There are more than 3,100 species of termites. Termites are small, blind, and white and live in colonies. They are very important to the environment because they feed on cellulose and recycle dead wood, turning it into usable nutrients. However, a few species are considered pests because they will attack wooden structures, and some are very aggressive and destructive. The two main types of termites found in the Southeast are subterranean and drywood. The climate here is ideal for subterranean termites because they prefer warm, moist environments. These common termites live underground and forage for food in the soil, as well as above ground in protected tunnels called mud tubes. Drywood termites do not live in the soil. They live in the wood they feed on and are mainly problematic in coastal areas, but they can pop up just about anywhere when infested items, like furniture, are transported.
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Termite Prevention Methods
While it may not be possible or practical to make your home totally termite-proof on your own, there are things you can do to make it less attractive to these pests.
- Keep the areas under and around your home as dry as possible. Address moisture problems in crawl spaces, eliminate standing water, fix plumbing leaks, and make sure gutters are working properly to divert rain water away from the foundation.
- Don’t use excessive amounts of mulch or pine straw in your yard, and keep bushes and other vegetation around the house trimmed back.
- Eliminate as much unessential dead wood around your home as possible. Remove stumps in the yard, pick up limbs and other tree debris, and keep firewood and construction materials stored off the ground and away from the house.
How We Deal with a Termite Infestation
First, we’ll conduct a thorough inspection of the home and property to identify all areas where termites are present, as well as any conducive conditions that should be addressed. We’ll take measurements of the house to determine the number of bait stations needed. Bait stations are installed in the soil around the perimeter. Once the termites feed on the bait, the whole colony will be eliminated. This will also protect the house from future colonies, as long as the stations are serviced and maintained. We may also use liquid termiticides to treat homes or areas where it is difficult to use bait. Active termites on the house are also treated with bait or liquids, depending on the situation.
Even if you do not currently have an active infestation, we can install bait stations to protect your home from termite colonies in the area or future colonies that could potentially move in, freeing you from termite drama for good.
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Termites can forage for food up to 250 feet from the colony.
WHERE TO LOOK
Termites prefer warm, moist areas (like bathrooms, duh), and can be found behind tile and bathtubs.
Drywood termites love a good antique—built-in cabinets, door frames, baseboards, beams, paneling, and grandma’s old dresser.
Termites often go unseen, constantly in search of food (cellulose) inside walls, ceilings and floors.
The Problem With Termites
Termites are responsible for billions of dollars in damage to structures in the United States annually. They can wreck our most valuable asset: our home. Anything wooden is potential termite food. However, there are several things in a home that contain cellulose besides the structure itself, including drywall backing, carpet backing, furniture, picture frames, cardboard, burlap, and leather. Termites have been known to destroy personal, and sometimes irreplaceable, items such as antique furniture, valuable paintings, books, and personal letters.