Termites are one of those insects that know how to adapt to different environments very well. Most people think that the only way they can survive is if they are in a place where there is some moisture present. This of course would explain why many of them are found first in the basements of homes that have become infested, then they gradually make their way to other areas as they eat through wood. But, the truth of the matter is that termites are able to bring their own water source up from the places that they were at before, and live just fine as they continuously damage the interior wooden panels, walls, and other edible areas.
But, the real reason you need to rid your home of termites is because of the fast rate that they eat. It will also always depend on how large a colony is when figuring how much damage they can really do in a particular period of time, but the average sized colony can go through a foot-long wooden 2×4 in half a calendar. So, in six months, they could be ruining the steps that lead down to your basement, but you probably won’t know until they collapse under your weight and you fall through them.
Still, there are some species of termites that can eat even faster than that, much faster. The Formosan termite is said by experts to be one of the most destructive kind, and are actually nicknamed the ‘super termite’. The average homeowner would probably not know the difference between the species, unless they did some spontaneous research. And, even after they found out what kind has invaded their living spaces, they still will need assistance in order to get rid of them.
You May Have Roof Termites…
As you probably know, termites are some of the most destructive pests to ever have in your home or at your business. They are known for quietly eating the wooden areas on your residence or company building from the inside out. And, many times home or business owners don’t realize that they have a serious termite problem until it is too late. Probably the worst place that termites could attack, whether it is a commercial or residential property, is the roof. So, the question is, how do you know if you have a roof termite problem, and how can you stop extensive damage before any major destruction is done?
Termites are not hard to find if you know how to look for them. Once you realize the signs, you can catch a potential problem before it starts to gets worse. Probably the easiest way to spot them is to look for damaged paint on wooden surfaces around the top areas of your home or business. The insects could possibly have invaded that wooden area that is close to your roof. Also, another easy way to check is to look for hollowed-out wood. Tap a piece of it that you suspect termites may have eaten from the interior, and if it sounds empty on the inside you are hot on their trail.
You can also spot termites because of the droppings they leave behind. It is called frass, and is wood-colored waste. Termites also create what are commonly referred to as mud tubes on walls. They do this to keep the area moist as they eat through wood surfaces.
Termites May Be in your Home’s Foundation…
When talking about how termites can really damage a home’s foundation terribly, many folks may envision a cartoony scene where the insects eat at the bottom part of a house, and the entire building simply topples over from being uneven below. Although that is a fictional portrayal of termites, it is not that far from the truth. Of course, a house wont completely fall over because of the destructive pests munching away at its foundation, but the real damage that is done can cost you lots of money to repair. So, what do you do when you have termites in the lower areas of your house?
The first thing to do is to know where to look for termites. For example, if you have a foundation that is concrete, what you want to do is look for the insects in the cracks. The most vulnerable place for termites in a home may be the basement, so you should be sure and check any cracks that may be in the floor down there. Another place where termites can sneak in is where your house and your garage connect to each other. Check this area, and you may see traces of termites if they’ve infested your home. Another good way to keep termites away is to constantly check your drainage system, and to be sure that your gutters are clean and your downspouts are clear and draining correctly.
Termites are not a pest that you want to take on all by yourself. It is good be able to spot them, but you should get the help of a reliable, experienced exterminator to get rid of them completely. The sooner you do this the better, because they are continuously eating as we speak.