Termites live in a colony and have a strict hierarchy, there is a queen, soldiers, those who collect food, and an array of worker termites. Together the colony can number tens of thousands and they can devour 6 inches of 2×4 in as little as 5 months. Worst of all, more than one colony is happy to live under the same house.
This could potentially give you serious structural issues in a surprisingly short space of time.
In other words, you need to know how to identify a termite issue and the best termite management techniques.
Identifying A Termite Problem
There are several signs that you have termites and need to get immediate professional help.
One of the most obvious and easiest to see signs that you have termites is when you find small holes in the mud surrounding your home. These are tunnels that lead under your house to the foundations. The tunnels are used by the termites to keep themselves moist, that’s essential for their survival.
Close a few tunnels and they will either reopen in a day or two or new ones will appear. That means you have an active infestation.
Damaged or Sagging Timber
Termites eat wood. Therefore if your timber is starting to sag or has signs of bubbling and rot, there is a good chance you have a termite issue.
Because termites burrow through the wood they weaken it with minimal signs on the outside. If you find that wooden sections of your house are easily damaged or crumble when you knock them then the wood is rotten. You are either looking at termites or wet rot.
Wings are a sign that you have a mature colony. Fertile termites leave the colony to find a mate and create a new colony. These termites have wings that they discard once they have a mate. If you see several sets of discarded wings then the termites have arrived and are busy setting up home.
It is worth noting that they don’t usually travel far from the original colony. Therefore, if they are setting up a new colony there is a good chance you already have an established colony under your house.
Dealing With Termites
Termites respond well to bait boxes. You simply place the bait box and make sure there is good food in it. Once the termites have established it is a reliable food source you can switch it to poison bait which the termites take back to the colony. This can kill the entire colony in a short space of time.
However, it can be difficult to confirm they have all been killed. That’s why it is a good idea to get the professionals to help. They will spray the affected area and make sure all the termites are eliminated.
The experts will also help to identify what attracts the termites so that you can reduce the appeal in the future. In general, you’ll want to keep your home dry and well ventilated, while concreting at least 6 inches around the walls.