Termites are the last type of pest you want to find in your home. There is a good reason for that since homeowners spend roughly $5 billion to repair termite damage in the U.S. each year. Knowing how to detect a termite infestation early, what to do if you find one and how to best prevent termites in the first place can help save your house.
There are a few tell-tale signs that your home may have termites. Learn to detect them and save thousands in repairs.
The first sign might be swarmers, or winged termites, near window or door frames. You may also find nests. Some termite species nest underground, but even these can be spotted by the mud shelter tubes branching out near your home’s foundation or in your basement. Above-ground termite nests made of mud or termites feces are much easier to recognize. Finally, look for signs of damage like random mud spots on your walls or sunken trails on interior sheetrocked walls. Some species even leave piles of fecal pellets near their feeding grounds.
You can take some measures on your own to remove termites once they have invaded your house. These may vary based on the termite species. Some common methods include essential oils, termite baits or spraying termite insecticides made with boric acid into the cracks or crevices in your building.
Termite prevention breaks down into two big ideas. First, avoid moisture. This can mean placing dehumidifiers in damp basements or installing downspout diverters to drive rainwater away from your foundation.
The second preventative measure is all about access. Termites may access your home from wood near the foundation. You can eliminate wooden sheathing behind your siding at ground level to reduce access. Avoid storing firewood against your house or using excessive mulch at your foundation to limit entry as well.
Termites are the ultimate house pest and the last thing you want to see at your home. Educate yourself now to avoid expensive fixes down the road.