What a seemingly harmless little bug. They are not scary looking like a spider, they are not directly painful like a wasp, and they do not carry diseases like a mosquito. However, termites in your house are nothing to ignore.
These little bugs can cause big headaches. They are subterranean (live underground) but can cause damage to the house you live in. The estimates of the damage created by an undetected infestation can run from the $100’s to even the $1,000’s. That kind of damage to the largest investment you will ever make is something that should be taken seriously.
What are some of the signs of termite damage or termite infestation?
As homeowners, we have all heard horror stories of the destruction these bugs can create. Usually a termite infestation is noticed and can be treated long before disturbing levels of damage.
- The first sign that a lot of homeowners encounter is the swarms inside or near the exterior of their home. The winged termites are attracted to light sources such as doorways and windows. If you only see the winged type near woodpiles or tree stumps, then your house may not be infected. However, if you see them around wood sections of your home, it is very likely that your house is already has an active infestation.
- You can also check other areas such as foundation walls, floor joists, and window sill areas for small mud tubes. The termites build and utilize these tubes for safe travel to and from their underground home into your home.
- If you are examining certain wooden sections of your home such as baseboards, termites will hollow it out along the grain of the wood and will leave behind tiny bits of dried soil along the hollowed out areas.
Why should I be worried if I have termites?
So you have seen some of these signs of possible infestation but are concerned about the amount of money that treatment will cost. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you need to take care of the problem now rather than later.
- Your house, most likely the single largest investment you will have in your lifetime, is being damaged.
- If you do indeed have an infestation, the damage will not self-correct and will more than likely only worsen.
- When it comes to selling your home, termites are usually one of the required disclosures (depending on the state in which you reside). A termite inspection report is normally a condition of the sale.
- If you have experienced a swarm, they can also be emotionally trying as you literally watch your house be invaded by these winged ant-like critters.
So if you suspect you have a termite problem, make sure to get a professional inspection. Thoroughly research your treatment options and minimize the damage by taking care of the problem as early as possible. Treatment of a house infestation should be handled by a professional.
When evidence of termites have been discovered, professionals should be called for termite control. These sometimes, winged insects can cause a lot of damage to a home if not taken care of early enough. Northern VA homeowners should take considerable interests as termite infestations are quite common. Here are the top 3 things homeowners should know about termites.
1. Termites require water
Without water termites will dry up and die. Water is used for moisture as well as a cool place to live for some, like the subterranean termites, that live underground. They live around wet areas; therefore Northern VA Homeowners are at a higher risk for infestations of these type of termites.
2. Termites need food to survive
They have to have food which the source is typically wood. Prime examples would be mulch, dead trees, wooden frame of a house or even firewood touching the ground. Firewood can be a good source of food so it is ideal to store it up off the ground and away from the house. Once they get inside the home this is where the costly damage can begin.
3. Termites need light
They also need light to initiate a swarm which is usually seen around windows., doors or the ground level of a home. Check these areas during the spring and summer months for signs of these swarming insects.
Reducing the probability of an infestation can be done by a homeowner without the help of a professional just by fixing water leaks, keeping mulch and firewood away from the home and get a yearly inspection done by a “termite control specialist.”
Northern VA Homeowners should watch out for the subterranean termite because of the climate conditions in this area. A professional needs to be called at first sign of these pests. Underground, is home to the subterranean termites because they prefer loose and wet soil and will build a colony there which makes it easy for them to enter a building.
Answer: Leave It To The Professionals!
Nothing could be more of a nightmare to a homeowner than finding out you have termites. These little insects can cause about $5 billion in damages each year in the U.S. according to an estimate by the National Pest Management Association.
If you think you’ve found them there’s no need to panic (especially if there isn’t any visible structural damage). The best solution isn’t to go to your local hardware store and find some over the counter insect or termite repellent, but to call in a professional for an inspection and long-term solution.
Professional termite pest control companies are experienced and certified professionals that are often members of the national, state and local pest control associations. Professionals in these memberships have access to modern technical research and state of the art methods to eliminate pests of all kinds.
Simply put, unless the project is small – like exterminating an infestation in a fence post or mailbox pole, a homeowner should always opt to get the job done by a professional. There are too many things that can be overlooked by those who try to tackle the problem on their own.
Of all the insects, critters, or rodents one can imagine, only a termite colony can ruin and destroy a home in just a matter of years. With skilled and certified professionals coming to your home you should be ready to rid yourself of termites in no time.