Do-It-Yourself Termite Treatment
May 30, 2019
“Silent Destroyers”. No other name can be more apt to the termites as that. Individually, they do not look like much. They are tiny insects that can be easily crushed with your fingertips. However, being part of a colony that works as a team, they become very destructive. So destructive, that they cause billions of dollars in damages annually in the United States alone; and probably millions more in trying to exterminate them.
Prices of houses also depreciate because of their presence alone. Buyers are better off checking for the presence of these termites before buying, or better yet, ask for a Wood Destroying Insect Report from the owner. If they do not have this report, the owner can ask a licensed pest control expert to conduct an inspection. Better yet, they can come to the best pest control management in Cary, North Carolina, Go-Forth Pest Control. Termites are definitely pests that you need to get rid of as soon as possible. The question is, is it possible to treat them by yourself? Let us explore what these termites are and their behaviors first.
Termites are pests that are found all over the world. There are around 2,000 species of termites. Out of this number, only 40 are found in the United States. They are small, only about 4 to 15 millimeters. A termite’s body has no waist, and is rectangular in shape, with antennae, four wings, and are transparent, or light creamy color. Most soldier termites are in fact blind. Their antennae do the job for them, allowing them to sense vibrations, touch, taste, and odor.
Difference Between Ants And Termites
Do not confuse them with ants though. From afar, they do look the same. Carpenter ants can also be damaging to your home, so it is best to know which one is which. This way you would know the kind of treatment you will need.
Both termites and carpenter ants are wood-destroying insects that can cause huge structural damages to our homes. They both burrow into the wood, have the same size, and both come out during spring to mate. No wonder people get confused with them.
As far as body shape, ants have a narrow waist, whereas termites have rectangular bodies with no narrowings. Ants have antennae that are bent, while termites have straight antennae. Both have 2 pairs of wings; a termite’s wings have the same length, while an ant’s wings have shorter hind wings compared to the forewings. Ants are reddish-brown in color, while termites are transparent, or light in color.
Another huge difference between the two is that termites eat the wood. Carpenter termites only dig through it.
Common Types Of Termites Found In The United States
Now that we can tell the difference between an ant and a termite, let us talk about the common types of termites here in the United States.
Subterranean termites - Subterranean termites’ nests are usually in contact with the soil. This type of termites causes the most damage to our homes. They damage structures faster than any other termites other than the Formosan termites and thus causing the most damages too. They have very sharp teeth and strong jaws, which allows them to eat wood, books, paper, and other cellulose-based material. They prefer to live in dark places with high humidity. Detecting them is very difficult because when they feed on the structural wood, they only eat the middle part and leaving the outer casing. Most of the time it becomes too late for the homeowners before they find out about their presence.
Formosan termites - This type of termite is very aggressive. They measure about 1/2 inches long. Because they multiply very quickly, they bring damage to structures faster than any other termites. Their nests can contain millions of their kind.
Drywood termites - Drywood termites live in smaller colonies. They nest in wood and not on soil like many termites. They infest dry wood like lumber, utility poles, fences, decks, furniture, and dead limbs on trees. They do not like too much moisture. They are 1/4 to 3/8 inches long. Drywood termites produce dry fecal pellets which could be found near their nests, which gives away their presence to the homeowners. They eat wood from the inside out and leaving only the outside shell, just like any other termites. Unlike other termites, they do not need nor want moisture.
Dampwood termites - Dampwood termites are the opposite of dry wood termites in that they prefer to live in places with high moisture. They are attracted to wood that is damaged by water. In terms of size, they are much larger than the subterranean termites.
Signs Of Infestation
If you see actual winged termites indoors, you are sure to have many more in your house and that damages may have been done. They are often seen around windows and doors. Check on exposed wood in your house and tap on it. If it sounds hollow upon tapping, then termites may have eaten through it underneath. Check for mud tubes extending over foundation walls, wooden beams, and support piers; rippled tracks behind wall coverings. You may also find discarded wings found near doors, windows, and other places that can be entry points.
What Attracts These Termites To Your Homes? How Did We Get Them?
There are certain factors that termites look for in choosing homes to infest. If you do not have these, then you will be safe from termites.
- Termites are attracted to wood and cellulose materials. Termites eat cellulose materials and are always part of the termite diet. Store wood materials and other cellulose materials as far away from the foundation as possible, so that termites would not have easy access to them.
- Termites like warm, dark places where they will be left undisturbed.
- Termites also like moist places. Termites are attracted to moisture, except for dry wood termites. Plenty of moisture can be found on the soil that your house is built on, so make sure you remove moisture by repairing leaking faucets or pipes.
What Are Some DIY Solutions Against Termite Infestation?
Once termites have infested your home, you cannot do too much anymore. DIY solutions would not be effective, and it would be advisable to call in the best pest management in North Carolina for help. Fortunately, if you still do not have signs of termites, you can take some preventive steps to keep them from invading your home. Here are some tips:
- Seal cracks and repair broken seals in the foundation of the house. Use 16-grit sand. This will block off all possible entry points for these termites.
- Repair leaking faucets and pipes. As we all know, leaking faucets and pipes creates a moist environment, which is an environment that termites favor.
- As much as possible, do not buy furniture made of wood so as not to add more items that would attract termites.
- Termites are also attracted to dirt. Cleaning your house regularly is one good deterrent.
- Check around the house for standing water and wet soil. Immediately remove these if there are any.
- Have a good airflow throughout your home. Good ventilation decreases moisture, something the termites thrive on.
- Termites have trouble moving around the sand. Put these around your house's foundation to work as a barrier and protection.
- You may also try using a wet cardboard trap. Cardboard is made of cellulose material. Place wet cardboard in an area near the termites. The combination of cardboard and water will definitely attract termites. Once there are plenty enough of them on the cardboard, you can grab the cardboard and burn it with the termites.
- Use beneficial nematodes. These are worms that are natural predators of these termites. These are available for purchase at a local gardening shop near you.
- If your wooden furniture is infested with termites, bring it out to the sun. Sunlight kills termites too.
Remember that these are more preventive measures or temporary solution rather than permanent termite control. If termites have already invaded your home, then it is advisable that you consult with the experts. Your best move would be to call the best pest control management in North Carolina, Go-Forth Pest Control.
Why Go-Forth Pest Control?
Go-Forth Pest Control is a family-owned company that has excellent experience in exterminating pests like termites, ants, mice, mosquitoes, cockroaches, bed bugs, moths, weevils, and silverfish. They have a team of expert technicians who are very professional, highly skilled, and well trained, so you can say goodbye to these pests. As far as your safety is concerned, they use only family-friendly and pet-friendly methods of extermination, so you are assured of your family's safety. Go-Forth also uses only the latest and most advanced equipment in the business. Our professionals have earned the trust of residents and business establishments in North Carolina, having served them for more than 50 years. Contact us today and let us earn your trust as well!