Termites are often called the “silent threat” or the “silent killers.” These insects live and hide behind walls while eating away at the wood. This weakens structures, over time it can cause a home or business to be uninhabitable. Most San Francisco Bay Area and Monterey residents won’t see termites coming. In a lot of cases, people face a large expense once they realize these bugs are around. Termites cost Americans $5 billion in prevention and recovery costs each year.
1. Spotting Termite Swarmers
Seeing swarmers is a definite sign of termite infestation because they only come about when termite nests are full. There are three groups of termites in a colony: workers, soldiers, and swarmers. Workers and soldiers remain in walls, stripping wood and protecting their base. Swarmers flee the nest in the springtime, on a mission to mate and build new homes for their kind. They are ½ of an inch long. Swarmers have wings that they shed as part of the swarming process and are black, yellow, or brown colored. You’ll likely see them coming through foundation cracks, and fluttering around lights.
2. Damaged Paint & Walls
Your paint and walls will start to look very different once termites get going on your property. Paint will begin peeling and bubbling, and appear as though it’s been damaged by water. There will probably be discoloration on drywall, along with sagging. You might find lots of little holes in it, the size of a needle point. Mud tubes, maze patterns, and tunnels can be seen in foundations. If you knock or tap on wood, it may sound hollow. Floorboards and tiles can come loose and/or cave in.
3. Seeing Termite Waste
Swarmers leave evidence of their presence, as they shed their wings. These often resemble fish scales. Termite feces can often be found in piles, and might be mistaken for salt and pepper specks.
How Do You Prevent Termites?
Fortunately, preventing termites doesn’t require relocating to a home or business made of concrete. It also won’t necessitate giving up wood furniture or other belongings. What is vital is being consistent with your landscaping, and surveying your property’s structure:
- Refurbish or remove impaired wood; especially if it’s been softened by water.
- Fix moisture issues, like leaks and plumbing fractures. Any items that are creating moisture for wood should be at the top of the list to be addressed.
- Store free wood, like panels and fire logs, several feet away from your building.
- Also, when possible keep it elevated and off the soil.
- Seal openings and cracks in utility lines and foundations.
- Maintain your yard and greenery. Things like plants and flowers should be distanced from the building, especially around doors and other entry points.
- Gutters and vents should be cleaned and inspected regularly.
What Can Smith’s Pest Management Do About Termites?
You could try “do it yourself” methods or retail products to combat termites, but those approaches will likely fail. Most options only work temporarily and don’t reach the heart of an infestation. Considering how much of disaster termites can create, you can’t waste time with tactics that will ultimately fail.
At Smith’s Pest Management, we pride ourselves on our advanced equipment and treatments. They’re effective while still being easy on the environment and low toxicity. You won’t have to wonder if it’s safe for people and pets to be around. Get the optimum care customers have enjoyed for over 10 years! Call us today!