Shining a Spotlight on Termites
It’s a commonly known fact that termites benefit the ecosystem, as their feeding behaviors redeposit nutrients back into the soil. It is exactly these actions, though, that cause catastrophic damage to your home. Feeding on the wood compromises the structure’s integrity, and if it goes untreated, the home can (or more accurately, will) become uninhabitable. No matter how dedicated you are to “going green,” we feel pretty confident betting that protecting the termite population is not part of your strategy. So save those efforts for other areas of your life and read on to learn how to identify a possible infestation.
Drywood termites, which are typically found in warm, southern climates, burrow a labyrinth of tunnels within walls, flooring, and furniture as they feed on the wood, leaving little feces piles where they have nested along the way. Once they bury themselves deeply enough into a piece of furniture or home structure, it will crack, making their little tunnels visible. In addition to this path of destruction, these messy little buggers swarm, shed their wings, and leave them in small piles about the home.
Subterranean termites are common throughout the entire continental United States and prefer to build underground colonies in which to live. They travel above ground, invading homes through cracked, poorly sealed, or even (gasp!) unsealed foundations. These termites put in a great deal of effort to come inside, constructing tunnels from mud and their own saliva and fecal matter. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to remain oblivious to subterranean termite damage until the infestation is full-blown. Warped or swollen wood, or buckling walls or ceilings are common indicators, and if you see cylindrical brown, dry tunnels near the foundation of your home, you can bet that you’re sharing it with a happy group of subterranean termites.
Repairs are daedal and quite costly. Your best strategy to avoid getting to that point is scheduling annual inspections and treating infested areas immediately. For information on what that entails and to schedule a service, please call us at 405.688.3400 today.
Note: We’d be remiss not to mention that if your home is not primarily wood, termites are still interested in cohabitation. They will make their way through most any material to feast on your wooden furniture, cabinets, and floors, etc.
Guest post by Home & Remodel sponsor, Fitzhugh Pest Management.