Why Termite Control Is Important When They Are First Detected

You may have seen what looks like a couple of flying ants in your yard but gave it no thought. What you may have seen were termite swarmers looking for places to start a new nest. This is the time to begin a termite control program, before they can settle into your house and cause major damage. Here is what to look for and how termites can be controlled before they become a problem.

Outnumbered By Termites

One termite colony may host nearly two million individuals. You could have a dozen termite colonies in your yard, each with thousands of termites in them. These termites may not yet have come into your house. But as the nests grow larger, individuals looking for food to support the colonies may find the wood in your house appealing.

Damage Can Be Foundational

Termite workers are constantly looking for a source of cellulose, which is found in wood and paper. They will eat into doors and door frames, window sills, even wooden furniture. They cause the most damage to ceiling and floor rafters and wall studs. They damage the structural integrity of these critical parts of your home's foundation. When floor and ceiling rafters have been weakened enough, there is a risk of collapse of parts of the building. Your home may become unlivable should termites damage it sufficiently.

Signs of Termite Damage

You'll rarely see termites out in the light as they prefer to work in the dark. Seeing a couple of flying termites indicates that a colony has become sufficiently large enough to look for new places in which to expand.

With a knife and a flashlight, check the floor rafters and ceiling beams for tiny holes or raised areas in the wood. Termites burrow into wood and hollow it out. If you see a raised area on a wood beam, stick the knife into it to see if the wood is hollow. If so, stop and call a termite control service immediately and get on their schedule.

Other Signs of Termites

Depending on how large and established a termite colony is, you could also find:

  • tunnels made of mud leading into wood piles
  • blistering on wood paneling or home siding
  • hollowed out tree stumps on your property

Preventing a Termite Invasion

To reduce the risk of termites overtaking your home, take the following actions:

  • divert any water away from your house so the foundation stays dry
  • trim any plants and trees so they are several feet from any buildings
  • move any piles of wood away from the sides of the house
  • pull out or grind down any tree stumps in the yard

Moving these food sources away from your house can keep the termites content outside, so they will continue to ignore your house.