Out of all of the common household pests, termites are the most dangerous and destructive. In just a few years, a termite infestation can completely destroy your home’s foundations and structural integrity. Identifying a termite infestation can be extremely difficult. It’s common for the termites to do lasting damage to your property before you even notice that you have an infestation. Your home is the largest investment you might ever make, so noticing and dealing with termites is of paramount importance. It is highly crucial that you take the necessary steps to protect your home from termites and remove them from the home rapidly after discovering. Before we go on to tell you how to get rid of termites, here are a few things you should know.
How To Identify A Termite Infestation
You might not realize that your home has termites for a while, so it’s highly recommended to check your home for the little pests on a regular basis. Keeping your eyes open for the telltale signs of termites such as sagging floors, holes in woodwork and hollow foundations are a dead giveaway of a termite infestation. In some cases, you might actually see the termites themselves.
A good way to check for termites is to take a screwdriver and flashlight into your basement. Check areas of the room such as crawlspaces and foundation beams by pressing the screwdriver into the wood, observing how strong the wood is. If the screwdriver pushes into the wood or you notice any hollow areas behind a wall, you might have an infestation. When you are checking your home for termites, look for termite waste. Termite droppings are wood colored or brown pellets. Finding these droppings near wood can denote an infestation.
You might come across a termite nest when checking your home. Subterranean termites will build a network of tunnels through the foundations of your home. Drywood termites will nest inside the wooden beams of your house.
What type of termites have you found?
There are two types of termites. Subterranean termites will be found in the soil around your home and in wooded areas. While dry wood termites will only be found in wood. Subterranean termites pose a much larger threat to your home and are commonly found in coastal regions. Dry wood termites will be found anywhere in the United States.
How to get rid of termites
There are lots of ways to treat a termite infestation yourself, larger infestations will require a professional exterminator. Below you will find four different DIY treatments for termites.
Termites feed on cellulose, which is found in cardboard in large quantities. This leads the termites to eat their way into the cardboard. Setting up this trap is easy, simply wet some strips of cardboard and leave them overnight near the infested area. After a day or two, the cardboard will be infested with termites, at this time simply take the cardboard out of your home and burn it. This can be done multiple times and is only a short-term fix for the problem, it does not address the nest, thus will not get rid of the entire infestation.
Nematodes are small worms that feed on common household pests such as termites. You can buy these from garden supply stores and online. Simply put the worms near the infested areas and they will start to seek out the termites. Nematodes will start to kill termites within 48 hours, making them an effective way to treat for termites.
Termites dwell in darkness, they don’t do so well in the sunlight as the UV rays will kill them. If you have a piece of wooden furniture such as a chair infested, simply leave it in the sun. After a few days, the sunrays will kill the termites and that furniture will be clear of termites.
If you live in an area with common rainfall or are infested during a rainy season, you can freeze the furniture to kill the termites. This is tricky for larger pieces of furniture, but freezing for three days will kill the termites.
You can read how to get rid of termites by using salt over here.
Using exterminators to get rid of termites
In some cases, you will need to call a professional exterminator to deal with the infestation. Pest control teams will treat the infested areas with a range of chemicals and aim to completely kill the infestation. When calling exterminators make sure you get a few quotes from local pest control companies, it’s also worth checking online for any reviews and testimonials for the firm. When you hire an exterminator, make sure you sign an agreement that states your desire for the home to be completely free of termites for up to two years after the infestation is treated.
Boric acid is a common and effective way to dispatch termites. Boric acid will shut down the nervous system of the termite, killing it rapidly. The exterminators might also use a microwave spot treatment. This is the act of warming up certain areas of your home to kill the termites. Professionals can only do this with a special microwave device.
Preventing future infestations
If you have had one infestation, you can bet that termites will come back if given the chance. To stop this, here are a few tips on how to prevent future infestations of your home.
Maintain a dry home
Termites thrive in damp conditions, like most other life on the planet they need water to survive. Keeping your home damp free by using dehumidifiers and being extra vigilant about damp. Your gutters can prove a great home for termites if not cleaned out often, as well as leaky pipes and faucets near wood.
Use repellent paint
Consider covering your home with a new coat of paint that has been treated with anti-infestation chemicals. This will keep termites away from the outside of your property for many years. You can also add permethrin to cement foundations in your basement to avoid further infestation possibilities.
Seal up cracks
Termites can bury through wood, but are also masters of finding a way into your home. You can prevent future infestations by cutting down on a number of gaps that the termites can use to gain access to your home. Simply use a caulk gun and fill any gaps in your basement and home. Pay close attention to doorways and windows as these are hotspots for termite entryways.