September 18, 2019
There’s no pest that has the potential to inflict serious damage, both in the home and on outdoor property, quite like a termite. If you haven’t taken care of your termites by now, you’re running out of time! Here’s all you need to know about termites, from signs and causes to prevention and removal.
What Causes Termite Swarms?
There are multiple things that can attract termites, all of it centered around cellulose based materials - the main material that makes up a termites diet. Moist soil will act as a home and passageway to any wood or cellulose in contact with the ground for a subterranean termite colony. You can easily find yourself with a termite infestation if you leave a pile of untreated firewood too close to the house or have mulch or shrubs right near your home’s entry points. Typically, the point of entry is cracks, be that in your foundation, doors, walls, or windows. Even the tiniest crack can act as an entry point for a swarm of termites.
Signs of Termites
If you are concerned that you might have a termite infestation in your home or yard, there are a few early signs to look around your home and property for:
- Swarms: Outdoor swarms nearby- whether on your property or near your property- can be a warning sign that termites could soon try to move into your home--or already have. If you identify a swarm in your home, you have an active infestation on your hands.
- Wings: Termite wings scattered about your home or outside of your home are an indication termites are near. Both pairs of termite wings are identical in size, a good way to differentiate them from flying ants, which have longer front wings with shorter back wings.
- Mud Tubes: These tube-shaped tunnels are unique to subterranean termites; they will typically be visibly running up parts of your wall or foundation and are made out of soil, wood and frass. Mud tubes are the clearest evidence of a termite presence.
- Wood Damage: Termites are notorious for causing major damage to wood, and sometimes exterior wood damage isn’t identifiable because the termites are doing most of their damage interiorly; we’ll talk more about that below.
Once They’re in, What Will They Do?
When you do have a termite infestation, they can wreak havoc on the home. They will look to nest in any part of your home and property with cellulose-based material, including your walls, drywall, and ceiling, and can cause serious structural damage, eating through anything in their path. One of the more worrisome things about termites is that they do so silently; even if you’re looking out for termites, the signs outlined above are generally small and can be hard to spot. Not only that, but once the queen has established a nest, her worker and soldier termites can live for 1-2 years; the queen herself can live up to a decade in the proper conditions, which means, without treatment, you could have a handful of lifecycles of termites living in your walls-- we’ve seen it before. That’s what makes treatment especially important.
Can I Prevent Termites?
If you’re concerned about termites moving into your home, but haven’t experienced it yet, there are a few preventative steps that you can take. At A-1 we offer a pre-construction treatment, which is perfect for new home or property owners. We’ll treat your soil and offer the “new construction subterranean termite service” recommended in North Carolina. This is the best protection in the region to make sure that termites stay away from your property.
What to Do if You Have an Infestation
If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of actually having a termite infestation, we offer a number of solutions that will knock out that termite colony. Our most popular solution, The Senticron System®, involves the installation of a special in-ground termite bait. This bait is actually more appealing to termites than wood; once it is eaten by the termites, their maturation process halts, effectively killing all of the workers, soldiers, and the queen, destroying the colony.
There are also Termidor® treatments, which is a liquid termite control product; it is applied to the foundations of homes and buildings, which creates an undetectable barrier for termites. Once termites come into contact with the treated zone, they pass this lethal liquid to other termites through physical contact. This treatment is designed so that the whole colony becomes unknowingly infected and dies before any defensive reaction from the colony takes place.
Whether you’re looking to get rid of an existing termite swarm or want to avoid a potential infestation in the future, we have all your bases covered. If you see any signs of a
problem in your home, building, or property, take action as soon as possible--it’s better to stop the problem quickly, before your termite nuisance becomes a termite terror.