If you want to raise the hair on a homeowner’s neck, all it takes is one word: termites. Everyone knows someone who has had termite problems. Termites are feared because of the property damage they can inflict on the homes of unsuspecting homeowners. However, the situation isn’t hopeless: there are things you can do to help keep your home free of termites. In this article, we’ll review some of the ways that homeowners can be proactive and on the alert for these home invaders—and what you should do if you suspect termites are already in your home.
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Termite Control Treatment Inspection
Being on the lookout for termites can only get you so far. If you even have the slightest suspicion that you have termites in your home, the time to call in the professionals is right now. Often, homeowners don’t notice a termite infestation until it’s already relatively established. At that point, the termites have already started to do damage to your home. By moving on the issue immediately, you can limit further damage and evict these unwanted, wood-eating squatters.
Most professional termite companies offer free estimates or even inspections. When you call, be sure to ask about their experience in dealing with termites in your area.
Inquire about their overall termite strategy. Experienced termite experts know that dealing with termites isn’t as easy or simple as just spraying around the home with some weak pesticide. It takes a dedicated approach that includes finding the infestation, developing a customized plan for treating it, seeing that treatment through, and then backing the work with a warranty. The bottom-line is that there are many ways to treat termite infestations—fumigation, perimeter trenching, thermagation—but there’s no strategy that will work in the hands of an amateur.
No matter what you read, never try to treat a termite infestation yourself. If you’re not sure what kind of termites you’re dealing with, call your local pest control exterminator. Their technicians will be highly familiar with the termites in your area.
Despite the fact that we describe them all as “termites,” not all infestations are the same. There are actually 50 known species of termites here in North America, and the behaviors, infestation strategy, and life cycle of these species can actually vary widely, depending on where you live in the United States.
Many of these species are considered subterranean termites, meaning that they travel to potential sources of food in underground tunnels. These range from the ubiquitous Eastern Subterranean Termite found throughout much of the continental United States to the Desert Subterranean Termite of the U.S. Southwest and even to an invasive species: the Formosan Subterranean Termite, which has made inroads on the Eastern Seaboard.
Knowing what kind of termites are in your area can help you know what to look for and how to best prevent them from infesting your home. For example, if you live in an area with heavy subterranean termite populations, you’ll need to keep an eye out for mud tubes…