Termites, the treacherous villains in a homeowners’ story, date back to the age of dinosaurs. These silent destroyers move as a unit, causing over 5 billion dollars’ worth of damages annually. Depending on the species of Termites, colonies may contain millions of Termites hiding underground or within the structures of a home, slowly tearing away at the wood until the foundations are degraded, potentially collapsing a house.
While Termites are all over the country, areas with warmer or wetter climates typically experience greater Termite pressure, therefore more risk of structural integrity (looking at you Arizona).
There are over 2 thousand species of Termites but today we will focus on subterranean Termites. These wily group of Termites are a collection of different Termite species that like to nest and forage in moist soil as well as any wood in contact with soil, which is where their name comes from. They build little mud tubes stemming from the soil into the wood where they travel, avoiding sunlight and open air, through the rest of the house. They munch away without care, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This prolonged activity leads to the integrity of a house being compromised which makes them some of the most destructive Termite species.
Tips to Prevent Termites (Including but not limited to)
- Keep water from gathering around your home’s foundation.
- Redirect the water from hitting your house by ensuring the downspouts, gutters and splash blocks are still effectively working.
- Reduce humidity in any crawl spaces by ensuring proper ventilation.
- Don’t leave any extra wood scraps lying around in the yard for Termites to snack on. Everybody (and every Termite) loves free food.
- Don’t stack any wood up against the structure of your home (this gives Termites an easy pathway to your home).
Some Signs Your Home may be Infested
- If you notice tack pin size holes in the wall when neither you or your spouse have been hanging photos.
- If you notice dirt seemingly thrown on the wall (since Termites are burrowing from the ground up, they are trailing dirt with them).
- If you see mud tubes along the walls (not to be confused with mud dauber nests), break a portion in the middle of the tube. If it is reconstructed the next day, there are probably active Termites in the works. If the tubes have reached your ceiling, call a professional immediately! They may have infested deeply into the home.