Termites are a common problem in the United States. You might be saying, “My house has termites! How did this happen, and why is it common?”. Termites damage homes and often go undetected until too late. Termites are usually underground, so you don’t see them. When homeowners discover that their house has termites, their first reaction is to call a pest control company.
In this post, you will find why you have termites and how to prevent them.
Where does termite come from? (Location of Wood Termites)
Termites come from all over the world. Different types of termites live in different climates and environments.
Drywood Termites, for example, come from dry wood habitats- they set up shop within old trees in nature where they can find the right mix of moisture and food.
What do termites look like?
Termites are small, white, or brown creatures that can be difficult to distinguish from other insects. They have a broad waist and straight antennae. Their legs are six-segmented, and they generally have a wingspan of about one inch.
Termites are most commonly found in the Southern United States. However, they can be found in all fifty states.
Termites are often mistaken for ants, as they share similar physical features. However, there are key distinctions that can help identify them.
Termites have straight antennae, while ants curve theirs. Additionally, termites tend to be more uniform in coloration, whereas ants come in various colors.
Types of Termites
Termites are a type of pest that can be found worldwide. They live in various climates and can invade homes for different reasons. There are three main types of home-invading termites: dampwood, drywood, and subterranean.
Each type is drawn to homes for different reasons and can cause significant damage if left untreated. Termites are close cousins with other common pests, cockroaches.
Termites can be categorized into two castes: reproductive and nonreproductive. The reproductive caste is made up of queens, kings, and alates. Queens is the largest of the three, responsible for laying eggs.
The other reproductive member is alates with wings. They help with colony expansion by flying to new areas and starting new colonies. Nonreproductive termites include soldiers and workers.
Soldier termites have big mandibles to defend the colony, while worker termites are responsible for food and nest maintenance. Both have saw-like mandibles to tear apart wood, but the soldiers are bigger and have dark heads.
My House Has Termites! How Did This Happen, and Why is it Common?
Termites are a common pest and can be found in many parts of the world. They cause billions of dollars in damage each year and often go undetected until too late. Several termites, but they all share some common preferences and habits.
Subterranean termites, for example, must have moist soil nearby and will infest any wood in contact with the ground. They also build mud tubes to protect them from dehydration and a route to their food source.
People often wonder how termites infest their homes. People often unknowingly bring termites inside when they bring in firewood or untreated lumber.
Termites are also attracted to different factors depending on their species. For example, the southern residents of the United States are most likely to deal with an infestation.
Termites require humid environments to thrive, so if there is too much moisture in your home, you may see an increase in these pests.
Additionally, termites eat wood and other wood products, so if you have any wooden furniture or décor inside your home, it could be susceptible to damage by termites.
Termites are often called the “silent destroyer” because their damage is done slowly and without your knowledge. A colony of termites can take up to 3 to 5 years to fully mature, so there is no accurate way of calculating the exact age of an infestation.
Furthermore, depending on the colony’s size, it can take anywhere from 3 to 8 years for termite damage to show up.
Common Signs of Termite Infestations
Stuck Windows and Doors on Property
Termites love to eat wood, and because they live in colonies, they can quickly infest a home. One way they get into homes is through cracks made by their chewing.
They also like to chew on door frames, making them stick open. Wind can easily get into the home through these cracks, making it drafty and uncomfortable.
Damaged Timber, Wood, Paint, or Wallpaper
Termites often eat away at the wood, which can lead to structural damage, and they may also eat through paint and wallpaper, leaving your house looking dull and worn out.
You can do some things to protect your home from termites, including installing insulation and using termite-resistant materials.
You will find discarded termite wings on the ground, especially around your home. Termites leave their wings behind when they come inside the house, and you will often find dusty wings left behind after eating all the wood outside of your home.
Mud Tubes on Walls
Termites are tiny creatures that can be hard to spot. They come out one at a time and build tubes out of the mud to travel and find food sources. If you see the mud tubes, the home is infested with termites.
Dirt Mounds On Home Structure
Termites are a common problem for homeowners. One way to tell if you have termites is by looking for dirt mounds around your house. Termites fly around at night in search of food, and they will dig holes in the ground to create their next generation of termites.
If you see any dirt mounds on the ground, it’s likely that you have termites and should call a professional immediately.
Drywood Termites Droppings
Termites leave droppings as they forage for food. These droppings will be found in a single line or row and signify that the home is infested with termites.
Termites are common pests and can cause significant damage to homes if left untreated.
How to prevent termites activity and damage in your house?
Termites are a common problem for homeowners and can cause a lot of damage if left untreated. To prevent them, follow these tips:
- One of the best ways to prevent them is to make sure your home is not susceptible to them in the first place. You can do this by following some simple tips, such as ensuring no moisture around your house, repairing leaks, and keeping an 18-inch gap between your house’s soil and wooden parts. It would help if you also used mulch sparingly.
- Don’t store firewood against the exterior of your house; this is a common way for termites to gain access. If you notice any damage to the exterior of your home, repair it as soon as possible. You can also use preventative treatments like Boracare or Timor to keep them at bay.
- Neat and clean your home with termite protection: One of the best ways to prevent termites from invading your house is to keep it clean. Make sure to sweep and mop regularly and vacuum every nook and cranny. Termites are also attracted to moisture, so fix any leaks you may have and install proper drainage systems.
- Take precautions for basement, attic, or crawl space: In addition, take some additional precautions in the basement, attic, or crawl space. Make sure that these areas are well-ventilated and dry. You can also install termite shields or barriers to help keep the pests out.
- Another way to prevent termites is not storing any food source in your home. Termites are attracted to moisture and decaying organic matter, so they’ll move on if you don’t have anything for them to eat.
- Additionally, make sure your exterior doors and windows close tightly and that there is no space for them to get into the house.
- Finally, schedule annual inspections with a qualified pest control professional. It will give you the best chance to catch an infestation early and get the most effective treatment.
Termites can be a real nuisance, and it’s often difficult to determine whether or not your property has an infestation. However, it’s important to remember that not all termite problems mean you have an infestation.
There are many reasons why termites might show up on your property, and it’s important to get help from a professional if you’re unsure what to do. If you suspect that your home may have termites, it is important to take immediate action.
Contact a qualified specialist who can arrange regular inspections, even if your neighbors are not infested.
What smell do termites hate?
Termites hate the smell of certain oils, namely cedarwood, geranium, and tea tree oil. These oils are repelling to termites and can help keep them away from your home. Additionally, clove bud, cinnamon, and garlic oils have also been shown to repel termites.
What are termites attracted to?
Termites are attracted to cellulose, primarily wood. If you have a home with termites, it is important to ensure no lingering moisture or standing water issues in the basement, crawl spaces, or other low-to-the-ground places that aren’t easily accessible or often-frequented. Termites love humid environments and will take advantage of any opportunity they can find to infest your home.
Do termites spread from house to house?
Termites don’t usually spread house to house, but there are a few ways they can. If there is an infestation in one home, the termites might travel to other homes through underground tunnels. They can also spread if someone brings them home on furniture or building materials. Finally, if the weather is conducive to their growth, they may swarm and fly to new areas.
What does termite damage look like?
Termites damage your homes, businesses, and other wooden structures. They can be difficult to detect because they leave a waffled or layered appearance as they eat through the wood. Termites can also damage wooden surfaces by hollowing out the structure, leaving holes and empty spaces behind.