Termites cause an estimated $30-billion in damages to homes and crops across the United States, each and every year. These tiny critters can destroy your home in no time if they aren’t dealt with properly and at the first signs of trouble.
Termites measure from approximately 6 mm to 20 mm long, and can vary in color from whitish-brown to nearly black depending on whether they are a worker, soldier, or reproductive member of the colony. Termites can look similar to ants, which is why it’s important to have a professional pest control company assess the situation to identify the correct pest.
Although there are several different kinds of termites, they all cause serious damage to homes and other structures. Because they hide in walls and crawl spaces, you may not know you have a termite problem until you see serious, irreversible damage. And it’s not just wood that termites can navigate. They can also go through plaster, and even metal siding.
Termites aren’t only interested in the structure of your home or building. Because they feed on cellulose – found in most plant material, wood, and paper – they also infest furniture, shelves, and even books. We offer termite inspections so you know if you have a termite problem, and we offer termite extermination for existing infestations.
There are three types of termites that call South Carolina home – subterranean termites, drywood termites, and Formosan termites. Like their name suggests, subterranean termites live underground and in moist, secluded areas above ground. Drywood termites prefer dry wood in areas above ground, such as attics or wall framing. Formosan termites are known as super-termites because they are so destructive. Like subterranean termites, they prefer damp wood as a food source, and can consume one foot of 2×4 of wood in less than a month.
Why Do I Have a Termite Problem?
There are four reasons why a termite colony might decide to invade your home or business, including:
- Temperature. Termites like temperature-controlled buildings as it allows them to avoid extreme conditions.
- Moisture. Anything that creates moisture around your home can lead to attracting termites. This moisture could be caused by runoff, drainage issues, or even condensation around and under your foundation.
- Food. Wood and cellulose are prime food sources for termites, including framing, debris, landscaping products, furniture, and even firewood stored outside.
- Access. Because of their small size, all it takes is a tiny crack or opening for termites to enter your home or business.
Are Termites Dangerous?
While termites aren’t known to carry diseases that may be harmful to humans, they can bite or sting which leads to painful welts. People who live or work in buildings with a termite infestation may experience allergic reactions or breathing problems such as asthma attacks.
On top of the physical issues termites can cause, they also lead to major property damage. Depending on the size of the infestation and how long the termites have gone undetected for, you could be facing extensive structural damage. Severe damage to the foundation, beam, and support structure of a building due to termites can make it unfit to occupy.
What Sort of Problems Do Termites Cause?
The biggest problem termites cause is extensive property damage. Their love of wood and cellulose means they look at your home’s framing, walls, and even furniture as a tasty all-you-can-eat buffet.
How Worried Should I Be About Termites?
You should be very worried if you have discovered a termite problem. Because they can go undetected for years, you may have considerable damage to your home or business and not know it. To understand the full extent of any termite damage, you’ll need to call in a pest control expert to evaluate the problem. You may have to remove flooring and drywall in order to see the full extent of any termite damage.
Where Do You Find Termites?
Termite damage looks similar to damage caused by water or mold. You may see buckling wood, or swollen floors and ceilings. Termite infestations also can even smell like mildew or mold. Drywood termites build tunnels underneath the surface of wooden structures, so if you lift off a veneer or drywall, you may see maze-like tunnels underneath that indicate termite activity.
How Do I Get Rid of Termites?
To get rid of termites, you’ll need a professional pest control professional. They will apply a treatment of termiticides on or in the soil around your home or business in order to get rid of termites and keep them from coming back. You may need multiple treatments in order to get rid of termites completely. It’s recommended to maintain regular inspections and treatments as needed to keep termites away. You might be tempted to buy your own pesticides to treat termites, but the average person doesn’t have the knowledge and experience necessary to apply these chemicals safely and in the specific manner required.
How Do I Prevent Termites From Coming Back?
Termites are a persistent problem, and preventing them requires a multi-step process.
- Eliminate moisture by fixing leaking pipes, faucets, and air conditioners, keeping gutters cleaned out, ensuring that water is routed away from your foundation, etc.
- Eliminate food sources near your home by keeping firewood stored away from the house, clearing debris, keeping decks and wooden fences in good repair, etc.
- Keep any shrubs or trees around the property maintained and not touching the structure of your home.
- Begin and maintain a termite protection treatment plan.
At Putman Pest Management, we know termites. We know how to identify them and we know how best to treat an infestation. We also know how to prevent them from coming back. Even if you’re not sure what type of termite you’re dealing with, we can help. Explore our pest library to learn how to identify the most common pests, what attracts them to your property, and how to keep them out. From common house bugs to tiny pests and crawling insects, our pest control services keep your home or office pest-free. Simple and safe, our treatments offer convenient protection that will treat and prevent termites. Contact us today for your free estimate.