No one likes termites. These insect invaders can wreak havoc on homes, causing significant damage. If ignored for too long, termite troubles can cost potentially thousands of dollars to repair.
Rather than letting your home fall victim to termites, it’s important to take the proper precautions before the commencement of termite season. As termites prefer intermediary temperatures – not too hot and not too cold – this often means they are most active in the spring or fall. These Fall 2021 termite tips can help you keep your home safe from the damage of these dangerous bugs before too much trouble comes to pass.
Learn the Signs
Termite rarely announce their arrival. As such, it’s important for you as a homeowner to understand the common signs of termite activity. Interpreting signs will depend on the place in the home, whether inside or outside, and the severity of the termite problem.
- Some common indications of termite damage include:
- Drywall that is sagging or discolored
- Peeling paint similar to water-damaged paint
- Hollow-sounding wood
- Holes in drywood that look like pinpricks
- Wood or laminate floors that look or feel buckled
- Loosened tiles in kitchen or bathroom areas
- Floorboards that squeak more than usual
- Wood, anywhere in the home, that is crumbling or appears damaged
- Windows or doors that stick or won’t close properly
- Patterns in furniture, on walls, or on floors that look maze-like
- Scale-like wings left behind after termite swarms
- Swarms of flying termites anywhere on property
Keep regular watch for these kinds of signs throughout the year, particularly during termite seasons. If you suspect termites but aren’t sure, it’s still best to call a professional. Consultations are often cheap or low-cost and can provide a much-needed peace of mind.
Remove Points of Access
Termites don’t need a particularly large space to access a home so preventing all points of access may feel like an exercise in futility. However, some entries are more obvious or accessible than others. Fill in gaps around water or gas lines and make sure any cracks leading to the outside are sealed. In areas where wood touches subterranean dirt, treat it with a termiticide.
Above ground, cracks in wood can be a quick way in for drywood termites. Seal all crevices, cracks, or joints in any wood on the exterior of a home. A fresh coat of paint can be a good way to do this; paint makes wood harder to access and naturally fills problem areas. For vents in attics or within the foundation, bug screens can be effective.
Eliminate Food Sources
When termites can’t access food sources, they’re unlikely to stick around. To prevent termites from finding your property appealing, do your best to eliminate both indoor and outdoor forms of food. Inside, throw out any kind of extra cellulose products in crawl spaces, basements, or attics.
Outside, ensure all wooden siding starts at least six inches from the ground. If you use mulch in gardening, replace it with cellulose-free varieties that termites won’t be interested in eating. Remove dead trees that could attract termites and properly store firewood in a space that’s not easily available to insects.
Take Care of Moisture Problems
Moisture can be appealing to some termite varieties, so fixing sources of moisture or pooling water can go a long way in keeping your home termite-free.
Moisture can appear in a few different ways, from seasonal rain to high humidity periods. While these things may not be preventable, there are still steps homeowners can take. First, make sure water doesn’t pool around the foundation or on the roof. These can be signs of bigger structural issues, but remedying them is an important part of termite prevention. In addition, make sure moisture isn’t building up in basements and crawl spaces. Airing out these spaces regularly and using a dehumidifier can help.
Plumbing and gutter problems can also be a cause of moisture in the home. Ensure gutters are clear and functioning properly, pipes aren’t cracked, and HVAC condensation lines aren’t leaking. Confirm washer and dishwasher hoses aren’t compromised.
Get Help ASAP
If you see signs of termites, ignoring the problem is among the worst possible options. Termite infestations rarely go away by themselves, and letting issues persist for too long can cause serious and expensive damage. At the first sign of termite damage, or even suspected termite damage, contact a pest control professional. The earlier a home can be treated, the cheaper and easier it will be to stop termite complications and prevent costly repair bills.
Termites are an unwanted blight on homeowners everywhere, but education and action can make termites less of a headache. By knowing the signs, consistently looking for potential problems, knowing when to get help, and staying vigilant about termite prevention, you can sleep easy this fall.
Dealing with termites is no walk in the park. If you believe you have termites in or around your home, Request a free termite inspection online, call us at 888-945-2847 or visit our contact page. All of our termite inspections are no obligation and 100% free!