Several types of termites invade California homes, including drywood, dampwood, and subterranean termites. Termites destroy structures, fencing, food, and household furnishings. So if you want to protect your property, you need to be vigilant. Here are three ways to put up an effective fight against termites for your home and belongings.
1. Remove Termite Attractions From Your Property
Termites colonize an area because the area provides something that the termites need. Two of the primary needs of termites are moist soil and wood. If you have any leaks, puddles, or damp spots below your woodframed home, you have everything a pair of termites needs to create a whole new colony.
Wet or rotting wood is also an attractant for termites. Termites can digest structurally sound wood, but they have an easier time eating wood that's crumbling due to fungal infestation.
Clean up all sources of moisture around your yard and underneath your house, decks, and porches. Have a plumber repair pipes, and fix drainage issues that make water pool near your home's foundation. Pick up rotting wood, and have bad wood replaced in your home.
Also, don't allow wood framing members to be within 12 inches of the soil at any point. Remove wood mulch and all woody plants away from the edges of your home's foundation to a distance of at least a foot away from your home.
2. Know the Signs of Termite Infestation
Many homeowners are unaware of the first signs of termite colonization. By the time homeowners notice a serious termite problem, their homes are hosting several gigantic colonies of subterranean termites. You can completely avoid a termite surprise by having your pest control professional inspect your home once or twice a year.
If you want to keep an eye on your own home and inspect the premises yourself, understand that destructive subterranean termites climb up from the soil to reach the wood in your home. The termites don't like to be seen or exposed to the air, so they build mud tubes from the ground level up to your floor joists.
Mud tubes may be colored sandy, reddish, or dark brown depending on the soil available to the termites. The subterranean-termite tubes can be found on piers, basement walls, crawl-space foundations, and posts. Tubes lead from the colony and soil surface up to structural wood.
Other signs of termite damage near wood include:
- Piles of sawdust or pellet-shaped droppings
- Entry holes in wood
- Blistering of outer wood surfaces
- Darkening or staining of wood grain
- Hollow sound to wood when rapped
In autumn and spring, termites swarm away from their home colonies to develop new colonies nearby. You may see swarms of both ants and termites in fall and spring months. These termites have lacy, fragile wings and slim, dark bodies. A termite swarm indoors indicates that your home has one or more colonies of termites eating away at the structural members of the house.
3. Seek Help to Eradicate and Repel Termites
Serious remedies are needed to combat termite infestations in homes. If you suspect your home has been infested with any type of termite, contact a qualified pest control company to confirm your suspicions.
Treatment of your home will depend on the type of termites infesting the wood. Drywood termites are often eradicated by fumigating the complete home. Some homes are tented and heated to kill termites. Spot treatments and soil treatments are also options for subterranean termites.
You may need to schedule more than one pest-control treatment to get rid of a heavy termite infestation. Your pest control company will monitor your home to check for re-infestations after your home is treated for termite problems.
If you see autumn swarms or other signs of termites in your house, schedule an inspection of your home by the experts at Monterey Bay Pest Control Inc. Since 1950, we've provided effective termite control for homeowners throughout Monterey County, California.