Signs of Termite Infestation

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The annual cost of termite damage and associated preventive measures in the U.S. is estimated at $5 billion according to the Herald Net. Why discuss termites now? Spring is typically when large numbers of winged termites (known as "swarmers") emerge inside homes.

What are signs of termites?

  • Pinholes in walls and wood trim, bubbled paint in walls and ceilings.
  • Termite swarmers and/or termite wings.
  • Pencil-sized tubes of mud.

Once termites are discovered, it can be difficult to determine how long the colony has been established in the home. However, colonies typically take more than five years to grow to a size capable of causing damage. Homeowners spend an average of $3,000 to repair termite damage.

What is the difference between termites and ants?

Termite swarmers are attracted to light and often will be seen around windows, doors and light fixtures. Termite and ants are differentiated from winged ants by their straight antennae, uniform waist and wings of equal size. Ants have bent antennae, constricted waists and forewings that are longer than the hind wings.

If termites swarm outdoors, does that mean they are inside?

Swarming termites emerging from tree stumps, woodpiles, railroad ties and other outdoor locations are not necessarily cause for concern, and do not necessarily mean that the structure itself is infested. Precautions should be made around the home to prevent termites along with a termite inspection and termite monitoring for activity.

How do you prevent termites?

  • Stack piles of wood away from the house.
  • Make sure that dirt around the house is at least six inches away from any wood portion of the home.
  • When building a fence be sure to include a layer of sheet metal flashing between the exterior wall covering and any adjacent fence or gatepost.
  • If you have a crawl space it is wise to inspect the foundation walls for pencil-sized tubes of mud, a sure sign of termites.
  • Rake the crawl space removing all cellulose debris from the surface. Termites see sawdust is a steak dinner.
  • If water spills into your foundation vents, the soaking wood immediately becomes an attractant to the local termite population. Keep your crawlspace dry and be careful not to water your foundation vents with your sprinkler system.

We firmly believe that doing it yourself is a great way of saving money and becoming one with your home. Having said that, never try to eliminate termites on your own. If you fail to properly eliminate termites (or other structural pests) you could allow thousands of dollars in additional damage to occur. Thomas Pest Services offers a long term termite solution that eliminates the colony from the structure, the Sentricon Termite Elimination System. Sentricon is a termite bait system installed around the perimeter of the home and it is green! Termites will begin to swarm soon, so if you see piles of insect wings, termite damage, or other signs, contact Thomas Pest Services for a free inspection. Termites eat wood 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, do not let termites damage your structure!

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