Termites don’t bite or cause any illness, yet they have caused more pain to humans than any other living insect or pest that exists today.
Quite a bold statement, but very true.
“Termites are responsible for property damages amounting to an average of $40 billion a year in the United States alone”
says the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
That’s huge! Take into consideration that most homeowners’ insurance policies don’t cover termite damages. The financial stress and emotional pain that these innocent-looking pests can cause is unbelievable.
This article was written to help you counter the effects of an infestation, so make sure you read until the end to ensure that you are fully equipped to protect your property against these ferocious creatures.
What Are Termites?
Termites are by definition: pale and soft-bodied insects that consume mainly cellulose which is found in wood. They’re also known to munch on books, papers, insulation and the likes.
Flying ants look like termites, so in order to differentiate them, you will need to get a closer look at the two.
Most Common Types of Termites
There are several different types of termites but the most common ones found in homes are the:
Subterranean termites are cream brown termites that have a size range of 1/8 to 1 inch. These types of termites mainly live underground or on wet areas above the ground. They munch on wood, plastics, wallpapers, and even fabric materials.
Drywood termites are on average 3/8 inches long and have a color range of cream white to brown. These, unlike their subterranean counterparts, do not need moisture to survive.
Places To Check For A Possible Termite Infestation
For termites to infest your home, there are certain requirements and conditions that should be met.
If you are wondering if you are one of the victims of these unwanted insects – go and inspect here:
- Areas in your property that have wood.
If your home is made out of wood, inspect everywhere because termites enjoy munching on wood.
- Any dark and warm place in your property is a breeding ground for an infestation.
Check your pipes, wardrobes or basements for possible breakouts.
- Any place where there is moist soil.
Subterranean termites need moisture and soil to survive, so if these two conditions are met, you’re at risk of an infestation. Check your garden and kitchen cabinets for signs.
You might be wondering what the signs of an infestation are, so here you go:
Signs Of Termites In Your Home
Termites a super-secretive insects that can reside in your property without being noticed.
Arming yourself with the right knowledge of what to be on the lookout for is compulsory. The signs of an infestation are:
- Mud tubes and tunnels.
- Termite droppings.
- Wood that looks like it has been damaged by water.
- Insect wings that have been discarded.
- And a hollow sound when knocking or tapping on your wooden walls or floor.
DIY Methods Of Getting Rid Of Termites
If you have fund signs of an infestation, don’t panic, there are many DIY methods that you can try out to get rid of the termites. The most three popular ones are:
The Cardboard Trap
The cardboard trap is a method in which you soak a cardboard in water, then throw it next to an area which you suspect to be infested. Doing so will bait the termites to come out of hiding and feast on a delightful dinner.
As soon as the cardboard is populated with hungry termites, take and discard of it then rinse and repeat the method again.
This is just a quick fix method, so make sure that you use it along with other methods that will be mentioned below.
Advantages: quick and easy to make; it is cheap or even free in most cases.
Disadvantages: it’s not very effective if you have a big infestation; does not deal with the root cause
Vinegar + Lemon Juice
Vinegar and lemon juice are multi-purpose supplements that every home needs. In today’s case we need it to get rid of termites.
Yes that’s right – get a spray-bottle and add a cup of vinegar along with juice from 4 lemons. Shake it up then spray on any area that you believe is infested with termites. Upon contact with the skin of the termite, it will die.
Advantages: kills upon contact with the termite; very easy to make.
Disadvantages: kills only termites that get in contact with the solution; the method needs to be repeated regularly to maximize its effectiveness.
Termites hate light, which is why they build tunnels to travel through. If you have noticed signs of an infestation on any of your furniture or any other wooden material, place them under the sun. No termite can escape the wrath of the scorching sun’s rays.
Advantages: all termites on that material will die when exposed to direct sunlight; this method is free and easy to do.
Disadvantages: you need to take out in the sun the material or object that has termites; the termite colony might not originate from that material or object, hence you’ll only deal with a small piece of the puzzle.
My advice to you is to use all these methods simultaneously to ensure you get maximum results.
If the termite infestation is beyond your control, and have tried all possible DIY methods, your last option is to:
Call A Professional Termite Exterminator
Having a termite infestation embedded in the structure of your property is something that you cannot manage to deal with by yourself. Call a professional termite exterminator to assist you.
These guys have studied and dealt with similar infestations like yours. They have better, more comprehensive methods of finding and completely exterminating the root nest along with its colonies.
Advantages: fast; very effective.
Disadvantages: expensive; some of the methods they use are not eco-friendly, make sure they will not expand to your garden or your pantry.
Ways To Prevent A Termite Infestation
Knowing the dangers of termites to your property should motivate you to take action against them before they strike – as the old saying goes: “prevention is better than cure.”
Here are some effective measures you can place against these menaces:
- Frequently remove all debris from gutters and drain sprouts.
- Seal off all cracks or spaces in which termites can enter your property.
- Make sure you build your wooden home with termite resistant wood.
- Fix all plumbing leaks.
- Maintain a dry attic and basement.
- Place all firewood away from your property.
- Destroy all mud tubes in and around your home.
- Get rid of all cardboard, paper, and dead trees around your property.
- Put your laundry in the laundry bin.
- And last but not least; keep a close eye on all wooden material in your home.
Termites are tender and small, yet they can cause enormous problems to you and your property. Take these preventive measures to ensure that you’re on the safe side.
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