Did you know that termites cost American homeowners approximately $5 billion each year in damage? Though small in stature, termites are mighty in the damage they can cause and cost homeowners. With their ant-like appearance, quick growth in numbers, and swiftness, termites often go unnoticed, only to cause even more destruction.
Types of Termites
There about 2,000 species of termites known in the United States, but there are only three that may be problematic for Sumter County homeowners:
Subterranean termites either build underground colonies or live in isolated aboveground areas and can contain 2 million termites, making them the most commonly found and destructive species out there. They are light brown and white in color, measure ⅛ of an inch, and are long and oval in shape. They construct iconic “mud tubes” for both food access and protection.
Drywood termites are light brown, creamy white, measure ⅜ to 1 inch long, and give the illusion of having wings. They are known to infest dead wood found in your home, so be on the lookout for compromised roofs and wooden wall supports. While they don’t seek as much direct moisture as other types of termites, drywood Termites may find themselves in deadwood near water sources.
Formosan termites might not be the most common species, but they are certainly the hungriest and most clever, commonly known as “super termites.” Almost translucent in color, Formosan termites measure ½ inch and have a broad waist. They will chew through flooring, wood, and wallpaper, making them the most difficult to control once they’ve invaded.
Signs Of Termite Damage
As previously described, once termites are an issue, they are nearly impossible to control, so hopefully, you will never encounter actual damage. However, if you do, you should look for: softwood in the home, bubbling paint, discarded wings which is a sign of swarmers, mud tubes, and blistered wood structures.
DIY Termite Control
If you see any of the aforementioned signs of potential termite infestation, you should handle the situation swiftly before the problem continues to spiral out of control. Methods like insecticides, borates, orange oil, over-the-counter sprays, and vinegar may eliminate some termites, but they will not eradicate your problem. Termites are known to quietly and efficiently chew through walls 24/7, and as they doso, they breed quickly. In the end, it's best to contact professionals if you're worried about a termite problem.
Tried and True Termite Prevention
No one wants to have a termite infestation. They are costly to fix. The good is there are some precautions you can take to help keep termites away from your Sumter County home:
Keep woodpiles at least 20 feet away from the home and 5 inches off the ground.
Clean out the gutters regularly to avoid stagnant water and excess moisture, which will remove termites’ access to moisture.
Minimize the use of mulch or try to keep it at least 15 inches away from your home's foundation; wood shavings serve as a tasty snack for a termite.
Seal up any vulnerable areas of your home’s foundation.
Check your home for signs of mud tubes on a regular basis, this is one of the most common signs of termites.
The only way to truly rid your home of an active termite infestation is with professional assistance and a course of action from Sumter Pest Management. Reach out to us today to learn more about our termite control process.