What to Do When You Find Termites?

Detecting Termite Infestations

Each year, termites cause billions of dollars in damage. They ruin wooden furniture, eat through books, and cause structural issues in buildings. As such, it's important to act quickly on signs of termite activity to prevent infestations. Homeowners should look for the shed wings of reproductive termites, mud tubes, and evidence of damaged wood to catch the pests' presence early on.

Shed Wings
Reproductive termites, also known as swarmers, have wings. When mating season arrives, these pests emerge from their nests, find other swarmers, mate, and begin starting a new colony at a new location. Since they shed their wings shortly after settling down, residents should be alarmed if they find shed wings or dead swarmers around common entry points, such as doors or windows in their homes.

Mud Tubes
Some species of termites cannot survive when exposed to dry air, so they build tunnels that lead from their underground nests to wood in the home. Homeowners will find these tubes running along walls if subterranean termite infestations are present.

Damaged Wood
Telltale signs that termites have damaged wood include a rippled appearance or blisters, which are the result of the pests tunneling close to the surface of the wood. Other signs of termite-damaged wood include weak points in the wood, holes and piles of sawdust in and under the wood. If a homeowners suspects wood damage, tap on wood to see if it sounds hollow, a sure indication of termite activity.

Prevention & Removal

Once individuals suspect they have termite infestations, it's important to contact the professionals at Orkin for an assessment. Pest control specialists have the necessary knowledge and tools to identify the termite activity and offer the best methods of removal.

To avoid repeat problems with the pests, homeowners should take advantage of the various suggested prevention methods. Precautionary measures like keeping shrubbery trimmed and away from house foundations, limiting the use of mulch around homes, storing firewood away from the base of houses, and quickly addressing any moisture buildup or airflow problems reduce the possibility of attracting termites inside.

However, since these preventative methods are not guaranteed to keep the pests away, homeowners should still be on the lookout for termite presence and always call Orkin at the first sign of activity.