It is perplexing to think that something so small can cause so much damage, but it can. Termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage on an annual basis. One of the biggest problems with termites, aside from their ability to make just about any structure unsound in a relatively short amount of time is the fact that they are not always obvious to a homeowner. Termites that live inside the walls may not be noticed for a significant period of time. Sometimes homeowners do not realize they have termites until it is too late. Fortunately, there are several ways to stop termites in their tracks before they cause significant damage to your home.
Types of Termites
According to the National Pest Management Association there are a certain number of termites that are most common. These include damp wood termites that are found in places that are heavily wooded because they prefer damp wood to dry wood. Dry wood termites are found primarily in South Florida and Southern California. They prefer dry wood, which means they are much more rare than the other two types of termites. Finally, there are subterranean termites, which require moist soil to live. They are the most destructive type of termite in the country.
The best way to stop termites is to prevent them entirely. To do this there are several things you can try at home. Downspouts and gutters help to divert water away from your home in the rainy season. Since termites are fond of damp places this is an effective method of termite prevention because it eliminates damp places around your home. Additionally, it is imperative that homeowners minimize the amount of humidity that comes into their home by making sure all of their vents are free of any debris in crawl spaces and outside of the home. Tree stumps and roots growing near your home are places where termites are often found. Remove these from near your home to prevent termites from finding them, and eventually finding your home. All portions of your home using wood should be no less than 18 inches from the soil to prevent termite infestations.
Getting Rid of Termites
Many homeowners are now using a treatment method that involves a trench filled with poison to kill termites around their homes. Pest control companies will fill large tube-like structures with poison and sink them into the ground surrounding homes. Termites are drawn to the food. They take it and deliver the food to their colonies where the inhabitants of the colony eat the poison and die. This method of termite removal is liked by homeowners because it uses little poison, does not disrupt gardens or children’s play areas and it works relatively quickly to rid a person’s home of termites.
Other pest control companies use a liquid soil treatment to kill termites. This treatment is applied to the soil surrounding a person’s house. It works because termites are forced to walk through the soil to enter your home, which brings them in contact with the poison. Termite problems are typically taken care of in a matter of days using this method.
It is important for homeowners to know that termite control is not something that is easy to do. It is recommended that homeowners enlist the service of a pest control company to rid their homes of termites. The biggest reason for this is that not all types of termite treatment will work on all types of termites. Every homeowner should have a pest control company do a termite check once every year to prevent termite damage.
- Photo with CC license. Taken from Flickr. Author: Qole Pejorian
Ben Sawyer is a professional blogger. He writes useful articles about household safety, maintenance and other home related topic for arvernebythesea.com, a reputable NYC real estate company.