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How To Detect and Get Rid of Termites

How To Detect Termites

Unfortunately, infestations can go undetected for years, after substantial damage has already been done. Signs of activity are not always easily detected. However, watch for wood debris near wood surfaces, like window sills. Mud tubes or trails may be found along the foundation, leading up to structure. Swarming termites have two clear, evenly-sized wings.

What Do Termites Look Like?

Termites are white, translucent and are about the size of a cooked grain of rice. They differ from ants, aside from their color, in their body shape. Ants have an hourglass shape and three body segments. Termites have two body segments. Furthermore, termites have straight antennae while ants have bent or segmented antennae.

Worker and Army Termites - Image Courtesy of USDA

What Should I Do About Termites?

Colonies of termites are destructive to your home and property. Termites feast on wood and cause millions upon millions of dollars of damage every year. Contrary to popular belief, termites don't live in wood, they commute from their subterranean homes. Because they live underground and burrow into the wood, they are not always easily detected. If you suspect termites, have found evidence of them, or have not had a termite inspection in the past few years, you should call a professional termite inspector to assess the situation and provide you with a recommended treatment.

How To Exterminate Termites

Unfortunately, treatment is not a do-it-yourself job. You will need a professional exterminator to apply a treatment to destroy colonies and active infestations. Whole house treatments will eliminate active infestations. Additional treatment is required to shield your home from subterranean colonies.

Whole house treatments involve a tent that enshrouds the house. It is filled will a toxic gas, or it can be filled with hot air to heat the house until the timbers reach 120 degrees (F). This treatment eliminates the active termites in the home. The colonies living underground must be dealt with separately. Typically a toxin is injected into the ground to shield your home from the termites.

Spot control can be applied to active infestations. However, they do not treat infestations in other parts of the house. Even if there is no outward sign of a secondary infestation, it may exist and if left untreated, can result in structural damage.





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