A termite infestation can be dangerous as it can cause damage to the inner structure without you being aware of this. As a homeowner, this can be a stressful experience and result in expensive repair costs if it’s not taken care of in the right manner and at the right time. The following has a few pointers on how you can identify if your house is infested with termites and some effective ways to deal with the infestation.
Signs of Termite Infestation
Mud tubes are small pencil-sized tunnels usually found on surfaces such as wood, foundations or concrete structures. These tunnels are a significant clue that there are termites around.
II) Swarming of Termites
The presence of termites swarming together near lighted areas such as windows might be a sign of a termite infestation. If you see termites swarming around, then it is time to take the help of a professional and get your home checked out.
III) Hollow Surfaces
If wood or other areas appear to be damaged because of termites, it will sound hollow when you tap on them. This is an indication that there might be some damage caused due to termites.
What can you do about it?
In the US, termite infestations are known to be a more common cause of damage than any other natural disasters. Since termites feed on wood, the wooden surfaces of your house are particularly vulnerable to damage. As a homeowner, if you think that there is a termite infestation in your house, the safest bet is to get it checked out properly.
Termites usually enter the house through the soil or holes in the foundation. Getting a professional to look at your house would be the first step to identify this problem. This can help you to understand if it’s indeed a termite infestation and what is the extent of the damage.
There are several ways to prevent termite infestations that you can adopt. Some of the measures that have proven to be beneficial are as follows:
1) Avoid excessive moisture
Moisture can attract a variety of insects, particularly termites and mosquitoes. Not only are they unhygienic, but can also cause some serious structural damage. Leaking pipes or water collecting up in a place can lead to wood damage. This would make it easier for the termites to infest.
2) Keep an eye on the tiny openings in the house
Spaces between doors or windows and their frames can lead to swarming of termites. The best preventive action against this is to seal such openings in order to prevent termite infestation. If you are a new homeowner looking to make renovations, then you must keep this particular point in mind while renovating openings in the house.
3) Avoid wooden surfaces
Termites can seriously affect a home in which the wooden surfaces are a key part of the structure. As wood is the main source of food for termites, it is better to be safe than sorry and avoid using wood extensively in the structure. Termites release enzymes that can break down wood to feed on it. Hence lesser the wood area, lesser will be the risk.
4) Take care of your garden
Gardens can be an easy home to termites due to the presence of moist soil as well as wood from the trees. Make sure the garden is maintained well and that there are no excessive moisture areas. Termite infestations in tree stumps can easily spread to the house.
5) Be aware of any infestations in the neighboring area
If there is a significant spread of termite infestations in your surrounding houses, then make sure that your house is regularly checked and treated with pest control. If you notice any structural damage, then get the help of a construction engineer and get the necessary repairs done immediately.
6) Do a regular inspection of the house
A regular check on all the surfaces of your house, particularly small gaps and wooden areas is an important precautionary method to prevent a massive termite infestation and damages related to it.
7) Take care of the air conditioners
Air conditioners, particularly those on windows collect a lot of moisture and can lead to termites setting up their nests. Small gaps in the air conditioning openings can cause the clustering of termite mud tunnels. If you find such tunnels around your house, particularly between walls, then make sure they are removed and the area is cleaned properly by professionals.
9) Repair the roof
Damaged roofs can lead to termite nests in loose roof tiles. Hence, get your roof tiles checked and repaired regularly. If you see the smallest sign of roof damage, do not ignore it as it can cause bigger problems later on.
10) Avoid large piles of fabrics
Piles of clothing can attract termites as some fabrics can also be broken down by them. This will lead to termite infestations, particularly in your cupboards or cardboard boxes filled with clothes. So avoid such piles of clothes and make sure you dust and clean your cupboards on a regular basis.
The idea of termites infesting your house can be scary. The best way to deal with them is to find the right kind of professional help. You can get pest control or spot treatments done to exterminate the termites. If there is any structural damage, make sure to call a structural engineer who can provide you the right kind of advice and services.