm climates but will get noticed on every continent except Antarctica. Therefore, they could be anywhere around your homeland.
- Warped Doors/Stiff Windows - If you notice doors jamming or windows not wanting to open or close, you should look for pesky termites as being the culprit to these problems.
- Clicking Sounds - Rattling, rustling, or tapping are some noises that termites will make. Some say it sounds like clicking noises. Obviously, if you hear a noise in your walls or anywhere else in your home, you should check it out.
- Water Damaged Drywall or Drooping Floor - Cracks in the drywall or wood floors that look like they are buckling may be a sign that you need to inspect for termites.
Protecting Your Home Against Termites
Whether you see problem areas around your home, or you actually see evidence of termite damage, you will need to take the proper steps to make sure you remedy the issue or issues. You may have to seal spots around your house before termites have a chance to invade and grow colonies, or if you know they have already made their way inside, you should call a professional pest control company before the termites can do further damage. If you feel your home would be a good nesting ground for termites, then you should hire a pest control company to come out and treat your home before they settle in as houseguests you cannot seem to get rid of.