Learn the secrets of the pros
Termite colonies can develop in waste wood and gain access to your home. (Image: USDA Home and Garden Bulletin 62)
By Gene Wright
Alexandria, VA – How can you tell if your home has termites? These voracious wood-eating insects can invade a home and cause permanent, irreparable damage even during the winter months.
If you have a non-severe infestation, it can be difficult to tell that termites have moved in. But don’t worry. In this article, we’re going to walk you through the most common early warning signs of termites and help you stop these pests before they have a chance to take over.
Here are some signs to look out for:
Discarded wings are one of the first warning signs to termites and usually appear in the spring months when the insects swarm and multiply.
If you find discarded sashes in your home or near vulnerable woods such as door and window frames, it could be a sign of an infestation.
Bubbly wood or paint
When termites feed, they form hollow openings and tunnels in the wooden structures of your home. These channels eventually become filled with moisture that the insects secrete as they eat.
This moisture eventually builds up in the wood and creates an effect that looks like water damage. Blistering, blistering, and peeling are potential termite signs that should never be ignored!
So far there is only one type of termite in Alexandria, the eastern subterranean termite. This species of termite builds mud pipes or tunnels between their colonies and potential food sources.
These tubes are most often located near the foundation of the house and run from the floor to the wood. Each pipe looks like a narrow vein or mud paths that follow an irregular or tortuous pattern. If you can find mud hoses on or near your home, now is the time to act.
Warped window and door frames
While this is one of the less obvious signs of termite damage, be on the lookout for damage to this wood, which is often exposed and accessible.
When termites eat in window and door frames, the wood warps in what looks like water damage. This warping can make doors and windows difficult to open and close properly.
Get rid of termites
The type of termite infestation and the size of the colony will determine how difficult it will be to remove. If the infestation is small and local, you may be able to contain it with a DIY termite control solution. These over-the-counter products work well, but only for minor infections. But the termites could live in a nearby property and still infest your home. Once termites find a source of food, they will keep coming back for more.
Professional exterminators offer the most effective termite control solutions. If your property has been compromised and you are not sure where to start, it is best to partner with professionals.
Finally, here are some things you can do to prevent, or at least limit, termite infestation in the future:
· Minimize wood-to-floor contact in sheds, fence posts and other wooden structures
· Store firewood outside your home
· Make sure all areas around the foundation of your home are properly drained
· Minimize the use of sprinkler systems
· Remove tree stumps along with their root systems
· Remove decaying mulch
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