Termites are attracted to wood, and wood is often found in houses.The most common termite species in the United States is the eastern subterranean termite. Most people are familiar with these creatures because they are attracted to cellulose items such as wood, paper, and cardboard.
Termites can find their way into a house through just about any opening; gaps in the foundation, fallen roofing materials, plumbing leaks, or even a dropped pair of socks. Termites typically enter through damaged areas on the outside of the building and then work their way inside from there.
There are two basic ways termites might find their way into your house: they might be looking for food or they might be looking for a new place to nest.
- 0.1 What are Termites? How to Identify and Control Them
- 0.2 What termite looks like?
- 0.3 The Termite’s Lifecycle & How it Works
- 0.4 What Attracts Termites into the House?
- 0.5 How Termite Colonies Grow & Reproduce
- 0.6 How to Identify Infestations Early on
- 0.7 How to Create an Effective Termite Treatment
- 0.8 Preventing Future Attractions of Termite Inside the House
- 1 The Top 3 Tips to Keep Termite Away from Your House
What are Termites? How to Identify and Control Them
Termites are insects that live in colonies. They are known as wood pests because they feed on wood and other cellulose materials. Termites can cause a lot of damage to homes and buildings.
Termites are categorized into three different types: drywood termites, dampwood termites, and subterranean termites. All three types of termite have distinctive characteristics that make them easy to identify and control through a combination of methods such as bait stations, products containing the chemical fipronil or bifenthrin, barriers, or soil treatments.
What termite looks like?
To humans, termites look like small bugs with rounded abdomens and extremely long antennae. The size of a termite can vary enormously from one type of species to another.
Termites are tiny creatures that live in colonies and can cause massive destruction to homes and buildings. Termites are eusocial insects of the order Isoptera, which is Latin for “same wings.” They eat wood, plant stems, grasses, or leaves.
The Termite’s Lifecycle & How it Works
Termites are eusocial insects that belong to the order Isoptera, which derives from the Greek words “iso” meaning equal and “ptera” meaning wings. They are one of the few groups of insects that don’t have a stage in their life cycle where they shed their exoskeleton.
A mature colony has three castes: workers, soldiers, and reproductives. The worker termites do most of the work within a colony, such as finding food and constructing tunnels. They are usually smaller than soldiers with narrow heads and they have stilt-like hind legs designed for chewing up wood.
Soldiers defend the nest against intruders by defending it with their long, strong mandibles and some species also use chemical warfare to repel enemies with secretions called terpenoids.
What Attracts Termites into the House?
Termites can be a vector for diseases, and they are not just a nuisance. They eat through the wood in your house and can cause major structural damage. Attractants for termites are often quite subtle and difficult to identify.
There are many ways that homeowners can prevent termites from coming into their homes. One of the most effective methods is to install a perimeter defense system or a baiting system around the house’s baseboard. Some homeowners also install pressure-treated wood on their decks, patios, and other outside spaces to discourage termite infestations.
How Termite Colonies Grow & Reproduce
So how do termite colonies grow and reproduce?
Termites are social insects that produce eggs, larvae and pupae in segments of the colony called castes. It is not uncommon for a colony to have up to 300,000 workers and soldiers. To make it possible for individuals to find mates, new colonies will swarm after reaching a population of approximately 5 million termites. The mating swarm can travel up to 200 meters from the original nest.
The queen termite is the only female in the colony capable of producing offspring. Her job is solely focused on laying eggs which she does constantly throughout her life span of 30-50 years depending on the species. Termites are incapable of pollinating plants themselves but they will eat plant material in order to survive.
How to Identify Infestations Early on
It is important to know how to identify infestations early on so that you can take the appropriate steps in order to control them. You should be able to tell if you have a beetle infestation based on the following signs:
-Dead or dried up trees or plants. This can especially be seen in pine trees, which are usually the first ones attacked by beetles.
-Tiny Dents and Holes: If you look closely, these could be all over your house’s exterior and roofing materials. These tiny holes are usually too small for you to see with the naked eye, but they will make it easier for an insecticide to penetrate deep into their hideout.
-Lack of flowers or fruits: Infestations can affect plants of all types, including flowers and fruit trees.
How to Create an Effective Termite Treatment
The goal of any effective treatment is to kill all life stages of the termite. This will prevent future infestations.
There are a few products that you can buy in stores, but they may not be as effective or safe as you would like. The best way to go about it is to call in a professional such as an exterminator. They will know what product to use and how much depending on the type of termite and the location.
Preventing Future Attractions of Termite Inside the House
The best way to prevent future occurrences of termite in your home is to be proactive. This is done by inspecting your home for any signs of termites and by repairing any damages they have caused.
We should be mindful that termites are not just a problem outside the house, but also inside the living space. Termites love moist environments, so kitchens and bathrooms are at high risk for damage. In order to keep them out, one must seal cracks in the foundation and use steel wool when installing new plumbing pipes or electrical wiring.
– Seal up cracks in the foundation, garage, and other exterior components to keep termites from entering.
– Put in copper mesh or wire screens to prevent termites from crawling up wood siding.
– Install metal flashing or cement collar around the perimeter of the foundation to help keep termites out.
– Make sure that all windows and doors are tightly sealed and that any openings for wires or pipes are tightly fitted with metal screening.
– Place a barrier of sand, gravel, or pebbles around the outside edge of the house at least six inches deep to deter them from trying to get inside.
– Replace lawns with plants that are not attractive to termites such as cactus gardens and rock gardens. Termites also dislike lavender.
The Top 3 Tips to Keep Termite Away from Your House
1. Keep the Termite Barrier Active
A termite barrier is a physical and chemical barrier inside the house that blocks termites from getting to the wood.
The best way to keep the Termite Barrier Active is to have a pest inspector come out and inspect your home every year.
2. Seal Cracks and Holes
Sealing cracks and holes in the home is one of the oldest ways to prevent termites from getting into the house.
It’s important to seal any cracks or crevices you find, which are often under or near sinks and toilets. This is because these areas are prime targets for termites because of high humidity levels and moisture.
3. Reduce Succumbing to the Enemy- Termites Can’t Eat What They Can’t Find!
Termites can’t find the wood that they are looking for if it is encased in a material that they cannot eat, such as steel.
Some of the materials that termites can’t eat include concrete, fiberglass, plastic, and metal.
Termites are attracted to wood, water, and cellulose. They will enter a house through any tiny crack in the wall or roof. Once inside, they will eat the wood and make their way to other parts of the house. A telltale sign of a termite infestation is piles of sawdust accumulating on windowsills from them chewing on the wood. The best course of action for a homeowner is to have a professional inspect the property and provide a report with recommendations.