How To Make Your Baldwyn Home Less Attractive To Termites

Termites can be a Baldwyn homeowner's worst nightmare, and you could be in big trouble if you don't treat an infestation. Fortunately, there are ways to combat termites as well as reduce factors that may attract them. 

Here's what Baldwyn homeowners should know about the role that termites play in our environment, the damage they can cause, what attracts termites, and how pest control in Baldwyn can help. 

The Role Termites Play In Our Environment

You may know them as a homeowner's worst nightmare, but termites do more than just chew through the drywall or foundation of your home. These pests are also incredibly beneficial for the environment in a couple of different ways:

  • They're one of the world's greatest decomposers as they break down plant fibers and improve the overall health of the soil.
  • Termites are responsible for creating nitrogen-rich soil, which helps facilitate new crop growth.
  • They decrease erosion by creating tunnels in the earth's soil known as "macropores."

Besides what they can contribute to the environment, termites also remain a delicacy in certain parts of the world, like parts of Asia and Africa.

What do termites look like? Termites often get mistaken for ants, so it's important to know how to identify this very damaging pest. While termites can look different depending on species and their role in the colony, many termites still share a few defining characteristics. They usually don't grow any bigger than ½-inch in length, have soft, creamy white bodies, and have straight antennae that protrude from their heads. 

The one exception is reproductive termites, which grow a little bit larger than the rest of the colony, up to an inch long, and have brown or black coloration. Reproductive termites, or allates, are also the only termites with wings. They use these wings to fly in swarms during mating season and discard them after mating.

Even if you know how to identify termites, how do you know where you'll find them? Because they eat wood, termites only leave their hiding spots when it's time to swarm and hunt for a mate – so it's a good idea to know where these critters may be hiding in your home. 

The hiding spot can depend on the type of termite. Subterranean termites, the most common termites in the country, nest underground. You may not see their colony, but they often create mud tubes around the foundation that are easier to spot. These tubes are about the width of a pencil and allow termites to travel from the soil to wooden parts of your home without being exposed in the open. 

Drywood termites, which are also common, don't need any contact with the ground and can build their colonies just about anywhere in your house, but they often prefer walls. Both types of termites need some moisture, but subterranean termites require more moist environments.

The Extent Of Damage Termites Can Cause To Your Home

Of the two species, subterranean termites tend to cause the most damage. They build bigger colonies and are underground, making it easier for them to hide and go unnoticed for longer periods of time. In some cases, there may even be multiple subterranean termite colonies feasting on the same home, which only adds to the damage they cause. 

Subterranean termites slowly eat away at the wood in your home, and while they can eat up to a pound of wood per day, their presence could go undetected for years. By the time a lot of homeowners discover their subterranean termite problem, these pests have already caused thousands of dollars (or more) in structural damage.

What are the signs of termites? While the presence of some pests may be easy to spot immediately, the tracks that termites leave behind aren't always so obvious. Signs of a termite infestation can be subtle, but here are a couple of key indicators that you've got an unwanted guest in your home.

  • Damaged or Hollow Wood: While it may not be evident to the naked eye, termites can cause damaged, hollowed wood in your walls and flooring. When they search for cellulose, termites chew through the wood, leaving behind grooves that weaken it. When you look inside, the damaged wood may have a honeycomb-like interior; when you knock on it, the wood will sound hollow.
  • Blisters in Your Flooring: Subterranean termites can cause blistering in your wood flooring, which is a sign that they're tunneling through the wood. These blisters tend to look a lot like water damage. 
  • Evidence of Termite Swarms: If you've ever noticed discarded wings lying near your home's access points, like the doors or windows, this can indicate that you've got a serious termite problem on your hands. When termites swarm from their nest to mate, they tear off their wings and leave them behind – and if you've got enough termites on your property, the discarded wings can pile up.
  • Termite Droppings: Drywood termites like to nest inside the wood. To keep those tunnels clean, they'll create holes to kick their droppings out of. Because they're on a diet of wood, termite droppings look like tiny pellets that tend to resemble coffee grounds or sawdust.

Many homeowners may not notice the signs above until the infestation is advanced and a lot of structural damage has already occurred. This is a major reason homeowners need to get annual inspections. A professional can discover a termite problem before it becomes an infestation that's caused permanent damage to your home.

How To Remove Factors That Attract Termites To Your Home

One of the most important parts of termite control is ensuring they don't end up in your home in the first place – which comes down to termite prevention. Here are some tips to keep your home and property looking less attractive to these pests.

  • Remove Their Food Sources: Cellulose materials, like cotton, bamboo, or even linen, are all part of a termite's diet, so you don't want to keep them around. Specifically, it's important to keep cellulose materials out of areas where subterranean or drywood termites might find them – like crawlspaces and anywhere near your home's foundation. If you do have to use cellulose or wooden siding, try to keep these materials at least off the ground.
  • Deal With Excess Moisture: Like any pest, subterranean or drywood termites are after your water, too – especially if it's around the foundation of your home or crawl spaces. You'll need to deal with any excess moisture problems, like leaky pipes or flooded gutters, that may contribute to water pooling near your foundation, basement, or crawl space.
  • Deny Access: Besides getting rid of potential attractions, you can also deny subterranean and drywood termites access too. Wood-to-ground is their most common access point, so you'll want to be careful about keeping wood too close to your home. Sealing any cracks, crevices, or holes near your water and gas lines is another way to deny access to these pests.
  • Get an Annual Inspection: Since the signs of subterranean and drywood termites can go unnoticed for so long, it's never a bad idea to get an annual inspection of your home. A professional will be able to spot the signs of a termite infestation, and if you do have termites, a termite inspection can help ensure that you catch the infestation early.

Termites cause lasting and expensive damage to homes. These tips can help protect your home by preventing termite infestations

Professional Assistance Is The Best Termite Control Solution

Once they're aware of the infestation, many homeowners try to solve the problem on their own with DIY termite control methods. Unfortunately, these remedies are rarely effective for getting rid of an entire infestation. 

Over the counter termite remedies, like termiticides, are supposed to slowly kill termites on contact – which may get rid of part of your infestation, but it usually won't wipe out the entire nest since so many termites will be in inaccessible places. Depending on the size of the infestation, your termites could have multiple colonies, so these DIY solutions also depend on finding every hiding spot the termites have.

Other homeowners may try using over the counter termite sprays around problem areas, but once again, these products are only treating part of the issue. Not only is it rare for these products to wipe out an entire colony, but they tend to become even more ineffective once they've dried.

DIY termite control methods may promise results, but most homeowners only end up wasting their time and money. The best way to handle a termite infestation, whether it's big or small, is with a professional pest control company like McCary Pest Control. 

Our experienced specialists not only come equipped with professional, effective treatment options for the type of termites you have, but we'll also ensure they don't return. If you suspect that you've got a termite problem or you're noticing signs of an infestation, don't wait to call us at McCary Pest Control today to schedule an inspection. 

Continue Reading Read Less

Ready to Get Started?

Request your free inspection

A member of our team will be in touch shortly to confirm your contact details or address questions you may have.

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please lookup your address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy