5 Facts About Termites Every Home Owner Should Know
Known as the “silent destroyers,” termites are one of the most troublesome pests you can encounter, and any one of us could have an entire civilization living unwelcome in our home. Indeed, many homeowners are entirely unaware of a termite problem until after incurring damage of huge scale.
Whether you are a current home owner, or looking to purchase a home in the near future, follow along for five important facts for practicing awareness, prevention, and dealing with the dreaded termite infestation.
Facts From The Pest Control Pros
1. Termites are “Silent Destroyers” - Termites are called the “silent destroyers” because of their ability to chew through wallpaper, wood, and other materials with little detection. Termites cause billions of dollars in property damage every year and these costs are often not covered under insurance policies. This destruction is as detrimental as it is unexpected.
2. There Are Thousands of Types of Termites - Termites are actually separated by a caste system. This includes reproductive, soldier, and worker termites. They build the largest nests of any insect. They are able to derive nourishment from wood due to the microscopic protazoa in their gut that breaks down the cellulose structure. There are thousands of species of termites, but the most harmful in the United States, as noted by the USDA, is the subterranean termite. Subterranean termites live entirely underground and build complex systems of cylindrical tunnels or “mud tubes”. Termites love warm weather, being particularly drawn to southern states and more humid climates. Not so fun fact - termites are actually found in ALL STATES except Alaska.
3. You Can Reduce Your Risk, But Nothing Is Certain - Keeping your home’s gutters and drainage systems free of leaves, branches, or dirt can reduce moisture and therefore potential breeding grounds for termites. Make sure there aren’t leaky pipes or stagnant water buildups around your home. Keep logs or wood piles farther away from your home. Piles of rotting leaves or dead trees pose a risk, as termites are especially drawn to moisture and organic matter. Practicing prevention is key; however, infestation is still a possibility even with these measures well in place.
4. You Could See Signs of Infestation – One in four homes is likely infested at any given time. Do you think you may have a termite infestation? There are many signs of an infestation if you know where to look. Damage to wood includes blistered wood/flooring, visible grooves, hollow sounds, papery appearance, tunnels, squeaky floorboards, stuck doors, or other distinct changes in wood quality or appearance. Another common sign is a “swarm”—a cloud of flying termites, typically during the spring here in the Mid-West. Termites are also quite loud as they chew wood, meaning that you may hear a soft clicking noise from an infestation. Soldier termites even “head-bang” to alert workers of danger! Although difficult to spot, you may also see discarded wings or dark droppings around the location of the infestation.
5. Dealing with Termites is a Team Effort! If you think you have an infestation, or if you have not had an inspection in a number of years, don’t hesitate to contact Black Diamond Pest Control at 877-DEAD-BUG as soon as possible. Black Diamond understands how to effectively handle a termite infestation and how to prevent future infestations. With periodic inspections, they can often be stopped before irreparable structural damage has been done.
Check out our ongoing service plans that include termite coverage!